Optics Industry Report

April 1, 2005
Semrock, Molecular Probes sign supply agreement

Semrock, Molecular Probes sign supply agreement

Molecular Probes (Eugene, OR), a wholly owned subsidiary of Invitrogen (Carlsbad, CA), signed an agreement with Semrock (Rochester, NY) to offer Semrock’s BrightLine series of fluorescence filters in its worldwide catalog. “Working directly with the premier vendor of fluorescence dyes will allow us to provide better service to our common customer base,” said Victor Mizrahi, president and CEO of Semrock. “By combining the experience in biochemistry of Invitrogen’s Molecular Probes group with Semrock’s extensive knowledge of optics, we will be ideally positioned to jointly deliver optimized dye/filter combinations.”

Cabot opens thin-films manufacturing facility

Cabot Supermetals (Boyertown, PA, and Aizu Wakamatsu, Japan), a business unit of Cabot (Boston, MA) has officially opened its new thin-films manufacturing facility located in Etna, OH. The new 90,000-sq-ft facility produces tantalum sputtering targets for use in semiconductor, optics, magnetics and flat panel display applications. Cabot’s new sputtering target manufacturing facility combines robotic material handling, dynamic scheduling and automated process control. This advanced system enables Cabot to produce a high volume of consistent targets on time and at lower costs. In addition to these innovations, construction of the new facility included the installation of daylighting panels filled with Cabot’s Nanogel translucent aerogel material.

Konarka collaborates on first solar working fabric

Konarka Technologies is developing photovoltaic fabric with Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL; Switzerland). The photovoltaic fibers and textiles based on nanotechnology programs are expected to yield the first fully integrated woven photovoltaic material. Such material is expected to allow for tighter integration of power generation capabilities into devices, systems and structures beyond what is possible with plastic film.

“Photovoltaic textiles could positively increase the number of applications available to solar technology by extending integration to objects made from fabrics, such as garments, tents or coverings,” said Daniel Patrick McGahn, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Konarka. The EPFL team is led by Jan-Anders Manson, director of the Laboratory of Composite and Polymer Technology, who is well known for his work as the scientific coordinator for the EPFL-Alinghi Project, which designed the yacht that won the 2003 Americas Cup. The undertaking is expected to last one year and is funded by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI).

JMAR granted x-ray lithography patent

JMAR Technologies (San Diego, CA) has been issued a patent (U.S. 6,845,145 B2) for advanced x-ray ­lithography stepper technology that will enable a faster, more cost-effective means of producing zone plate optics for its Compact X-ray Microscope and X-ray Nano Probe product lines. The combination of JMAR’s soft x-ray source and its newly patented stepper creates a tool for fabrication of the zone plate diffractive optics used to collect and focus x-rays-a process critical to the development of JMAR’s X-ray Microscope and X-ray Nano Probe products.

“Although the patented invention was originally conceived as a method for producing compound semiconductor devices, it also meets the special needs of zone plate fabrication-printing high-aspect-ratio structures to sub-50-nm resolution. Electron beam equipment is presently used for this application in spite of the high cost, because this requirement cannot be met with conventional optical lithography,” said Bob Selzer, senior VP for technology and one of the patent inventors.

Gail Overton

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at [email protected].

Also in the news . . .

Scanner Technologies (Minneapolis, MN) has been granted ­patent 6,862,365 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the three-­dimensional inspection of ball-grid-array devices with fixed optics and a single camera. . . . Northrop Grumman (Redondo Beach, CA) won NASA’s George M. Low Award for outstanding technical and managerial achievements in quality and performance. Northrop Grumman is leading the design and development of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which will use the largest deployable space telescope ever built to witness the birth of planetary systems and gain a better understanding of dark matter. . . . Suss MicroTec (Munich, Germany) is consolidating its two mask-aligner manufacturing sites in Asslar and Munich to the facility at its corporate head­quarters in Munich. SUSS MicroTec manufactures photoresist and dielectric coat/bake/develop systems, microlithography exposure systems, and wafer and device bonders.

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