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Spectroscopy market: Outlook positive

BioPhotonics
Sep 2010
Caren B. Les, caren.les@photonics.com

WELLESLEY, Mass. – The value of the US spectroscopy market, estimated at $4.9 billion in 2009, is projected to rise to $6.5 billion in 2014, with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 6 percent, according to a report from BCC Research.

Titled Spectroscopy (IAS004D) and published in May 2010, the report indicates that the spectroscopy instrumentation market for pharmaceutical applications, with an estimated 2009 value of more than $1 billion, is expected to reach $1.4 billion in 2014 with a compound annual growth rate of 6.1 percent. Molecular spectroscopy, a market that in 2009 was estimated to be $1.8 billion, is projected to rise to nearly $2.4 billion in 2014, with a compound annual growth rate of 6.1 percent. The biotechnology application segment, estimated at $990 million in 2009, is projected to expand to $1.3 billion in 2014 with a compound annual growth rate of 6.2 percent, according to the report. The report also discusses and forecasts the market for spectroscopic instrumentation in its other main applications – the analysis of materials, the environment, food and beverages, and industrial chemistry.


Shown are US market estimates for spectroscopic instrumentation by application industry in 2009 and 2014. Courtesy of BCC Research.


Spectroscopy is a technique used to identify and determine the physical characteristics of materials through the measurement of emissions and absorption of electromagnetic spectra.

“In our research we found quite upbeat predictions for near-term growth in spectroscopic instruments, rosier than what we see forecasted for the US economy as a whole – and the situation today looks somewhat gloomier than it did a few months ago when I finished the report,” said Charles Forman, author of the document. He added that research and development is key to growth in tech-oriented companies and that the increasing emphasis on detection of explosives, hazardous and volatile chemicals and the like will foster growth in handheld and other portable instruments for use in the field. In recent years, he said, good growth has been seen in instruments of this type, such as handheld Raman spectrometers.

“The trend toward miniaturization, which makes smaller field-use instruments possible, has been a solid one in recent years. Computer-controlled instruments are now common. ‘Hyphenated spectroscopy,’ which combines another technology, most commonly gas/liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, called GC-MS and LC-MS, has grown faster than some other methods and should continue in popularity,” Forman said.

The report from BCC Research addresses techniques such as IR spectroscopy, including IR combined with time-of-flight mass spectrometry, near-IR versus mid-range IR spectroscopy, handheld Fourier transform IR instruments, and nanoscale IR spectroscopy. It discusses Raman spectroscopy in nanotechnology investigation, as well as developments in surface-enhanced and multimodal multiplex Raman spectroscopy. Fluorescence, UV/VIS, atomic, plasma, x-ray, nuclear magnetic resonance and single-molecule absorption spectroscopy also are considered, along with microspectroscopy.

Global views

Global spectrometer and spectrophoto/ fluorometer sales are expected to exceed $10.3 billion by 2015, according to a report from Global Industry Analysts Inc. (GIA) of San Jose, Calif. The publication, Spectrometers and Spectrophoto/Fluorometers: A Global Strategic Business Report, was published in August 2010. The company says that market sales are driven by several factors, including a shift of research funding from gene sequencing and high-throughput screening to genetic variation analysis, metabolomics and environmental research. It notes that expanding research markets in Asia, particularly in India and China, present opportunities for spectrometry. Together, Japan, Europe and the US represent an 80 percent share of the global spectroscopy market, according to GIA.

The recently released report predicts that the molecular spectroscopy market, representing the largest product segment, will reach $3.3 billion in revenues by 2012 and that in Europe, the Fourier transform IR spectrometer market, which also includes portable and handheld devices, will reach $238 million by 2015. The report projects growth in the UV-VIS reflectometer and polarimeter markets mainly because of the cost-effectiveness of the systems – and it predicts robust growth in the microvolume UV-VIS systems used in the biotechnology sector.

In the area of atomic spectroscopy, the x-ray diffraction instrumentation market is projected to expand significantly in the near term, mainly because of the demand from the life sciences sector for research on crystallography of small molecules and protein, according to the company.

The market for mass spectrometers is expected to be driven significantly by factors such as government stimulus, demand from academic and government laboratories, and the revival of held-back orders, according to the GIA report. It projects that the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ ionization time-of-flight sector will grow in several life sciences applications, including imaging, microbial detection and sequencer replacements.


GLOSSARY
chromatography
The chemical method of separating compounds dissolved in one phase (usually mobile) through its equilibration with a second phase (usually stationary). The mechanism of separation may involve partition, adsorption, permeation or exclusion, or ion exchange.
fluorescence spectroscopy
The spectroscopic study of radiation emitted by the process of fluorescence.
molecular spectroscopy
Spectrum analysis concerned with the spectra formed by transitions in molecules.
spectrometry
The study and measurement of spectra and their components.
x-ray diffraction
The bending of x-rays by the regular layers of molecules in a crystal acting like a very small diffraction grating. The diffraction pattern so obtained and recorded on film provides a means for analyzing the crystal structure.  
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