News Briefs

Patent suit: Corning (Corning, NY) confirmed that a Japanese court on Oct. 29, 2004 dismissed the suit filed by Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) against Corning Cable Systems International Corp., a subsidiary of Corning Inc. In this suit, Furukawa had claimed that optical fiber cables sold by Corning Cable Systems infringed a Japanese patent held by Furukawa which covers a specific design of optical fiber ribbon cable. This Japanese patent expired earlier this year. In its Oct. 29 decision, the Japanese court found that Corning Cable System’s products did not infringe Furukawa’s patent and dismissed Furukawa’s claim on that basis.

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SBIR contract: Picarro (Sunnyvale, CA) was awarded a $492,690 Phase II SBIR contract by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop lasers for bioinstrumentation applications such as flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, DNA sequencing, and other laser-induced fluorescence-based techniques. These new solid-state sources are expected to provide significant advantages over argon-ion lasers and first generation solid-state lasers used for these applications today, including improved efficiency and reliability, smaller size, higher optical power, and new output wavelengths. The Phase II program will run through August 31, 2006. However, Picarro expects to deliver the first customer samples based on this research in the first half of 2005.

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Air Force imager: Sensors Unlimited (Princeton, NJ), a manufacturer of short-wave infrared cameras, was awarded a new contract from the U.S. Air Force to research and design a communication device that can be added to their proprietary dual-spectrum camera. The company recently announced a new dual-wavelength visible InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide) MiniCamera currently in use by the Department of Defense. The R&D contract will build upon this dual spectrum InGaAs technology that allows simultaneous imaging in two wavebands, visible and short-wave infrared. The U.S. Air Force has awarded the new contract to develop an improved solid state, thermoelectrically temperature-stabilized dual spectrum imager that doubles as a communication device.

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Lens assembly: Optimum Optical Systems (Camarillo, CA) received a new contract for the Infrared Mast Mounted Sight (MMS) Dual Field of View Lens Assembly on the U.S. Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters. Total contract to date amounts to $2.8 million. Installed above the rotors of the platform, MMS is an integrated, multi-sensor electro-optical sighting system using visible and advanced infrared technology to gather imagery and target acquisition data during day and night under harsh battlefield conditions. The contracts were awarded to OOSI by DRS Optronics (Melbourne, FL). Product deliveries are expected to be completed by April 2005.

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OLED SBIR: Universal Display Corporation (Ewing, NJ)) has been awarded a $750,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop light extraction technology for energy-efficient, solid-state lighting. The new program is entitled, “Novel Light Extraction Enhancements for White Phosphorescent OLEDs.” The focus of this Phase II program is to develop a white phosphorescent OLED lighting panel that incorporates advances in extraction efficiency.

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EUV source: Cymer (San Diego, CA) has selected a laser produced plasma (LPP) source as the most viable solution to achieve the high-volume manufacturing requirements for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography processes at the 32-nm node and beyond.

EUV lithography is positioned for commercial deployment in 2009, but several challenges must be addressed to keep the technology on target. A key concern confronting the commercialization efforts of EUV lithography is the ability to increase source output power to meet the wafer throughput requirements for high volume manufacturing, while remaining cost effective and minimizing the cost of ownership for such sources. Cymer has been developing EUV source technology since 1997.

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Calibration center: Laser Components GmbH (Olching, Germany) has opened its European calibration center for power meters and detectors. According to the company, the laboratory adheres to NIST standards and should result in tremendous time and money savings for European customers.

EUV tool: IMEC (Interuniversity Microelectronics Center; Leuven, Belgium) and ASML have agreed on the installation of a full-field extreme ultraviolet (EUV) pre-production tool, to be installed in IMEC’s 300-mm research facility in late 2005. An IMEC Industrial Affiliation Program on EUV lithography will begin in early 2006 and will focus on the 32-nm node and beyond. IMEC is also initiating an industrial affiliation program to gain early insight into EUV lithography issues, including optical path stability and monitoring; EUV lithography reticle handling (including cleaning) in a wafer fab and defect printability; assessment of line edge roughness (LER) in EUV lithography and its relation to shot noise; 32-nm node critical layer patterning; and printable defects of EUV masks.

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Medical merger: Carl Zeiss Meditec (Jena, Germany) and Laser Diagnostic Technologies (LDT; San Diego, CA) signed a definitive agreement for Carl Zeiss Meditec’s acquisition of LDT. LDT invented and commercialized a new standard for glaucoma detection with its proprietary ocular nerve fiber measurement instrument, the GDx VCC. This product complements the market presence of Carl Zeiss Meditec’s STRATUSOCT, a multipurpose retinal imaging system for a wide array of conditions including glaucoma, AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and pre-and post-cataract assessment.

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TFT patent: eMagin Corporation (Hopewell Junction, NY) has received notification of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regarding patent issuance for the invention of U.S. Patent application No. 09/957,221, “Method and system for stabilizing thin film transistors in active matrix OLED displays.” This patent describes a method of creating electrically stable TFTs (thin film transistors) for OLED devices having small pixel sizes, which facilitates creation of lower cost microdisplays for many virtual imaging applications including electronic gaming, data processing, and viewing movies. The approach is also potentially useful for creating very high resolution large screen OLED displays.

In this invention, the control signals to each TFT gate include a data signal that is proportional to the desired luminance output for the OLED and a reverse data signal that is used to reverse bias the TFT to prevent threshold drift in the TFT. The data signal alteration is performed either at a frame rate or at a line rate. The result is a large color range and more stable control than previously available using TFTs.

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Terawatt research: The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL; Lincoln, NB) has purchased a 75-terawatt laser system that could put the department of physics and astronomy in a position of worldwide leadership in the study of high-energy density physics. Thales Laser (Orsay, France) will build the $1.8 million laser and is expected to be delivered by mid-2005. UNL has hired Donald Umstadter from the University of Michigan to lead the study of high-energy physics with the newly purchased laser.

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