PhAST/Laser Focus World Innovation Award goes to Coherent

May 2, 2008--The Photonic Applications, Systems and Technologies (PhAST) Conference and Laser Focus World magazine are pleased to announce that Coherent has been selected as the recipient of this year's PhAST/Laser Focus World Innovation Award for its OPSL-577-3, the twin embodiment of technical and application innovation in exploiting the wavelength and power scalability of optically pumped semiconductor laser (OPSL) technology.

May 2, 2008--The Photonic Applications, Systems and Technologies (PhAST) Conference and Laser Focus World magazine are pleased to announce that Coherent has been selected as the recipient of this year's PhAST/Laser Focus World Innovation Award for its OPSL-577-3, the twin embodiment of technical and application innovation in exploiting the wavelength and power scalability of optically pumped semiconductor laser (OPSL) technology.

View our video recapping the awards ceremony and onsite interviews of the winning entrants here:

"Coherent is leading the pack in the development of precisely scalable lasers for customizable use in a variety of applications," said PhAST Co-Chair David Huff. "This new laser not only advances how the photonics industry can apply laser technology, but also offers hope for the thousands of sufferers of macular degeneration." Coherent will be accepting this award at the CLEO Plenary session on Monday, May 5 at 6 p.m. in the San Jose Civic Auditorium at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA.

The OPSL-577-3 is the first laser to fully exploit the wavelength and power scalability of OPSL technology to deliver several watts at an application-optimized wavelength rather than a legacy wavelength. From an applications viewpoint, the 577 nm output brings the promise of a significant improvement in photocoagulation treatment for the many sufferers of wet-form macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related blindness that affects up to 250,000 people in the United States alone.

The laser is expected to significantly enhance the efficacy of photocoagulation as a treatment modality for wet-form macular degeneration. This disease is episodic in nature, characterized by periodic ruptures of small blood vessels in the retina. The goal of laser photocoagulation is to seal the leaking vessel without damaging peripheral tissue. Since leaking blood is the main differentiating material between the target area and surrounding tissue, this goal can best be achieved by using a laser wavelength that is selectively and effectively absorbed by blood. Moreover, this should be a visible laser wavelength, allowing it to be delivered through the front of the eye without any damage to the lens or aqueous humor.

"The innovation awards are a great opportunity to recognize excellence in the lasers and electro-optics industry," said Steve Andersen, editor-in-chief, Laser Focus World. "We had a number of strong submissions for this year's awards and are impressed with the advances CLEO exhibiting companies are making in the field."

In addition to the award given to Coherent, five honorable mention products were chosen from all entries. The honorable mentions are as follows:

Amplitude Systemes
TANGERINE: 20W High Energy Diode-Pumped Ultrafast Fiber Amplifier
For the introduction of a unique ultrafast fiber amplifier, offering both a high energy level and a high average power.

ColdQuanta
The RuBECi Ultracold Matter Cell
For the development of the industry's first commercial instrument designed to enable the production of Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs) and related forms of ultracold matter.

Edmund Optics
Low-cost, Color Corrected Aspheres
For presenting the industry's first color-corrected aspherical components.

Holochip
Adaptive Polymer Lens: APL-1050
For introducing an adaptive polymer, singlet fluidic lens with a variable focal length.

Picometrix
T-Ray 4000 Time Domain Terahertz Product Platform
For creating a transportable terahertz system that is precise enough for manufacturing, process control or data collection.

The honorable mentions will be recognized by the PhAST chairs during the CLEO Plenary Session.

The PhAST/Laser Focus World Innovation Award Program honors the most timely, ground-breaking products in the field of laser science. Entries are evaluated on criteria critical to product success: impact, functionality, life expectancy, effect on the optics industry, innovation and patents or trademarks.

For more information on the PhAST/Laser Focus World Innovation Award, visit www.phastconference.org/innovation/.

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