Increasing usage of optics in aerospace and construction activities in developing countries of North America, along with the growing demand for semiconductors in consumer electronics product in the North American region is expected to drive the market growth during the forecast period 2020-2025. Optical Materials Market Size Is Forecast To Reach $4,371.9 Million By 2025, After Growing At A CAGR Of 4.2% During 2020-2025 

The increasing use of optical materials in various sectors such as the automotive and aerospace industry owing to the optical properties such as transmission, reflection, absorption, refraction, and more will drive the global market for optical materials. Furthermore, the rising usage of optical semiconductors in consumer electronics is also one of the factors driving the growth of this market. Hence, the increasing use of optical materials in various end-use industries will overall increase the growth of the optical materials industry over the forecast period. 

The production and demand in top countries for optical materials is expected to boom over the next five years. In terms of revenue inorganic coating materials is the dominant type, accounting for the largest share with 31% in the optical materials market in 2019. Inorganic coatings are combined with ingredients such as additives, enamels, and tints to make the coating as secure as possible and are also used in the glass surfaces which are the ideal surface for inorganic coatings. Inorganic coatings are known for their high resistance to heat and damage, but they are very brittle which can be used to generate new functional coatings on plastic ophthalmic lenses. Inorganic coatings used for improving the surface characteristics and the optical properties on plastic ophthalmic lenses such as allyl diglycol carbonate lenses (ADC, or CR-39) had been successfully developed by sol-gel processing are contributing the market growth of optical materials.

Rising demand for semiconductors in consumer electronics mainly in tablets, smartphones, laptops, and wearable devices is estimated to be one of the major reasons for the growth of the global optical materials market. The optical materials based on UV-curing polymers rather than the glass or injection-molded plastics have become increasingly widespread in recent years. They are used as the lenses for applications like flashlights, time-of-flight-sensors, or diffractive optical elements (DOEs) for structured light emitters and miniature cameras. Also, the development of sensor applications in consumer electronic products regarding direct coating of CMOS and glass wafer with interference filters is estimated to enhance the growth of the market. Therefore, with the rising consumer electronics sector, the growth for the optical materials market is anticipated to rise in the forecast period.

North America dominated the optical materials market with a share of 40.5% in 2019 and is projected to dominate the market during the forecast period (2020-2025). In North America, the trend toward optical technologies likely continues in consumer markets, high-technology scientific and government programs, specialized industrial applications, and defense systems. The development of optical materials with the required optical properties forms the basis of each technology whether it is semiconductor lasers, ultralow optical-loss fibers, or lasers for destroying missiles. Recently, new fabrication technologies have begun to emerge in Canada that is challenging the current limits. They have been put to use in the design of innovative multi-material and multifunctional materials. Owing to which, innovative solutions and technologies are now coming to the Canadian market. Future challenges would require modern, quicker, more scalable approaches to the manufacturing of optical components, with less emphasis on skill-intensive, iterative production methods. To support that aim, some programs have already been developed. For instance, Mexico’s aim of becoming the Latin American leader of the optics and photonics industry has led to the creation of a Mexican Photonics Cluster to work toward helping optics and photonics startups. Thus, growing development in various optics sectors in this region will further drive the market for optical materials in the forecast period.

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Optical Materials Market Growth Driver

  • Increase in Demand from Aerospace Industry

Aerospace applications require robust optical materials capable of operating in IR spectral regions. The near to mid Infrared region has always been crucial for aerospace because of the ubiquitous nature of IR sensors, detectors, and cameras. Optical materials are necessary for aerospace applications because of the complexity of electro-optical systems operating in multiple wavelength regimes and traveling at high speeds and in harsh environments. Moreover, increasing demand for volume manufacturing of custom components and outsourced component integration where the aerospace industry is looking for subsystems and even complete systems rather than optical elements. These demands are expanding and developing as the optical requirement for aerospace applications. Manufacturers need to consider the current state of availability, size, and performance when deciding on which types of materials to be used for today's and upcoming aerospace applications. Thus, the growing developments and the rising trends of optics in the aerospace industry will tend to increase the market growth of optical materials.

  • Increasing adoption of optical materials in consumer electronics

The increasing using of semiconductors is driving the growth in consumer electronics for the optical materials market. Technology-based on electronics and optical is driving the information age through revolutions in computing and communication. Although the vision for future consumer electronics is somewhat spectacle, the past decade has marked the synthesis of new active organic materials and advances in the science underlying their electronic, optical, and mechanical properties. Manufacturers who are into the advanced optics business include Corning laser technologies for laser processing machines, Optical Materials, and Technologies for manufacturing materials, full optical systems, Precision glass solutions for glass wafer enabling mobile consumer electronics. The growing need for consumer electronics will further drive the market for optical materials in the forecast period.

The Major Players in this Market Include
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the optical materials market. In 2019, the market of optical materials has been consolidated by the top five players accounting for 49.7% of the share. Major players in the optical materials market are Dow Chemical, Corning Inc., Schott AG, Dynasil, Amorphous Materials Inc., Canon Optron, Inc., Global Optics UK Ltd., Inrad Optics, Qinhuangdao Intrinsic Crystal Technology Inc, and Knight Optical LLC among others.

Acquisition/Product Launches

In September 2020, Schott AG broadened its structured glass wafer portfolio FLEXINITY® for diverse industry applications in a large number of sectors, such as semicon & sensing, pressure sensor, camera imaging, optoelectronic and RF/IC packaging, biotechnology & diagnostics and sustainable energy. 

In February 2019, the Dow Chemical Company unveiled DOWSIL™ EI-2888 Primer less Silicone Encapsulants, an optically-clear silicone for professional LED lighting that cures at room temperature. This advanced silicone technology provides superb optical performance without compromise and offers unique rheological properties for use with light fixtures in a variety of shapes and forms.

In June 2018, Corning Inc acquired substantially all of the Communication Markets Division (CMD) from 3M Company to expand the optical solution Corning provided existing customers through CMD’s high-bandwidth portfolio. 

Furthermore, the impact of COVID-19 will have a ripple effect on the optical materials market, as the industries it serves continue to be negatively impacted. For optical materials, customer shutdowns, record declines in consumer spending, and lack of capital expenditures are trends all having a negative impact on the markets. Within the broad scope of industrial segments, markets related to automotive and aerospace have been notably impacted. At this critical juncture, various manufacturers are focused on what be the ‘new normal’ will looks like. Also, owning to the COVID-19 palindrome, the optical materials manufacturers, who focus on core industrial sectors have experienced huge loss due to less in consumption, tends to the reduction of the market growth.

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