Photoresists are photosensitive materials that are used in photolithography and photo-patterning processes. These are used to transfer pattern from photomask onto the surface to form patterned coating when exposed to light. Based on developing type, photoresists are classified into two forms: positive tone and negative tone. Under positive tone photoresists, the portion of the photoresists that is exposed to light becomes soluble by developer treatment. On the other hand, in negative tone photoresists, the portion of photoresists that is exposed to light becomes insoluble upon developer treatment and unexposed portion of the photoresists is dissolved in the photoresist developer. Photoresist ancillaries are the associated products that are used in photolithography and photoengraving along with photoresists. These are used to enhance the efficiency of the process and resolution of transferred pattern.
Growth in the global semiconductor industry is anticipated to drive the photoresists and photoresist ancillaries market worldwide. Photoresists are indispensable components in the process of multi-layer wiring configuration in semiconductor manufacturing and high density packaging. Trends in dynamic display technologies are further estimated to boost the photoresists and photoresist ancillaries market in the near future. However, environmental and occupational health hazards associated with photoresists and photoresist ancillaries are expected to hamper the global market growth in the near future. Upcoming nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) are projected to offer high opportunities for market players in the next few years.
Product segments of photoresists include g-line and i-line, KrF, ArF dry and ArF immersion. In terms of revenue, ArF immersion photoresists was the largest segment in the global photoresists market in 2013. It is further estimated to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period. ArF immersion photoresists provide the flexibility to manufacture semiconductors and other components at nano-scale with supreme resolution. The global photoresist ancillaries market is segmented into antireflective coatings, photoresist developers, edge bead removers and other ancillaries. Antireflective coatings held the largest share of over 30% in the global photoresist ancillaries market in 2013. It is likely to be the fastest growing segment in the next few years.
In terms of revenue, semiconductor & integrated circuits (ICs) emerged as the largest application segment of the global photoresists and photoresist ancillaries market in 2013. The segment accounted for over 55% share in 2013. Semiconductor & ICs segment is anticipated to remain the largest application in the near future. Major end-use industries for semiconductor & ICs application segment include data processing (laptops, servers and personal computers), communication (smartphones, mobile phones, broadband internet and fixed-line telephones), automotive, consumer electronics (music players, household appliances and gaming consoles) and industrial electronics. Printed circuit boards was the second-largest segment for photoresists and photoresist ancillaries in 2013. Demand for photoresists and photoresist ancillaries from other applications that include MEMS, NEMS and sensors is projected to rise at a moderate pace in the next few years.
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The global photoresists market is highly consolidated. Some multinational companies exhibit a high degree of forward integration and develop customized photoresists and photoresists ancillary products. Key players in the photoresists and photoresist ancillaries market include JSR Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, TOKYO OHKA KOGYO CO., LTD., Avantor Performance Materials Inc., Merck KGaA, FUJIFILM Electronics Materials Co. Ltd., E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd., Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. and LG Chem Ltd.