Gallium Market: Overview
Gallium is a metal that appears as gray orthogonal crystal in solid state and tin or silvery colored metal in molten state. Gallium metal exists in a molten state at room temperature due to its relatively low melting point and high boiling point. It is soluble in acids and alkalis, and partly soluble in mercury. It is produced as a by-product of the aluminum refining process. Gallium is also found in small traces in zinc ores and bauxite. Gallium is a post-transition metal in the periodic table; therefore, its chemical properties are familiar with chemical properties of aluminum and indium. Gallium blends with arsenic, phosphorus, and antimony, forming compounds and alloys, which exhibit semiconductor properties. It is primarily used as an electrochemical in semiconductors, photovoltaic cells, integrated circuits, and diodes.
Gallium Market: Drivers & Restraints
The global gallium market is primarily driven by the increase in demand for gallium metal in the electronics industry. Gallium is widely used to manufacture chips and wafers in microelectronics, semiconductors, and photovoltaic applications owing to its properties such as electrical conductivity and wettability. Increase in adoption rate of IoT devices and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is likely to provide an impetus to the production of semiconductors and microelectronics. Increase in awareness about solar powered devices is also expected to boost the demand for photovoltaic cells. Rise in demand for semiconductors, microelectronics, and photovoltaic cell applications in the electronics industry is anticipated to propel the demand for gallium. Furthermore, gallium is used in medical and radiopharmaceutical applications to treat carcinogenic disorders. This is projected to offer lucrative opportunities to the gallium market during the forecast period.
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Gallium Market: Key Segments
In terms of product, the gallium market can be segmented into compounds, alloys, oxides, nanomaterials, and others. Compounds can be further classified into gallium arsenide, gallium nitride, and others. The gallium arsenide sub-segment accounted for the key share of the compounds segment in 2017. Gallium arsenide is widely used in monolithic microwave integrated circuits, microwave frequency integrated circuits, laser diodes, infrared light-emitting diodes, solar cells, and optical windows. Gallium alloys are primarily employed in thin-film coatings and thermal interface materials. Gallium compounds are used in electroluminescent light emission, microwave integrated circuit production, and UV-activated powder phosphors.
Based on form, the gallium market can be divided into ingot, pellet, and powder. Gallium is produced in various forms with distinctive densities and grain sizes, depending upon its applications.
In terms of application, the gallium market can be segregated into microwave & infrared circuits, semiconductors, LEDs, pharmaceuticals, photovoltaic cells, catalyst, and others. Semiconductors and photovoltaic cells segments accounted for substantial share of the global gallium market in 2017. Increase in utilization rates of semiconductor in electronic devices such as tablet computers, mobile phones, and television sets; and photovoltaic cells in solar power generating devices are projected to drive the gallium market in the near future.
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Gallium Market: Regional Outlook
Based on geography, the global gallium market can be classified into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. The gallium market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a swift pace due to the rapid industrialization in developing economies in the region. Demand for gallium has been increased owing to the rise in production capacities of semiconductor and photovoltaic cell fabrication plants in China, Japan, and South Korea. Expansion in the electronics industry due to competent labor pricing and easy availability of raw materials in Asia Pacific are projected to boost the demand for gallium in the region. North America and Europe also held prominent share of the global gallium market in 2017.
Gallium Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the global gallium market include American Elements, 5N Plus, DOWA Electronics Materials Co., Ltd., Fortis Metals, Guangdong Xianjian Materials Co., Ltd., Indium Corporation, Nanjing Jinmei Gallium Co., Ltd., Nippon Rare Metal, Inc., Umicore N.V., and Zhuzhou Keneng New Material Co., Ltd. Inc.
Companies in the Gallium market have increasingly shifted gears with wide application of digital technology across the continuum, from raw material sourcing to manufacturing to generation of final output, to warehousing to final distribution operations. Among the various affects, the market is witnessing new growth economics due to thinning of line between specialty and commodity businesses that are associated with the larger ecosystem. At the same time, new growth parameters are being vigorously being debated as industry stakeholders put greater emphasis on the circular economy processes.
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