Albany, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/28/2014 -- Currently, global ITO sputtering targets are almost monopolized by a small minority of enterprises such as JX Nippon Mining & Metals, Mitsui Mining, Tosoh, Samsung, Heraeus and Umicore, in which Japanese and Korean companies account for nearly 80% of the market share. For lack of core technology, Chinese ITO sputtering target enterprises are still small in production scale, and basically in trial production or small batch production.
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ITO (indium tin oxide) sputtering targets are one of the core and critical materials in electronic information area, mainly for the manufacture of flat panel liquid crystal displays, touch panel, thin film transistors, solar cells, transparent electrodes and multifunction glass.
Global ITO sputtering target demand mainly comes from Japan, South Korea, mainland China and other Asian countries, of which China accounts for more than 35% of the total. Benefited from the rapid development of downstream industries such as flat panel displays, touch panels, etc., global ITO sputtering target demand will hit 2,500 tons or so by 2016, of which China’s demand will exceed 40%, as it is estimated.
In addition to supply & demand market influence, ITO sputtering targets are also directly affected by raw material indium market. 70% of the global indium is used for ITO sputtering target production, but the indium resource is very scarce, with basic reserves merely 16,000 tons. While the current global annual consumption is about 1,400 tons, thus, long-term supply of indium will suffer bottlenecks.
China is rich is indium in the world, whose basic reserves make up 62% of the world’s total. Slow developments in downstream deep processing industries, especially in ITO sputtering target market, lead to substantial indium export in China, while ITO sputtering target present a high dependence on import.
In order to break bottlenecks in technology and capacity and utilize indium resource effectively, Chinese enterprises have accelerated R&D and introduction of ITO sputtering technology and multiple high-end ITO sputtering target localization projects have been launched.
Zhuzhou Smelter Group Co., Ltd.: it has trial-produced ITO sintered sputtering target via mechanical mixing method by virtue of technological breakthroughs since 2008; in 2013, its 10-ton ITO sintered sputtering target production line was put into trial production, which showed a good effect in preliminary trial plating.
China Tin Group Co., Ltd.: it has built a complete ITO sputtering target process of hot-press approach and high temperature sintering method, which produces Jinhai ITO sputtering targets; in Nov. 2013, it introduced one 50-ton ITO sputtering target production line from Taiwai, which was used to produce high-end ITO sputtering targets for TET-LCD as planned.
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Shaoguan Sigma Technology Co., Ltd.: embarked on ITO sputtering target field in 2002, it developed high-density large-sized sputtering target in Jan. 2008; in Sep.2011, it completed ITO sputtering target production line with annual capacity of 20 tons, which was to be lifted to 100 tons in 2015 as it was planed.
Hebei Pengda Advanced Materials Technology Co. Ltd: the co-developed high-density ITO sputtering target project with School of Materials, Tianjin University, had finished trial production line in 2012, which gets annual capacity of 10-ton ITO sputtering target at present.
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