Thin Film Sensor Market – Snapshot

Thin film sensors are defined as sensors that comprise one or more thin layers manufactured by implementing various technologies. In thin film technology, a very thin film of material from fractions of nanometer to several micrometers, or even the thickness of a few atoms is applied on a substrate surface that is to be coated. The electronics and semiconductors sector is predicted to provide decent momentum to the global thin films market by boosting the level of adoption on account of their several characteristics – stability, reliability, small size, quick response, and accuracy. The key purpose of thin film sensors is to augment surface evenness and lessen the extent of absorbed light. Presently, being a niche market, few prominent players and a large number of local vendors operate in the thin film sensor market. The global thin film sensor market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 3.1% in terms of revenue during the forecast period and reach US$ 3,093.3 Mn by 2026.

Stringent government regulations to ensure worker safety and good health is promoting the adoption of sensors. Different types of combustible and toxic gases are used in industrial processes such as H2S (Hydrogen Sulfide), NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide), etc. which pose high risks to workers working in the nearby areas. Hence, it is important to continuously monitor concentration of these gases in industrial environments to avoid any mishaps, thus supporting the demand for sensors. Since, thin film sensors are more compact, they are convenient to deploy in several detection devices. For example, through thin film gas sensors, different gas types are identified by using dielectric properties of thin polymer film. Since the guidelines for occupational safety is getting tougher, particularly in North America and Europe, the adoption of sensors in hazardous work environments is also increasing. This factor is expected to drive the thin film sensors market during the forecast period.

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Since thin film sensors possess features such as repeatability, accuracy, better adhesion, flexible designing, and are capable of surviving rough handling, they perform effectively in several industrial and commercial applications. Also, their thermal responsiveness is better than conventional film sensors. They are more beneficial in terms of miniaturization and integration in electronic circuits. Furthermore, they offer better performance under low-irradiation condition and make ultra large area process practicable with less material requirement and quick response time. Another significant use of this sensor is to incorporate it into a portable handheld measurement system. Thus, superior features of thin film sensors over conventional sensors is an important factor anticipated to facilitate the market growth throughout the forecast period.

However, the insufficient conversion efficiency level of thin film technology could be one of the major limitations to market growth. The complicated structure due to very small size could refrain users from investing in thin films. In addition, flexible thin films may not be practical in some end uses, considering the unattainability of sophisticated installation expertise needed. Also, it is difficult to repair thin film sensors compared to conventional sensors. Despite these factors, the thin film sensor market is expected to gain momentum in the coming years due to growing popularity of portable & wearable electronic devices and the ongoing trend of miniaturization.

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Attracted by this expanding market and principal latent demand, several players are expanding their business while maintaining quality standards in order to adhere to the stringent government regulations that are set for different end-use industries in different countries across the world. Some of the prominent players identified in the thin film sensor market includes Gems Sensors & Controls, Inc., Heraeus Sensor Technology GmbH, Honeywell International Inc., Innovative Sensor Technology IST AG, Sensing Devices, Inc., Temperature Specialists, Inc., United Electric Controls Company, Vishay Intertechnology, Inc., AMETEK, Inc., and Baumer Group.