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Global Markets and Technologies for Thin-Film Batteries

  • August 2013
  • -
  • BCC Research
  • -
  • 101 pages


Table of Contents


Driven by the electronics industry, miniaturization trends have expanded into other fields including the energy sector. For example, batteries are also becoming smaller and lighter. In recent years, very thin and ultrathin batteries that are just a few millimeters thick have gained interest for application in products such as smart cards, radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, medical devices, and sensors, among others.

Manufacturing of thin-film batteries (TFBs) is being facilitated by the development of new fabrication processes that are low cost and suitable for mass production. With this study, BCC will provide an updated review of the most important advances in TFB technology and production methods, and offer a detailed overview of the current market, including an objective analysis of prospects for future growth.
Specifically, the major objectives of this study are to:
• Provide an updated review of TFBs, focusing on materials, construction, and fabrication technologies.
• Highlight new technological developments during the past 3 years, while outlining current technical issues.
• Review existing fields of application for TFBs and examine emerging applications.
• Estimate current global markets for TFBs by type, application, and region, with growth forecasts through 2018 for each market segment.
• Identify important technology and industry trends within each market segment.
• Supply an updated review of current industry players, including manufacturers of TFBs, materials, and fabrication equipment, and technology developers.
• Provide a description of the most relevant research and development activities.
• Determine trends in recently issued U.S. patents.


Thin-film batteries are defined as batteries that have one or more layers thinner than 5 microns and deposited with various technologies that involve vacuum, non-vacuum, or printing processes.

While the global battery market is currently quite large, estimated to reach $55 billion in 2013 with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% over the next 5 years, the TFB market by comparison is a small fraction of this market (less than 0.2%); however, it represents the fastest growing segment with double-digit growth forecast through 2018.

The increased market penetration of TFBs is being facilitated by the growing demand for small-footprint TFB devices with increased storage capacity and also by the adoption of mass-production thin-film fabrication methods that allow for higher throughput and lower unit prices.

The principal objective of this report is to present a current assessment of the TFB industry from both a technological and market point of view and to outline future trends and key developments.

There is also a need to evaluate the current status and future trends of this market from a global standpoint. As the use of these products expands and new fields of application emerge, information on the suppliers and developers of TFB devices and their regional distribution becomes more valuable.

An equally important reason for undertaking this report is to provide technical insights into the manufacturing of TFBs by:
• Providing a review of materials, applications, and production methods.
• Identifying current technical trends.
• Providing an overview of the main global R&D activities related to TFBs, resulting in the issuance of patents.
• Illustrating the latest technological developments.

This information can assist companies in identifying opportunities for process and productivity improvements and new product development, resulting in a positive impact on future market growth.


This study will be of primary interest to all organizations that:
• Manufacture, sell, and distribute TFBs, and other thin-film and flexible devices.
• Supply raw materials for the production of TFBs.
• Manufacture process equipment utilized by producers of TFBs.
• Fabricate products that utilize TFBs (such as smart cards, portable electronic devices, medical devices, electronic price tags and labels, and wearable electronic products).
• Provide technical and/or marketing services in conjunction with the above-mentioned devices.
• Are planning to enter the TFB industry as a supplier, manufacturer, or end user.

Overall, this report applies to industry segments such as electronics, energy, automotive, sensors and instrumentation, and medical electronics.

The report is directed mainly toward executives, directors, operations managers, sales and marketing managers, and strategic planners working within the above industries. Universities and research facilities may also find this report to be a good source of technical information regarding TFB technology and applications, which can be used as a baseline for new or expanded R&D activities. Librarians of technical information and research centers can also use this report to provide critical data to product managers, market analysts, researchers, and other professionals needing detailed and updated insights into the TFB industry.


This report provides an updated review of TFBs, including materials and production processes, and identifies current and emerging applications for this technology.

BCC Research delineates the current market status for TFBs, defines trends, and presents growth forecasts for the next 5 years. The TFB industry is analyzed based on the following segments: type, chemistry, application, and region. In addition, technological issues, including key events and the latest process developments, are also discussed.

