Rising demand for optical materials for advancement in medical equipment is anticipated to create opportunities for the growth of the market in the upcoming years. With applications ranging from diagnostics to surgical tools to therapies, the medical device sector is a fast-increasing area of potential for optical materials. Optical materials are being used as sensing devices for patient monitoring during medical imaging and treatment using radiation devices such as MRI, CT, and PET type scan systems that involve the use of high-intensity electromagnetic fields, radio frequencies, or microwave signals. In modern medicine, minimally invasive surgeries are increasingly important owing to the shorter recovery time of patients compared to standard procedures. Many surgical systems rely on optical materials owing to the unique properties of fused silica, laser light that can be efficiently transported into the body. Besides, optical materials give the flexibility to reach areas of the human body that are otherwise difficult to access.

Optical materials such as barium fluoride (BaF2), calcium fluoride (CaF2), magnesium fluoride (MgF2), UV fused silica, and others are generally used for the production of optical windows. Optical windows are optically clear surfaces that are flat, plane-parallel, and meant to shield sensors and other electronic equipment from the surroundings. They're frequently utilized to shield optical systems and electronic sensors from the surroundings. Since, windows do not add optical power to a system, they are chosen based on optical surface parameters, material transmission qualities, and mechanical features that are appropriate for the applications. Rising usage of optical windows in the electronic equipment such as to keep laser output safe is driving the demand for optical materials. Anti-reflective (AR) coated windows offer enhanced transmission when used in industrial displays or computer monitors since they are always AR coated to prevent reflection. They are appropriate for most industrial and laser protection applications due to their high transmission. Increasing demand for optical windows with the gradually increasing growth of the electronic sensors in numerous consumer electronics devices such as smartphones, PCs, gaming consoles, monitors, and others, is further anticipated to propel the growth of the optical materials market. According to the India Brad Equity Foundation (IBEF), the present administration has set out to develop the country into a worldwide manufacturing hub under the broader programme of 'Make in India' and the National Policy on Electronics 2019 (NPE 2019), with electronics manufacturing being one of the top aims. With mobile phones currently becoming one of the most essential electronic gadgets, there is a policy push to expand the country's mobile phone manufacturing and assembly operations. According to the NPE 2019, a manufacturing target of 1 billion smartphones by 2025 is expected, with 600 million units targeted for export. Furthermore, as per the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) the production of electronic application equipments increased by 123.1% from the previous year (August 2020). Thus, with such rising production of electronic equipments and rising government initiatives for the production of consumer electronics devices such as smartphones in the upcoming years would further create opportunities for the optical materials market growth in the upcoming years.

North America region dominated the optical materials market in terms of revenue with a share of 40% in 2020 and is projected to dominate the market during the forecast period (2021-2026). Optical materials include inorganics, organics, polymers, semiconductors, glasses, single crystals, and composites which are widely used in lenses, windows, beam-splitters, prisms. Optical Materials Market in Canada enjoys a high reputation particular in construction and healthcare, energy production and environmental monitoring among others. Recently, new fabrication technologies have begun to emerge in Canada that are 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. Optical materials are used in various products in the aircraft parts such as navigation devices, window glasses, light systems and other parts. This will contribute to the growing usage and demand of optical materials in Mexico. According to International Trade Administration, the total exports of aircrafts and space parts in the aerospace industry in Mexico is estimated to reach US$7.6 billion by the end of the year 2021, an increase of almost 111.1% from 2020.

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Optical Materials Market Growth Driver

Development of New Methods for Manufacturing Optical Materials with Low Costs and Improvised Performance

Manufacturers of optical materials can now license a game-changing production process for doped solid optical materials. In 2018, one of the innovative approaches for manufacturing optical materials that use hot isostatic pressing (HIP) was developed by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to drive the diffusion of transition metal ions into chalcogenide laser host crystals such as Chromium (Cr), Iron (Fe), Cobalt (Co), or Nickel (Ni) into Zinc Selenide (ZnSe). This novel strategy for manufacturing optical materials accomplishes two goals: first, it changes the quality of laser material to a new condition that allows users to extract all of the laser's power without worrying about the line width becoming too small, and secondly, it enables manufacturers to produce higher-quality laser materials in a more timely and cost-effective manner. Henceforth, the resulting doped crystals offer an unrivalled improvement in performance over current approaches, as well as lower manufacturing costs and higher output for optical materials. Furthermore, when a tiny linewidth is necessary, previous methods compromise a significant amount of power, whereas the new method allows for a very narrow linewidth with no loss of power. The rising development of such new methods by several organizations to manufacture optical materials with reduced costs and improvised performance will uplift the demand for optical materials in various end-use industries. Thus, this will further fuel the growth of the optical materials market over 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. Major players in the optical materials market are DOW Chemical Company, Schott AG, Corning Inc., Canon Optron, Inc., Nikon Corporation, Merck KGaA (Merck Group), PPG Industries, Inc., Heraeus Holding GmbH, Dynasil, Sumita Optical Glass, and Others. In July 2021, Merck Group launched a new line of complimentary green solvents for use Photoresist removal in semiconductors, branded as AZ 910 Remover. It provides reduced environmental footprint of material waste while delivering high-quality performance.

Quarantines and "stay in place" orders, the timing and length of containment and eradication solutions, labor shortages, absenteeism by infected workers, travel restrictions, or other disruptions to customers had adversely impacted the sales and operating results and resulted in production delays in the optical materials market. After a grim 2019, which witnessed an almost 5% drop in global auto manufacturing, the global auto industry faced a new, unprecedented problem in 2020 as a result of the COVID epidemic. The year 2020 was marked by the shutdown of a huge portion of the car industry over several weeks. As per the media release published by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), the COVID-19 crisis had a significant impact on global auto production in 2020, with a 16% decline in global vehicle manufacturing. Furthermore, as per the European Parliament, the demand for aerospace manufacturing in Europe fell by 43% in 2020, owing mostly to Airbus order deferrals. The declining growth of the end-use industries such as automotive, aerospace, and many others, directly affected the optical materials market growth.

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