“Atomic Force Microscopy Market is projected to grow from USD 489 million in 2021 to USD 631 million by 2026; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period. The applications of atomic force microscopy include materials science, life sciences, semiconductors and electronics, academics, and others (that include solar cells, geoscience, forensic science, and food technology). The market growth can primarily be attributed to committed support from several governments to promote nanotechnology and nanoscience research and development, and high demand for 3D ICs from the semiconductor and electronics industry.
AFM segment to account for the largest share of the atomic force microscopy market in 2021
In terms of value, the AFM segment is expected to hold a dominant share of the market in 2021 and is also expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This is primarily because AFMs are much more expensive than probes and cost no less than USD 100,000 (ASP of some AFMs even exceed USD 500,000). An atomic force microscope is one of the most versatile and dominant equipments for studying samples beyond nanoscales. It is versatile because it can obtain three-dimensional topography, and it also meets the requirements of scientists and engineers by offering measurements for several types of surfaces.
Industrial grade AFM to register higher share in the AFM market during the forecast period
The industrial-grade atomic force microscopy market is expected to hold a larger share as well as grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period. This is because industrial-grade AFM is more in demand owing to their high precision in detecting and visualizing even the smallest surface structures compared to research-grade AFM. Industrial AFM is used by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers in the automobile, semiconductor, and nanotechnology-based industries to fabricate nanoscale imaging instruments that find applications in pathology and clinical research.
Material science segment to register the highest share for atomic force microscopy market in 2021
The material science segment is expected to hold the largest market share throughout the forecast period. For materials science research, AFM acts as a powerful tool as it deals with the discovery and design of new materials, including polymers, metals, alloys, ceramics, and biomaterials. The semiconductors and electronics segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Atomic force microscopy can assist in the nanometer-scale characterization of semiconductor materials and devices. It also provides feedback for both electrical failure analysis and physical failure analysis, as well as tribological, mechanical, and interfacial analysis of devices, which is becoming an important metric for quality control.
The emergence of the global COVID-19 pandemic has affected the atomic force microscopy market. Most end-user applications using AFMs have been affected by this crisis. For instance, life sciences applications exhibited the highest growth from 2019 to 2020 in light of the ongoing pandemic while the semiconductor and electronics application segment witnessed a significant decline from 2019 to 2020. However, it is expected that the life sciences application will return to normal growth levels while the semiconductor and electronics segment will showcase the highest growth during the forecast period as the impact of the pandemic starts minimizing.
Market in APAC estimated to have the largest share during the forecast period
APAC is likely to dominate the market during the forecast period. Component suppliers in APAC provide opportunities to key players to outsource their microscopy products as a cost-saving strategy. Major market players are outsourcing the production process of their microscopes to local manufacturers in emerging markets in APAC. These local manufacturers provide equipment, facilities, and labor at a lower cost, thereby offering high returns on investments to manufacturers and lowering the production costs of atomic force microscopes. Moreover, growing R&D funding for the development of microscopes, increasing nanotechnology research, and growing expertise and academic excellence, along with the availability of nanomaterials at a lower cost, are other factors supporting the market growth.
Major vendors in the atomic force microscopy market include Bruker (US), Park Systems (South Korea), Oxford Instruments (UK), Horiba (Japan), Hitachi High-Tech (Japan), Nanosurf (Switzerland), WITec (Germany), NT-MDT Spectrum Instruments (Russia), NanoMagnetics Instruments (UK), Nanonics Imaging (Israel), AFM Workshop (US), Attocube Systems (Germany), Anton Paar (Austria), Semilab (Budapest), Concept Scientific Instruments (France), Nano Scan Technologies (Russia), RHK Technologies (US), GETec Microscopy (Austria), Advanced Technologies Center (Russia), Nanoscience Instruments (US), Anfatec Instruments (Germany), Integrated Circuit Scanning Probe Instruments Corporation (Canada), Tokyo Instruments (Japan), and Molecular Vista (US).