Design, characterization, production, and application of structures, devices, and systems by controlled manipulation of size and shape at the nanometer scale with at least one novel/superior characteristic or property is called nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is the science of building machines at a subatomic level. Nanowires made of crystalline silver with diameter in the tens of nanometers and a length in tens of micrometers are called silver nanowires. Silver is a transition metal in the periodic table of elements. It has an atomic number of 47 and an average atomic mass of 107.862. Its unique makeup of valence electrons is what makes it an ideal metal conductor of electricity. High electrical conductivity, high surface area, and high aspect ratio are the properties that make silver nanowires attractive alternatives vis-à-vis their counterparts such as Indium Tin Oxide (ITO).
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Display technologies that use silver nanowires are light in weight, flexible, thin, and rugged. Usage of silver nanowires is opening new horizons in the field of display technologies. Increase in demand for touchscreen products is driving the demand for new technologies. Governments of most countries in the world are focusing on increasing the usage of solar energy to meet the overall demand for energy. This motivates governments to draft encouraging policies for research and innovation in the field of solar technology, which is anticipated to propel the demand for silver nanowires. Susceptibility to damage from highly energetic UV radiation and harsh environmental conditions has limited commercialization of silver nanowires. Lack of infrastructure and high initial costs are the primary barriers for the silver nanowires market.
In terms of application, the silver nanowires market can be divided into solar cell, display technology, sensor, transparent conductive film, conductive silver adhesive, nano-welding technology, printed circuit board, magnetic devices, nano-generators, and others. In terms of usage, the display technology segment accounts for major share of the silver nanowires market. It is followed by the solar cell segment. Technological advancement is likely to open new avenues for the silver nanowires market.
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Based on method of preparation, the silver nanowires market can be segmented into template method, liquid polyol method, self-assembly method, ultrasonic reduction method, and wet chemical method. Liquid polyol is a widely used method for large scale production of silver nanowires. The template method can be further classified into hard template methods such as carbon nanotubes method, mesoporous silica method, and anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) template method; and soft template methods such as DNA method and ionic liquids method.
Key players operating in the silver nanowires market are American Elements Corporation, Cambrios Technologies Corp., Novarials Corporation, Showa Denko K.K., Plasmachem GmBH, Toray Advanced Film Co. Ltd., RAS AG Material Technologies, Applied Nanotech, Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd., and NanoTech Labs Inc.