News Briefs

Improved thin-film capability: Vitex Systems (San Jose, CA), a developer, licensor and engineering service provider for thin-film encapsulation and moisture barrier films, expanded its thin-film barrier capability with the qualification of its 2nd generation deposition equipment.

Improved thin-film capability: Vitex Systems (San Jose, CA), a developer, licensor and engineering service provider for thin-film encapsulation and moisture barrier films, expanded its thin-film barrier capability with the qualification of its 2nd generation deposition equipment. The new equipment will be located in Vitex’s facility in San Jose. In conjunction with its internal expansion efforts, Vitex has also elected to join the Flexible Display Center located at Arizona State University (ASU) and to donate its previous generation tool to the Center. The Flexible Display Center at ASU, which was established by the U.S. Army in February 2004, boasts international collaborations with university, government, and industry partners.

Optical fiber spinoff: Fibertronix AB (Hudiksvall, Sweden) was spun-off from Acreo AB (Stockholm, Sweden). Fibertronix AB develops and manufactures specialty optical fibers and fiber-based solutions, targeting advanced and customized applications primarily in the oil and gas, military, and avionics industry. Fibertronix employs its proprietary manufacturing process to develop standard and custom fiber products based on the research done at Acreo Fiberlab over the last ten years. Its product portfolio includes a wide range of special fibers such as; polyimide, high temp acrylate and hermetic-coated, as well as pure-core, high-NA, large-core, radiation-hardened, rare-earth doped, and micro-structured custom fibers and preforms.

Fiber-optic gyro order: KVH Industries (Middletown, RI) received a new $2.1 million order for its precision fiber optic gyros (FOGs) for use in remote stabilized weapon stations (RWS) from a major defense contractor. Shipment of KVH FOGs for this order is expected to be completed in early 2010. “KVH’s fiber optic gyros are playing a critical role in the successful use of remote weapon stations to improve the safety of U.S. and allied warfighters as well as increase their efficiency and effectiveness in the field,” said Jay Napoli, KVH’s VP of FOG and OEM sales. “Thanks to their use in remote weapon stations as well as a growing number of commercial applications for guidance, navigation, and stabilization, our fiber optic gyros are an increasingly valuable element of KVH’s overall business strategy.”

Distribution agreements: German diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) laser company, KLASTECH-Karpushko Laser Technologies GmbH (Dortmund, Germany) appointed ALFA-Photonics as a distributor in Italy, and Elloit Scientific Ltd. for Scandinavia. ALFA-Photonics is also KLASTECH’s distributor for France, and Elliot is KLASTECH’s distributor for the U.K. and Ireland.

SphereOptics (Concord, NH), provider of integrating spheres, lamp/LED/laser measurement systems, and luminance/radiance standards, appointed SARAH Technology of Gyeonggi-do, Korea as a reseller for its products in South Korea.

RPMC Lasers (O’Fallon, MO) is the new North American distributor for the Oxxius (Lannion, France) family of continuous-wave (CW) diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers and laser diode modules.

DARPA solar consortium: Energy-efficient lighting company Energy Focus (Solon, OH) entered into a $3.1 million, two-year contract with the DuPont-University of Delaware Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) Consortium as part of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-funded effort to deliver advanced solar research to enable high-efficiency, low-cost photovoltaic (PV) cells. DARPA recently began the second two-year phase of a four-year program with the VHESC Consortium to raise the system power efficiency of a new class of solar modules to 40% and deliver engineering prototype modules. The VHESC modules use a novel optical “spectrum splitting” system that directs light from the sun into different paths corresponding to the color of the light, and concentrates the light onto PV cells that cover different segments of the solar spectrum.

Nanotechnology forecasts and reports: A report from NanoMarkets (Glen Allen, VA; entitled Opportunities for Nanosilicon: 2009 to 2016 says the market for nanocrystalline silicon devices will reach $2.1 billion by 2016, with photovoltaics being the largest segment with revenues reaching $1.5 billion in 2016. And another report from NanoMarkets entitled An Opportunity Analysis for OLED Lighting: 2009 to 2016 says that revenues from OLED lighting products will reach $9.7 billion by 2016.

