Major growth predicted for nonlinear materials

May 1, 2005
According to a new report from Business Communications Co. (BCC), the global market for nonlinear optical materials is expected to top $1.6 billion by 2009, up from an estimated at $856 million in 2004.

NORWALK, CT - According to a new report from Business Communications Co. (BCC), the global market for nonlinear optical materials is expected to top $1.6 billion by 2009, up from an estimated at $856 million in 2004. The report, “Nonlinear Optical Materials Applications,” analyzes the mutual impact of NLO materials on the telecommunications industry and electro-optics industry.

According to BCC, the total market is expected to grow at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 17.1%, which is mainly due to the demand for LiNbO3 for telecommunications, and nonlinear crystals such as KTP, BBO, and LBO for lasers and electro-optical applications.

According to BCC, NLOs are presently used in telecommunications as switches and modulators. This has significant impact on broadband communication technologies such as dense-wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM). In 2000, the global market consumption for the DWDM amounted to $2.85 billion, and its growth rate is accelerating, as there is an increased demand for broadband communication channels for Internet applications. The total global forecast of the market for optical switching for DWDM is estimated to reach $34.6 billion by 2009. The U.S. share of this market will be about 54%.

The market share of LiNbO3 for telecommunications is expected to be 24.5% of the NLO materials in 2005, and will account for 29.6% of the total market by 2009. Rotators, isolators, and waveplates (other NLO materials used in telecommunications), are currently estimated to account for 57% of the market at a level of $490 million. This market is expected to reach $933.2 million by 2009.

The other important NLO material is KTP, which accounts for 5.4% of the total NLO materials for 2005, at a level of $46.5 million. KTP and its isomorphs are used only in lasers and electro-optics applications and it is projected to grow at an AAGR of 17%.

According to the BCC report, the annual growth rate of other non-linear optical materials such as KDP, KDP, BBO, CLBO, LBO, and their isomorphs used in electro-optical and laser applications is similar to that of telecommunications for 2004-2009. These materials account for 8% of the total NLO materials for 2005 at a level of $69.8 million. BCC report predicts that overall growth of these NLO materials will decrease slightly. Hence their market share by 2009 is anticipated to be about 6.3% of the total NLO market at a level of $104 million.

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