The economic downturn has hit key nano-enabled product segments hard, particularly automotive, construction, and electronics. The output of these three sectors is immense, accounting for 10% of the U.S. GDP in 2008, and 9% worldwide. Plus, because all are big end markets for nanomaterials and their intermediates, the disruption within them has rippled back up the value chain.
As a result, Lux Research has lowered its previous projections for nano-enabled product revenues by 21%: We now expect nanotechnology to generate $2.5 trillion in 2015. Hardest hit will be two nanomaterials and two types of nanointermediates.
Among materials, carbon nanotubes and ceramic nanoparticles will see the biggest impact from the recession, due largely to their out-sized applicability in the struggling automotive and construction sectors. The relatively diverse applications for ceramic nanoparticles will enable them to recover more quickly. Among nanointermediates, nanocomposites and coatings will take the biggest whack. However, both should return near previously projected revenue levels by 2015.