Anti-reflective coatings are classified as dielectric coatings that are applied to the surface in order to reduce the reflection and increase the transmittance of the optical surface. These coatings is beneficial in managing both reflections as well as transmission properties with respect to visible light, UV rays, and near-IR spectral bands. Some of the major end-user of anti-reflective coatings are electronics, eyewear, automobile, and solar panels.
The global anti-reflective coatings market was estimated to be valued more than US$ 4.5 billion in terms of revenue in 2019 and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 8.2% during the forecast period (2020 to 2027).
Increasing demand for anti-reflective coatings from the electronic industry is projected to augment market growth. It is mainly used in the photolithography stage of semiconductor fabrication as these coatings manage reflection of exposed energy on the surface. Moreover, they also eliminate standing waves and reflective notching. Furthermore, anti-reflective coatings offer superior critical dimensions during the process of photoresist. Hence, the growing use of anti-reflective coatings across the electronic industry is accelerating the market growth.
Technological advancement in displays and touchscreen of the devices such as mobiles are expected to bring new market opportunities in the near future. For instance, in March 2018, WeeTect, a global provider of manufacturing optical coating, announced its new anti-glare solution, WeeTect Anti-Glare Film (WAGF). This is a Nano polyester film with WeeTect’s permanent anti-reflective coating. The new WeeTect Anti-Glare Film eliminates possible reflections by diffusing harsh light wavelengths that may cause glare on optical surfaces.
Strict environmental regulation associated with the raw material used in the anti-reflective coatings is expected to restrict the market growth. Magnesium fluoride, silicon dioxide, yttrium fluoride, and titanium dioxide are raw materials used in the coatings process and they all have a severe effect on the health of anti-reflective coatings.
On the basis of application, eyewear dominated the global anti-reflective coatings market in 2019 with around 40% of market share in terms of revenue, followed by electronics and solar, respectively.
Electron beam evaporation technology is gaining traction in the market as it is most widely used technology for anti-reflective coating. The low cost of the electron beam evaporation technology is supporting the market growth of the anti-reflective coating. Moreover, rapid urbanization coupled with the increasing population across the developing region is further creating demand for various consumers’ goods. This is expected to foster the market growth of the anti-reflective coating.
Partnership and agreement among manufacturers in the market for expanding market presence on the global level is a key trend. For instance, in September 2017, Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited entered into a partnership with WattGlass to installed SunShot Funded AR Coating in solar panels produced by the company. Watt Glass coating eliminates reflection, glare, and fogging on glass and other transparent materials using a proprietary nanoparticle coating.
Global Anti-reflective coatings Market - Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic
The recent decline in demand for Anti-reflective coatings in various end use industries such as automotive, electronics, eyewear, energy and others, owing to the lockdown amidst of Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic. This is expected to hamper the growth of the global anti-reflective coatings market, however, the demand is projected to revive after the second quarter of 2021, as the lockdowns are expected to curb by mid-year in 2021.
Key players are operating in the global anti-reflective coatings market are Carl Zeiss AG, Essilor International S.A, Honeywell International Inc., Hoya Corporation, iCoat Company LLC, Janos Technology LLC, JDS Uniphase Corporation, Koninklijke DSM N.V, and Optical Coatings Japan
Few Recent Developments