The global electronic films market size was worth USD 8,360 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 15,370 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period (2022–2030). A customized polymer or ITO-based film called an electronic film is used to increase the performance and longevity of electrical equipment. Due to their valuable and dependable qualities, such as chemical resistance, optical transparency, high-temperature tolerance, and moisture resistance across consumer and industrial electronics devices, electronic films are meant to protect electronic equipment. Additionally, the increased digitization of consumer electronics and industrial sectors fuels the market's expansion.
The electronic film industry directly impacts the market for consumer electronics. Electronic films have a wide range of uses in the electrical and electronics industry to provide a variety of essential qualities, such as layered technologies, aimed to improve the properties of electronic devices. Due to a rise in demand from the PCB market, the non-conductive electronic film is one of the most widely used applications in the electrical and electronic industry. Another factor driving the expansion of the consumer electronics industry is the demand for electronic films across all electronic displays, including laptops, TV, PC, and industrial touch panels.
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Electronic film technology has become a vital component of consumer electronics due to the surge in demand for printed circuit board (PCB) application-based mechanical support electronic components. Electronic film in the consumer electronic sector is intended to find applications in circuit materials such as tablets, smartphones, and computers. Further, the consumer electronics market initially experienced a rise in demand in recent years due to a surge in disposable income coupled with the global emergence from work from the home initiative. This surge in demand for work from home is projected to decrease in the next few years, but the continuous market for telecommunication and remote work has become the norm.
The advancement of principal technology and high-speed internet has broadened the adoption of smart building applications across the commercial and residential sectors. The penetration of intelligent building applications such as ventilation, air-conditioning, lighting, smart window, and other systems facilitates the growth of electronic film technology across residential and commercial sectors. Further, the advancement of digital building automation worldwide has led to the appropriation of electronic film technology-based applications such as sensors, microchips, and semiconductors. This is expected to fuel the market growth in the coming years.
Indium tin oxide or ITO is a ternary proportion of tin, indium, and oxide with a metal point of 1526–1926°C. The electronic film based on ITO is often used to manufacture transparent conductive coating for displays such as OLED displays, liquid crystals, plasma displays, electronic ink applications, and touch displays. However, indium is a relatively rare substance estimated to be around 0.1 parts per million in the earth's crust; thus, costs associated with indium are very high and have a limited supply. Further, increased research and development costs correlated with the manufacturing process of electronic films limit the development of the electronics film market.
The printed circuit board is a tiny, multidimensional, complex system that has hardly resembled its traditional ancestors. The modern printed circuit boards are mechanically supported, electronic components using pads, conductive tracks, and other features etched from various sheets films of copper sheets laminated from non-conductive electronic films. Further, the emergence of the digital era or Internet of Things has pushed the adoption of electronic applications such as LEDs, consumer electronics, industrial equipment, automotive components, aerospace components, and more. Therefore, the rise in developments of PCB-based applications is expected to create tremendous growth opportunities for the electronic films market in the coming years.
The electronic films market is segmented by film type, thickness, material, application, and region.
Based on film type, the electronic films market is fragmented into Conductive and Non-Conductive.
Non-Conductive Film is the highest shareholder in the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 8% during the forecast period. These films are mainly used for RHEED systems, ellipsometers, C-V systems, electron microscopes, and ion mills. They are used across enhanced devices such as electron guns, high-energy electron microscopes, and more, with features such as resolution and testing functions, x-ray, wave vectors, and constructive interference in the industrial and manufacturing sector. In addition, the thermos-compression bonding between printed board circuits and electronic devices in the industrial industry promotes seamless operations, which is opportunistic for the electronic films market growth.
Conductive Films are mainly used in electronic displays and touchscreens. The surge in technology advancement in consumer electronics applications is anticipated to drive the growth of the conductive films market, owing to the rise in the development of next-generation electronic equipment applications across the consumer electronic sector. In addition, the emergence of transparent conductive hybrid film across various substrates such as polycarbonate, PET, and sheet resistance levels is anticipated to offer significant opportunities for the electronic conductive films market.
Based on thickness, the electronic films market is segmented into Thick (More Than 1 mm) and Thin (Up To 1 mm).
The Thick segment is the highest shareholder in the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.4% during the forecast period. The thick electronic film is increasingly used in manufacturing micro-electro-mechanical systems, owing to higher precision on advanced resistors to sense mechanical deformations. The applications of thick film technology in the industrial sector are rising due to its features such as fully encapsulated packaging, high reliability, and economical. This technology is expected to witness a surge in demand in the coming years.
The Thin segment is the fastest growing. Thin film technology is significantly used across solar cell plants as a photovoltaic material and telecommunication to increase the bandwidth of multiple communication channels. This application of electronic film technology is expected to offer considerable opportunities due to ongoing trends in solar cell plants and wireless communication industries. For instance, in 2019, the Scientists of NREL and First Solar have joint hands to develop a new approach for manufacturing thin-film-based cadmium telluride solar cells, which is expected to drive the market globally.
