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The global electron microscopes market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% through to 2015, with the industry set to hit a valuation of US$4.3 billion in annual sales by 2017, due to increased demand for sophisticated, high-resolution, precision imagery across a range of existing and new markets.
An electron microscope is a device used to see exceptionally small objects by focusing beams of electrons rather than ordinary light. Using condensing lenses to focus these beams of electrons the device is able to resolve images of objects that are smaller than conventional optical microscopes are capable of.
This improved resolving power results from the fact that electrons have wavelengths about 100,000 times shorter than visible light photons. They can achieve better than 50 pm resolution and magnifications of up to about 10,000,000x whereas ordinary, non-confocal light microscopes are limited by diffraction to about 200 nm resolution and useful magnifications below 2000x.
Pptical microscopes were replaced to some extent by electron microscopes to conduct analyses at very high resolutions, such as 0.1 nm or below.
However, lately both customers and vendors have been focusing on the development of greater effectiveness through the fusion of electron microscopes with analytical instruments. This effort will enable the customers to analyse a captured image or information through analytical instruments integrated in the electron microscope.
Key players currently operating in the global electron microscope market include FEI Co., Hitachi High-Technologies Corp., JEOL Ltd., and Carl Zeiss MicroImaging GmbH.
The largest company in the electron microscope market is Hitachi High-Technologies. Hitachi dominates the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) market. FEI is the market leader when it comes to transmission electron microscopes (TEM). Areas of demand for TEMs include semiconductors, liquid crystals, chemistry (silicone and polymers), data storage, memories, medicine and bioscience.
Optical microscopes currently hold the maximum share of the microscope market. However, it is expected to lose this share to electron and scanning probe microscopes in the near future.
For more information on the electron microscope market, see the latest research: Electron Microscope Market
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