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Semicon malaise postpones surface science rebound.

In 2002, the market for surface science instruments was adversely affected by the ongoing woes in the semiconductor industry, which is by far the most important commercial market for these products. Nevertheless, surface science still managed to generate modest growth during this difficult period. For 2003, the overall growth rate is expected to be 5.1%.

However, as the recovery of the semiconductor industry continues and new biological applications for these instruments continue to appear, the markets for 2004 and beyond should generate high single-digit growth.


Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) is the surface science technique that will exhibit the strongest growth for 2003. Atomic force microscopy, the most common SPM technique, is gaining momentum both from increased capabilities for semiconductor applications, and also from acceptance as a technique for probing biological samples.

Electron microscopy and confocal microscopy will display growth in the mid to low single-digit range for the year. The former will benefit from the resurgence in the semiconductor industry. Although confocal microscopy has benefited from technical advances, such as multiphoton systems, its growth has remained uninspiring.

Surface analyzers, which are most commonly used in semiconductor, polymer and other materials science applications, continue to suffer from the negative effects of the downturn in the semiconductor industry. This market is expected to decline 2.4% in 2003.
2001-04 Total Surface Science
Instrumentation Global Market


2001 1496

2002 1582

2003 1662

2004 1802

Note: Table made from bar graph.

2002 Surface Science Product
Segmentation by Technique

Surface 13%

Scanning 16%

Confocal 6%

Electron 65%

Note: Table made from pie chart.
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Publication:Instrument Business Outlook
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 15, 2003
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