Carbon nanomaterials find application in energy storage and conversion, composite materials, sensors, field emission devices, drug delivery, and nanoscale electronic components. Carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, and mesoporous carbon structures are major carbon nanomaterials, having properties that differ substantially from other forms of carbon, such as graphite and diamond. The distinguished electronic properties of carbon nanotubes have been a major driver for the demand of carbon nanomaterials. Applications of fullerenes in superconductivity, supramolecular assembly and thin films have led to significant growth in preference of use of carbon nanomaterials in a wide range of end-use industries.
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The carbon nanomaterials market can be segmented into carbon nanofibers, carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, graphene, and polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane. Carbon nanomaterials possess semiconductor properties, which give them a competitive edge over conventional graphite. The semiconductor property of carbon nanomaterials induces catalysis by direct participation in the charge transfer process. Furthermore, carbon nanomaterials enable variation of their charge transfer properties and can be used in designing of catalysts for hydrogenation, fuel cells, and sensors. Carbon nanomaterials find application across various end-use industries such as aerospace and aviation, automotive, energy, electronics, medicine, defense, plastics, sports, and telecommunications.
Application of carbon nanomaterials as catalysts, superconductors etc. in industries such as automotive, defense, electronics, and telecommunications is expected to be major market driver for the carbon nanomaterials market over the forecast period. Electronics was the largest end-use industry for the carbon nanomaterials market for the past few years, accounting for a substantial share of the market. The trend is expected to continue over the forecast period, on account of growing demand for electronics around the globe. The automotive and defense industries are also expected to witness a similar trend over the forecast period on account of growing demand for electronics in these industries. Industries such as aerospace and energy, which remained untapped, offer vast potential in the carbon nanomaterials market.
Asia Pacific is expected to be the leading regional market during the next few years on account of the growing application of carbon nanomaterials in emerging economies such as China and India. Japan has been the largest supplier of carbon nanomaterials over the past few years, followed by China and South Korea. Electronics, automotive, and defense are expected to be the major end-use industries in the region on account of growth in disposable incomes and rising concerns over defense and border securities in countries such as China and India. Europe is expected to witness a similar trend on account of the presence of a well-established automotive industry in the region.
The electronics, automotive, and defense industries are expected to drive the carbon nanomaterials market in North America on account of increasing defense research in the region. Latin America is anticipated to witness a steady rate of growth during the next few years due to the expansion of the automotive and electronics industries in countries such as Brazil. Middle East and Africa is expected to be a highly lucrative regional segment for the carbon nanomaterials market on account of high investment in the defense sector by GCC countries and the growth of the automotive industry in South Africa over the forecast period.
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Some of the key players in this market are Ahlstrom Corporation, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Hollingsworth & Vose, and Kuraray Co., Ltd.