Global metamaterial market size is expected to proliferate commendably over 2021-2027, given the capability of the material to increase the speed and efficiency of medical diagnostics tools like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners. Likewise, the escalating usage of various types of metamaterials, such as lattice materials, in armors, aerospace engineering, and automobiles, will further drive industry growth over the forecast spell. Metamaterials refer to smart materials that can exhibit a range of properties and have an artificial origin. The material possesses several beneficial properties, for example, a negative refractive index, making them highly suitable for use in optics and electromagnetism applications, among others.
Increasing research and development activities of new materials in the telecom sector to enable smart, green, wireless communications technology is a key trend bolstering metamaterial market dynamics over 2021-2027. This is due to the ability of metamaterial-based components like antennas to offer high-performance levels far beyond the restrictive efficiency-bandwidth limits of conventional antennas. Moreover, the strong focus on the expansion of renewable energy capacity worldwide could further augment industry demand, as the material is being increasingly used to conceal solar cells while they continue to generate electricity.
Automotive is set to emerge as a prominent application segment in the metamaterial market by 2027. Growth from this segment can be credited to the strong emphasis on the advancement of metamaterials to increase automotive performance, safety, and economic viability, and in turn, boost innovation and sustainable vehicle production. Moreover, the growing availability of 3D-printed, impact-resistant metamaterials designed to facilitate the development of safe, light, and durable structures for cars, will also surge material adoption across the automotive sector.
On the regional front, the Europe metamaterial industry is anticipated to register a commendable revenue by 2027. This is a result of the increasing sales of consumer electronics, especially through online sales channels, in nations like the UK. This factor is expected to assert a positive influence on the regional industry outlook, as metamaterial MIMO antennas are considered an integral component of smartphones and other communication equipment. In addition, rising expenditure across the healthcare industry in Germany is likely to propel the material demand, given its capability to address challenges across the biotechnology sector, including antibiotic resistance, drug side effects and cancer.
Key players functioning in the global metamaterial market includes Newport Corporation (MKS Instruments), Metaboards, Nanoscribe GmbH, AEgis Technologies Group (BlueHalo), TeraView, Multiwave Technologies, Harris Corporation, Metamaterial Technologies, JEM Engineering, MediWise (Meta Materials), MetaShield, Applied EM, Echodyne, Phoebus Optoelectronics, and Kymeta Corporation, among others. These companies are focusing on various strategies like new product launches, collaborations, acquisitions, and business expansions to reinforce their footprint across the global market.
For instance, in December 2020, Kymeta received a $30 million investment from Hanwha Systems (HSC) to boost the development of its next-gen solutions, namely Kymeta u8 and Kymeta Connect. This initiative was taken by HSC to support the metamaterial-based antenna technology of Kymeta and strengthen its foothold in the LEO (Low Earth Orbit) antenna market.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, auto sales across the globe witnessed a considerable decline, as factories and showrooms remained shut or operated at low capacities during the lockdown. According to estimates from Focus2move, the car industry in Italy witnessed a double-digit decline in July 2021, falling 27.5% below the pre-pandemic levels. Factors such as these could impede the metamaterial industry, given the major role of the material in improving the performance of automotive optical devices, including sensor systems.
However, the burgeoning work-from-home trend and the subsequent rise in the deployment of smartphones and other electronics may contribute to the popularity of optical metamaterial design over the forthcoming years. In 2021, the U.S.-based consumer electronics provider Best Buy revealed that its shares surged by 5%, owing to the strong sales of computer equipment and home theater systems during the pandemic. Developments such as these could, in turn, augment metamaterial industry demand significantly over the years ahead.