Based on material, the electronic films market is divided into Polymer, ITO on Glass, Metal Mesh, and Others.
The Polymer segment is the highest shareholder in the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% during the forecast period. The polymer-based electronic films are barriers used to protect electronic components from the environment inside various chemical, medical, and food industries. Due to their impermeability for liquids and gases, enhanced devices such as sensors, electronic modules, and integrated circuits are manufactured using polymer films. In addition, the surge in demand for polymer-based electronic films across the manufacturing and industrial sector is anticipated to drive market growth.
The ITO on Glass segment is the fastest growing. The advent of next-generation glass door applications such as flat-panel displays, polymer-based electronics, and digital windows are creating the need for indium tin oxide on glass across the consumer electric and commercial sectors. Indium tin oxide-based thin films for glass media is intended to conserve energy over glass window applications. Products such as architectural windows, thin-film photovoltaics, and glass doors of supermarket freezers use indium tin oxide films to ensure enhanced connectivity, low resistance, and high transparency. All these factors are anticipated to be opportunistic for market growth globally.
Metal Mesh-based electric film applications have emerged as a leading alternative for indium tin oxide films. The emergence of metal mesh is expected to offer a better performance level, predominantly over a larger area of applications. Moreover, the rise in the printed metal mesh has observed upheaval in recent years, owing to a surge in demand for transparent conductive electrodes used across touch screen displays. This is expected to boost the growth of the electronic films market globally.
Based on application, the electronic films market is divided into Electronic Display, PCB, Wire & Cable, Smart Buildings, and Others.
The Electronic Display segment is the highest shareholder in the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.8% during the forecast period. The rise in adoption of electronic film-based display applications across various sectors such as consumer electronics, retail, healthcare, and other sectors due to the surge in demand for digital infrastructure brings a significant opportunity for market growth. In addition, the rise in investment across commercial sectors and manufacturing actions in recent years with a particular focus on smart infrastructure applications such as digital displays, smartphones, and others drive the market growth.
The Smart Buildings segment is the fastest growing. Internet of Things-based applications in smart buildings offers enhanced building characteristics, such as data analysis and trends to optimize the building operations and environment. Electronic film technology in the smart building is used across various applications such as smart windows, digital doors, digital walls, and mirrors to offer a comfortable space for the people inside. According to the CW construction world, the growing demand for digital building solutions due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the adoption of smart building applications across the residential and commercial sectors. This propels the demand for electronic film-based applications during the forecast period.
Wire & Cable is the second-largest segment. The advancement of industrial films is suitable for shielding electrical conductors by separating and insulating electric films. The surge in demand for high-speed data and communication cable across the telecommunication and commercial sectors creates the need for an industrial-level electronic cable film market. In addition, the emergence of high-speed fiber optic cable coupled with the development of Ethernet cable technology is anticipated to propel the demand for industrial films across the wire and cable market.
Based on regions, the electronic films market share is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Predominance of APAC on RoW
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Asia-Pacific holds the highest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.3% during the forecast period. The growth of the electronic films market in Asia-Pacific is driven by factors such as the rise in demand for 5G infrastructure and consumer electronics across major economies in this region, such as China, South Korea, Singapore, and India. In addition, the global shortage of automotive and consumer electronic chips has offered significant opportunities for the principal semiconductor facilities across this region. This drives the growth of the electronic film technology market.
LAMEA is the fastest-growing region. The rise in technological advancement across the electric & electronic equipment market significantly offers lucrative opportunities for electronic film technology in LAMEA. The region is treated as an untapped region and offers enormous scope. According to Edison Xie, director of media affairs, Huawei Southern Africa region, the African semiconductor market needs to take initiatives to acquire a share in the global semiconductor industry. These factors exhibit significant growth opportunities for the electronic films market.
North America is the second-largest region. The North American electronic films market is projected to reach USD 4,395 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 7.6%. North America is anticipated to hold a dominant position in the electronic films market, owing to the availability of prime players rapidly developing advanced electronic film solutions for telecommunication, electronic equipment, consumer electronics, and industrial electronics in this region. Besides, the trend toward developing semiconductor facilities across the region has propelled the adoption of electronic film solutions to support the growth of the global chip shortage. For instance, the Canadian semiconductor player with superior chip manufacturers and business leaders expected to build a USD 7 trillion semiconductor industry. This is anticipated to drive the growth of the electronic films market during the forecast period.
The key players in the electronic films market are 3M, DuPont, Eastman Kodak Company, Gunze Ltd., Nitto Denko Co., Panasonic Co., Saint-Gobain S.A., TDK Co., Teijin Ltd., and TOYOBO Co. Ltd.