Surface science technologies encompass instruments involved in observing and analyzing the physical and chemical surface properties of a material at the micro- and nano-scale, generally though microscopic techniques. The technologies range from traditional light microscopes to instruments that utilize light, electrons, other particles or close physical contact. Certain techniques can penetrate the surface and provide information on deeper layers of a sample.
Optical microscopy and electron microscopy constitute the majority of the market. Despite a history dating centuries, the light microscope is still a valued part of virtually every laboratory setting in the world. Market demand remains strong and is projected to grow 4.7% in 2018.
Electron microscopes can also be found in a wide range of lab settings. Traditionally a materials science technique, electron microscopy has expanded into life science imaging, as instruments have become more robust. Market growth, projected at 7.3% in 2018, will be propelled by these new applications, as well as investments by microelectronics and semiconductor companies.
Confocal and advanced optical microscopy demand, which includes super-resolution microscopy, is expected to grow 7.3%. Surface analyzers will also experience strong sales growth, led by nanotechnology and other research areas that require advanced tools.
ZEISS is a significant competitor in the two largest segments of the surface science market, securing its place as the overall market leader. Leica Microsystems (Danaher) leads both the optical microscopy and confocal microscopy segments, giving it the number two spot.