Physical vapor deposition refers to a vacuum deposition process that can be used to fabricate thin films and surface coatings. In this process, the material changes from a condensed phase to a vapor phase and then again to a thin film condensed phase. Conventionally, PVD has been utilized at the industrial scale and combined with multiple methods to produce coatings with superior characteristics. In recent years, advancements in nanoscience have made the PVD technique more useful for the fabrication of micro-structure and nanostructured coatings.
Currently, solar selective coatings produced by using the PVD technique are being consumed in large quantities, due to the rising focus of governments and individuals on generating electricity through solar energy. Coatings with high absorptance and low thermal emittance are being applied on solar panels to harness solar energy. Thus, the increasing deployment of solar cells and panels will catalyze the physical vapor deposition market growth during the forecast period (2021–2030). According to P&S Intelligence, the market generated $20 billion revenue in 2020.
Apart from the solar energy sector, PVD technology-based coatings are also being used in the automotive and aerospace industries, owing to the booming demand for lightweight components in these sectors. Automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) across the world are increasingly using coatings made of aluminum, magnesium, and carbon-reinforced plastic materials as these coatings strengthen vehicle parts. Additionally, such coatings are also being used as decorative coatings on automobile parts, aircraft components, and guns.
The application segment of the physical vapor deposition market is categorized into cutting tools, data storage, microelectronics, medical equipment, solar products, and others. Under this segment, the microelectronics category is expected to demonstrate the fastest growth during the forecast period. This will be on account of the increasing deployment of microelectronics in the automotive sector and the surging use of semiconductors in consumer electronics, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, especially in developing countries.
In recent years, PVD equipment manufacturers, such as OC Oerlikon Corporation AG, Angstrom Engineering Inc., PLATIT AG, Denton Vacuum LLC, Plasma Quest Limited, Sulzer Ltd., Kurt J. Lesker Company, Tokyo Electron Limited, Advanced Energy Industries Inc., IHI HAUZER Techno Coating B.V., Applied Materials Inc., and Impact Coatings AB, have focused on introducing new products and acquisitions to augment their revenue. For instance, in July 2019, Applied Materials Inc. introduced Endura platforms, a PVD equipment, to produce novel memory technologies targeting cloud computing and the internet of things (IoT) technologies.
Geographically, the Asia-Pacific region held the largest share in the physical vapor deposition market in 2020, and it is expected to demonstrate notable growth throughout the forecast period. This can be owed to the burgeoning demand for flash memory and dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) in China, Japan, and India. Additionally, the growth of the semiconductors industry, primarily on account of the increasing penetration of smartphones and laptops, will also support the market growth in the region.
Thus, the rising shift toward solar power and soaring demand for lightweight vehicles will fuel the adoption of PVD technology worldwide.