More specifically, BCC’s market analysis is divided into five sections.

In the first section (chapter 3), an introduction to the topic and a historical review of TFBs are provided, including an outline of recent events. In this section, current and emerging applications for TFBs are also identified and described.

The second section (chapter 4) provides a technological review of the fabrication steps used to manufacture TFBs, with an outline of the most common processes and innovative production methods. This section concludes with an analysis of the most important technological developments since 2010, including examples of significant patents recently issued or applied for, as well as highlighting the most active research organizations operating in this field.

The third section (chapter 5) entails a global market analysis of TFBs. Global revenues (sales data in millions of dollars) are presented for each segment (battery type, chemistry, application, and region) with actual data for the years 2011 and 2012 and estimated revenues for 2013.

The analysis of current revenues for TFBs is followed by a detailed presentation of market growth trends, based on industry growth, technological trends, and regional trends. The third section concludes by providing projected revenues for TFBs within each segment, together with forecast CAGRs for 2013 through 2018.

In the fourth section of the study (chapter 6), which covers global industry structure, the report offers a list of the leading manufacturers of TFBs, together with a description of their products. The analysis includes a description of the geographical distribution of these suppliers and an evaluation of other key industry players. Detailed company profiles of the top players are also provided.

The fifth and final section (chapter 7) includes an extensive U.S. patent analysis, with a summary of patents related to TFBs, materials, fabrication methods, and applications. The patents examined in this study were issued from 2011 through 2013. Patent analysis is performed by region, country, assignee, patent category, application, battery type, and fabrication process.


To analyze the overall market and market segments, both primary and secondary research methodologies were used to obtain market data.

The technology section of this report is based on information derived from technical literature, related BCC reports, professional journals, the author’s field experience, and online sources.

Global market analysis was performed by a thorough investigation of manufacturers of TFBs, raw material suppliers, producers of thin-film fabrication equipment, and developers of new technologies, accounting for at least 90% of the global market. Data were obtained from the direct contribution of primary sources, including: company executives, managers, engineers, and other technical personnel representing manufacturers, developers, and users of TFBs and related materials and process equipment; representatives of academia and trade associations; and industry market analysts.

Additional data for each company were obtained by thoroughly analyzing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, websites, annual reports, industry directories, industry magazines and catalogs, government sources, and other public sources.

Secondary sources of information include but are not limited to:
• U.S. SEC filings.
• U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
• European Patent Office.
• Company websites.
• Company annual reports.
• Thomas Register.
• Moody’s Directory.
• S & P Industry Survey.
• Dun & Bradstreet Business Directory.
• Foreign Chamber of Commerce directories.
• Foreign Stock Exchange listings.
• American Ceramic Society publications.
• American Chemical Society publications.

In addition to utilizing the above primary and secondary sources, market growth trends and forecasts were compiled by gaining additional insights from relevant financial and market information, relevant BCC reports, and the author’s own in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the collected information.


Margareth Gagliardi, BCC’s Chief Research Analyst in Advanced Materials, has 30 years of experience in the field of advanced materials, specializing in ceramic formulations, materials processing, and new product development. She has held management positions in both manufacturing and R&D within U.S. and European firms producing electronic, mechanical, chemical, and structural components. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an M.S. in Ceramic Engineering.


This report provides:
• An overview of the global market for thin film batteries, which are fabricated using thin film technologies such as sputtering, pulsed laser deposition, CVD, and sol-gel deposition
• Analyses of global market trends with data from 2011 and 2012, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2018
• Discussion of thin film batteries as energy supply components for very thin portable electronics (e.g., cell phones, new-generation laptops and tablet PCs), implantable medical devices, miniature sensors, smart cards, and RFID tags, and that they also offer the potential for storing energy produced by solar cells
• Identification of the various types of thin film batteries that are currently commercially available
• Coverage of market growth trends based on industry growth, technological trends, and regional trends
• A summary of patents related to various types of thin film batteries and their fabrication methods and applications
• Comprehensive company profiles of top industry players.

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