Trend of Miniaturization to Propel Global Demand for Microscopy Devices

Nanotechnology, which has applications in semiconductors, life sciences, and material sciences, requires high-resolution microscopes for the study of materials at an atomic or molecular level. Microscopes are also a critical requirement in manufacturing industries demanding precision. Initiatives by various governments aimed towards increasing the R&D funding in the healthcare sector are also triggering the demand for microscopy devices. Thus, the global microscopy devices market is expected to rise from US$5.7 bn in 2013 to US$9.7 bn by 2020 expanding at a 7.60% CAGR from 2014 to 2020.

TMR analysts answer key questions that companies operating in the microscopy devices market need to ask:

Q. What are the growth opportunities in the microscopy devices market?

Of late, the trend of miniaturization has taken the world by storm. This trend offers a great opportunity for advanced microscopy devices such as transmission electron microscopes (TEM), scanning electron microscopes (SEM), and scanning probe microscopes (SPM). The semiconductor industry is moving towards miniaturization of transistor chips. Companies such as Samsung and United Microelectronics are anticipated to roll out ultra-nano chips soon. Thus, this trend is expected to generate new demand for advanced microscopy devices. 

The entry of quantum dots (QD) technology in the semiconductor industry will also benefit the microscopy devices market by opening another door of opportunity for growth. QD technology has already been used in the Bravia television series by Sony. The QD technology, which is currently at its nascent stage, is expected to be commercialized in the future and will bring huge opportunities of growth for the SPM and electron microscope types.  

Q. What is restricting the growth of the global microscopy devices market?

The complex instrumentation of advanced microscopes is one of the challenges faced by the market. The special, intricate sample preparation techniques required by these microscopy devices also pose a challenge. This is because the samples, when viewed under these microscopes, are altered structurally or even destroyed. This restricts the use of microscopy devices in many potential fields. 

Scanning probe microscopes have glitches such as inability to examine the buried interfaces between two media, low scanning rate, and smaller image size. 

The premium pricing of advanced microscopy devices also limits the penetration of these devices. Several private research institutes and small companies need high-end microscopy devices but are unable to purchase them since they cannot afford them. Insufficient funding is also restricting the purchase of these devices by many research institutes that are dependent on federal and corporate funding. 

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Q. What are the recent developments in microscopy devices by key players?

Carl Zeiss, a company based in Germany has introduced a new hardware auto focus and clean room kit for the Axio Imager microscope system. FEI Company, headquartered in Oregon, has announced the new ASPEX CleanCHK analyzer that offers a particulate contamination monitor, and is explicitly designed for application in the automotive industry. Hitachi High-Technologies has introduced the new generation TEM that functions even in room light environments. 

Such new developments and, most importantly, the growing use of microscopy devices in various fields will bring about healthy growth in the market. 

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