Telecom design center and jobs: Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) has added to its optical networking research and development team with the opening of a new design center in Ottawa, ON, Canada. Ottawa is a longtime center for optical networking development and Infinera’s center of excellence will tap into the deep pool of experience and expertise available there to further develop its photonic integrated circuits (PICs). Kuang-Tsan Wu, who has joined Infinera to lead the Ottawa team, is one of the world’s foremost experts in designing optical systems using high-speed electronics and advanced modulation formats. Infinera is currently advertising for a small number of additional engineers to join the Ottawa team (see

Pico-projector evaluation kits: Microvision (Redmond, WA), provider of miniature laser projection technologies, has developed a PicoP Evaluation Kit (PEK) to give product design engineers the keys to “test-drive” a new display technology that outperforms panel-based pico projectors. Targeting the rapidly expanding market for embedded pico projection displays, a market expected to reach 3 million units by 2013, Microvision’s PEK provides qualified OEM customers a turnkey system for evaluating the laser-based PicoP display engine in a host of mobility applications including mobile handsets, personal media players, PDAs, laptops, and more. Microvision is offering a sub-$5K price for the PEK (go to

Industry awards and recognition: Phyworks (Bristol, England), a communications integrated circuit company, was listed in the Sunday Times newspaper as the 5th fastest-growing technology company in the U.K.

Oxford Instruments (Abingdon, England) was voted a Business Superbrand for the first time. The U.K.’s Business Superbrand program consists of the country’s top 500 strongest business-to-business brands. A Business Superbrand must have established the finest reputation in its field, offer customers significant advantages which they want and recognize, and must represent quality, distinction, and reliability.

Two Grand Prize Winners of the seventh annual Lighting for Tomorrow competition were announced at the American Lighting Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Palos Verdes, CA: Cree (Durham, NC) for its LED Lighting High Output Six Inch Downlight; and Philips Lighting (Somerset, NJ) for its Color Kinetics eW Cove Powercore.

Breault Research Organization (BRO; Tucson, AZ) announced its 30th anniversary for serving its customers with optical software, training courses and engineering services—one of the longest track records in its industry. BRO was incorporated by Robert and Judith Breault in September 1979.

Navitar (Rochester, NY), manufacturer of precision optical and optoelectronic systems, welcomed its 25th anniversary of manufacturing high-magnification video microscope lenses. Its Zoom 6000, introduced in 1984, marked the beginning of the automated inspection era helping industrial OEM customers reduce costs and increase productivity.

People in the news: Optics and laser components company Photonic Products Group, Inc. (PPGI; Northvale, NJ) appointed Dennis G. Romano to its Board of Directors. Romano joins PPGI’s board after a lengthy and successful career in the defense sector with Grumman Corporation and its successor Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Hans J. Tiziani, professor Emeritus at the University of Stuttgart, received the SPIE President’s award in recognition of his leadership and participation in SPIE technical programs, service on the SPIE Board of Directors, and comprehensive and sustained guidance on how SPIE should best serve the community in Europe. And Bruce J. Tromberg, director of the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Center, received the 2009 Directors’ Award in recognition of his leadership as the Editor-in-Chief of the SPIE Journal of Biomedical Optics.

Mobius Photonics (Santa Clara, CA), a producer of short-pulsed fiber laser sources (IR, green, UV), named Robert L. Mortensen as CEO. Mortensen joined Spectra Physics in 1964. He joined Quanta-Ray in 1975 as CEO and led the company until its sale in 1980. He then founded Lightwave Electronics in 1984 and was its CEO for more than 15 years. Mortensen has been a board member for Mobius Photonics since 2006.

Abrisa (Santa Paula, CA), provider of glass fabrication products and thin-film optical coatings, named industry veteran Jim Veler as president and CEO. Prior to Abrisa, Veler was VP and GM of Agilent Technologies’ Wireless Manufacturing Organization.

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