Production of sapphire crystals for LED applications is a relatively new market that is expected to develop rapidly in the next two to three years.
The worldwide LED market was estimated to be worth USD 4.2 billion in 2006 and it is expected that this number will more than double to some USD 9.4 billion by 2011. This estimate is based on vigorous implementation of several government-backed energy-efficiency programs in the USA as well as a number of European and Asian countries. The programs encourage a shift from conventional incandescent lighting to energy-efficient LED light sources in a wide spectrum of industrial and consumer applications.
Three world major producers of sapphire wafers are ZAO«Monocrystal» (Russia), Kyocera (Japan) and Rubicon Technology, Inc. (USA).
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