The global market for microscopes and accessories was worth about $2.1 bln in 2006. Sales are projected to exceed $2.3 bln in 2007 and approach $3.6 bln in 2012, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% between 2007 and 2012. The fastest growing segments of the market are scanning probe microscopes, with a CAGR of 19.4% between 2007 and 2012, and charged particle microscopes with a CAGR from 2007 to 2012 of 9.0%. Optical microscopes are projected to have the lowest growth rate of any major market segment (5.6% CAGR), BCC Research says.
As a result, charged particle microscopes, which have the largest market share of any product segment, are projected to increase their market share further, from 52% in 2006 to 52.1% in 2012. Optical microscopes are projected to lose market share, from 26.2% in 2006 to 21.9% in 2012. In 2006, semiconductor manufacturing was the dominant end-user market for microscopes, with 31% of the total market, followed by life sciences (27%) and materials (24%), and nanotechnology (10%). Nanotechnology and semiconductor manufacturing are the fastest-growing end-user markets with CAGRs of 19.4% and 10.2% respectively. As a result, by 2012, the semiconductor industry is expected to account for 34% of the overall microscope market and nanotechnology 17%. Other end-user segments should lose market share over the next 5 years.