Inorganic scintillators are crystals that exhibit property of luminescence when excited by radiation. Inorganic scintillators are manufactured at high temperatures using alkali halides and oxides. Inorganic scintillators have high stability in presence of intense ionizing radiations are employed primarily for detection of radiation. On the basis of its end use, inorganic scintillators can be bifurcated in to four major application segments namely nuclear power plants, homeland security, defense and other high energy physics applications.
Inorganic scintillators market can be bifurcated into four major product segments including sodium iodide, gadolinium oxysulfide, and cesium iodide and other niche segments. Growing number of high energy physics applications are fuelling the research and development activities in the inorganic scintillators market. The surge in research and development activities has led to increase in the number of product segments in the market. Bismuth germanate, lead tungstate among others are some of the niche product segments of inorganic scintillators. The product segments are directly employed in pure form or are mixed with elements such as thallium as per the end use. Sodium iodide is the most dominant product segment in terms of market share and the trend is expected to continue in the near future.
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Inorganic scintillators can be customized to detect small amount of radiation and also have high stability when exposed to high amount of radiation. Depending on the end use, inorganic scintillators can be customized and their production can be controlled. High degree of customization and high efficiency of these scintillators have been major factors driving demand for inorganic scintillators. Increasing research and development activities leading to a surge in the application scope of these scintillators also has been driving inorganic scintillators market growth. Increasing defense and homeland security budgets by nearly all major economies across the globe is expected to drive the market during the forecast period. However increasing demand for renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal energy as a substitute for nuclear energy has been a major factor restraining growth for the demand of inorganic scintillators.
North America dominates the global demand for inorganic scintillators in terms of market share and the trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. Europe is the second largest consumer for inorganic scintillators. However, North America and Western Europe are among the foremost regions driving the demand of renewable energy sources such as solar. Increasing number of occupational health hazards incidents such as cancer in nuclear plants are among other major factors restraining growth for inorganic scintillators in North America and Europe. Therefore, inorganic scintillators market is anticipated to grow at a sluggish rate during the forecast period in Western Europe and North America.
Asia Pacific is the third largest consumer for inorganic scintillators. Increase in demand for energy is foremost driving factors for inorganic scintillators in the Asia Pacific region. India and China are among the fastest growing economies in terms of economic development primarily driven by increasing industrial investment and huge population in the region. Increasing demand for energy in these developing regions has been the foremost driver for the demand for inorganic scintillators in Asia Pacific. High security concerns in Asia Pacific between neighboring nations including India, China and Pakistan leading to increase in defense and homeland security budgets are among other drivers for the demand of inorganic scintillators in Asia Pacific.
Raw material procurement and innovation are critical success factors in inorganic scintillators market and the industry is characterized by high degree of competition. Some of the major players in the inorganic scintillators market Toshiba Corporation, Mirion Technologies, Inc., Saint-Gobain SA and Hitachi Metals America Ltd. among others.
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