The scintillator market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.69% during the forecast period to reach a market size of US$851.309 million by 2027, from US$617.538 million in 2020.
The scintillators facilitate the conversion of high-energy radiations such as gamma rays or X-rays into visible light. These materials ignite a phenomenon called scintillation when they are excited by ionizing radiation. Scintillators are available in a variety of forms, like, solid, liquid, gaseous, organic, and inorganic. Scintillators undergo three main complex sub-stages, which include, conversion, energy transfer, and luminescence. A scintillator couples with an electric light sensor such as a photodiode, photomultiplier tube, or silicon photomultiplier. The consequent photoelectric effect causes these PMTs to absorb light emitted by these scintillators and re-emit it in the form of electrons. The resulting multiplication of those electrons produces an electrical pulse, which can then be analysed to yield useful insights about the particle that struck those detectors. Scintillators are extensively used in a broad range of applications, like, security radiation detectors, CT scanners, gas exploration, gamma cameras for medical diagnosis, X-ray security, including many more. The scintillator market is segmented based on metrics like material type, end-user industry, end product, and geography.
The burgeoning demand for scintillators across various industry verticals to propel market growth in the forecasted period
The constant advancements and innovations in research and development are significantly changing the dynamics of industries like, manufacturing, healthcare, nuclear power, and security defence, providing a robust increase in the demand for scintillators. The appealing attributes of these scintillators, such as high precision and efficiency, and the ability to detect even the lowest of radiation levels, are attracting many developments across multiple fields. For instance, in February 2022, a joint nanosatellite, Light-1 was deployed from the Japanese Experiment Module under the supervision of the Japan Aerospace Explorations Agency. This nanosatellite had the integration of scintillating crystals into it. The assembled detection system is unique to this particular satellite and might become a trailblazer for future missions targeting gamma rays. Simultaneously, the growth of research based on plasma physics is also likely to catalyse market growth. For instance, the physicists from Lawrence Livermore National University, in March 2022, announced their successful results in the finding of another viable advanced pathway to fusion energy. During this research, these physicists installed two plastic-type scintillator detectors outside the z-pinch chamber in order to detect the traces of neurons emitted. The growing number of nuclear power plants globally is yet another factor contributing to the growth of the market. By the World Nuclear Association, there are about 440 nuclear power reactors, with 55 more such plants under construction as of May 2022. While in the healthcare industry, scintillator devices are used in the detection and diagnosis of neurological and cardiovascular ailments. The increasing number of such conditions due to the sedentary lifestyles of people is projected to increase the demand for scintillators in the industry.
The evolution of 3D Technology to accelerate market growth
The growth and advancement in 3D technology are also innovatively impacting the developments in the scintillator market as the additive manufacturing of detectors is gaining ground in the academic research community. For instance, in June 2020, a group of researchers from Hanyang University in Korea was successful in the 3D printing of plastic scintillators, which are highly capable of detecting gamma rays. This group compared the DLP printed parts with a BC408, a commercially available scintillator in the market, and discovered that the two had an approximately comparable decay time and intrinsic detection efficiency. However, the high costs associated with these scintillators along with the lack of skilled labor are expected to restrain the market growth.
The American region to occupy a dominant share of the market by geography in the projected period
By geography, the scintillator market is segmented into the following regions, the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa. Due to the rising investments in the space industry, and the growth of security issues in the region, research in the Americas is predicted to hold a significant market share. The Fusion Z-Pinch Experiment Project by Laurence Livermore National Laboratory cited above is the best instance of this. Also, the increasing medical advancements in imaging modalities, due to the burgeoning medical industry, are increasing the demand for scintillators in the European and Asia Pacific regions. The growing number of nuclear power plants and developments in Japan, India, and China are expected to dominate the market growth in the Asia Pacific region.
The outbreak of COVID -19 affected the scintillator market negatively. The mandated lockdown and social distancing measures that followed, led to the closure of many production and research facilities, leading to a slowdown. The rise in infected cases further resulted in reduced human resources, which affected the productivity of many end-users in the manufacturing, energy & power, and oil & gas industries. The recession in the economy worldwide caused due to the pandemic also resulted in the delay of several ongoing projects, thus causing a dip in the demand for scintillators in the market.