Rise in wireless communication services, greater preference for more efficient solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, and funding provided by venture capital firms to potential metamaterial manufacturers are prophesied to raise the demand for metamaterials technologies in the global market. The rise in the demand could also be attributed to the ability of metamaterials technologies to amplify the absorption capability of solar cells. Moreover, the increase in demand for clean energy sources such as wind, solar, tidal, and hydro could translate into a want for more efficient solar cells. A lot of research institutes and companies are envisioned to come up with metamaterial products that could absorb light from various angles and spectrums.
The global metamaterials technologies market is anticipated to grow up to a US$1.27 bn by the end of 2020.
Due to potential usages of metamaterials technologies in navigation, communication and radar, and spectroscopy, such applications are expected to witness growth at a rapid pace. Photonic metamaterials are the metamaterials used largely for communication at visible wavelengths. Terahertz metamaterials which interact at terahertz frequency are widely used in security screening processes and medical diagnostics as microwave couplers and beam steerers. As the name suggests, acoustic metamaterials are structures with acoustic effects. These are anticipated to be used in diverse applications such as efficient, ultra-slim, soundproofing coatings, vibration dampers, and home audio systems. Other metamaterials such as ultraviolet (UV) metamaterials and infrared metamaterials are being studied and researched upon by researchers for their distinct characteristics which could be used in future.
Metamaterials technologies are prognosticated to have a wide range of usage in aviation, telecommunication, and industrial sectors, and defense as well. Major applications could include solar, imaging (industrial and medical), acoustic, seismic protection, microwave cloaking, and communication and radar. Though there is still a long way to go in the scope of each product, communication and radar seems to be one of the largest and the fastest growing segments since the past few years. The demand for metamaterials technologies is expected to rise in the coming years due to the increase in demand for wireless communication services and the funding provided to companies that manufacture metamaterial antennas. Metamaterial antennas could be in demand due to their lightweight properties and the ability to support a wide range of frequency spectrum, accompanied by high-paced reconfiguration and better self-alignment as compared to conventional antennas.
In the recent past, North America was amongst the fastest and the largest growing markets for metamaterials technologies. This region is also expected to witness a growth in industrial, consumer, and defense applications. However, it should be noted that low commercial awareness and technical challenges in high volume fabrication could be primary growth restrictors in the market for metamaterials technologies.
Nevertheless, on account of telling investments by venture capitalists and grants provided by government agencies for startup metamaterial companies in North America, the market is expected to expand at a very high pace. As funds and promotions for research projects such as METAMORPHOSE (Metamaterials Organized for Radio, Millimeter Wave, and Photonic Superlattice Engineering) are being considered and supported by the European Commission, the metamaterials technologies market in Europe could also be likely to rise substantially.
In the coming years, the demand for metamaterials technologies is also predicted to surge in developing countries such as India and China and even developed ones as Singapore and Japan in Asia Pacific. Besides this, the metamaterials technologies market is estimated to grow in the Rest of the World due to a high demand in Latin America.
Leading players such as Metamagnetics, Inc., Metamaterial Technologies, Inc. (MTI), and Kymeta Corporation could showcase their prominence in the worldwide metamaterials technologies market.
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