News Briefs

OLED joint venture company: The Zumtobel Group (Dornbirn, Austria) will be joining forces with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and employees of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS; Dresden, Germany) to found a joint venture company by the name of “Ledon OLED Lighting GmbH & Co. KG” to be based in Dresden, a key location for OLED technology in Europe.

OLED joint venture company: The Zumtobel Group (Dornbirn, Austria) will be joining forces with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and employees of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS; Dresden, Germany) to found a joint venture company by the name of “Ledon OLED Lighting GmbH & Co. KG” to be based in Dresden, a key location for OLED technology in Europe. The company aims to setup a team of 10–15 highly qualified specialists in its initial year, and will focus on the development and production of pioneering light modules based on organic light-emitting diodes. An agreement is being forged for Ledon to use the Fraunhofer IPMS pilot line in Dresden, which can build OLED panels on 370 x 470 mm2 substrates with a cycle time of three minutes.

Photodynamic therapy products: Norwegian pharma company Photocure ASA sold its Metvix and Metvixia dermatology products to its marketing partner, Swiss Galderma SA, for a total of $75 million, including a $10.2 million dollar earn-out.

The earn-out is due by December 2016. Photocure will invest the sum into the development and commercialization of its pipeline of products based on the use of photodynamic therapy (PDT). Metvix is used for the treatment of pre-cancerous skin lesions (actinic keratosis) and skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma). The product is a non-surgical treatment, based on photodynamic therapy, using light to destroy the diseased cells.

Laser machining for medical devices: Ultrafast laser manufacturer Raydiance (Petaluma, CA) announced that its Smart Light ultrafast platform will provide the core technology for an advanced laser machining process called Noble UltraLight, to be launched by contract manufacturer Norman Noble (Highland Heights, OH). The process will enable precise athermal machining of bio-absorbable materials, shape memory metals, and other exotic materials for the medical device industry. In deploying Raydiance Smart Light, the companies say that Norman Noble will have the most advanced capabilities for creating exacting and reproducible features in vascular stents, drug delivery systems, catheter devices, valves, needles, and other medical devices.

LED company wins award: Luminus Devices (Billerica, MA), developer and manufacturer of PhlatLight LEDs, was a winner in the Wall Street Journal’s Annual Innovation Awards. Luminus was named a finalist in the Semiconductors category, along with Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Qualcomm. “Being selected as an Innovation Award winner from a long list of hundreds of the largest, most creative and most innovative companies in the world is rewarding,” said Keith T. S. Ward, president & CEO, Luminus Devices. Luminus won a 2009 LightFair Technical Innovation Award for its SST-90-W PhlatLight LED. It was named a 2009 GoingGreen Top 50 Private Company and the 2009 Small Business of the Year by Enterprise Bank.

3-D scanning license: The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL; Laurel, MD) has licensed a unique scanning technology, capable of creating a color-accurate three-dimensional (3-D) model and image of a small object with resolutions smaller than 1/12th the size of a grain of salt, to Maryland-based Trilumen LLC to commercialize and initially market. The technology was originally developed as part of “Digital Hammurabi,” a collaboration between APL and the departments of Near Eastern Studies and Computer Graphics at The Johns Hopkins University. “Our goal was to find a technology that could digitize the world’s oldest form of writing, cuneiform tablets,” said Daniel Hahn, of APL’s Air and Missile Defense Department.

New POF company: A new plastic optical fiber (POF) company was launched at the 18th International Conference on Plastic Optical Fibers held in Sydney, Australia. Kiriama (www.kiriama.com) produces custom-designed polymer optical fibers, and offers consultancy and characterization services, specializing in microstructured polymer optical fibers. Launching the company, professor Ben Eggleton, director of Sydney University’s Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (IPOS), said, “Kiriama have a great technology, great people, extensive experience in making different fibre of designs, and unrivalled facilities for modelling and designing fibres for specific applications.”

15 years of diode lasers: DILAS (Mainz, Germany), manufacturer of high-power diode laser components and systems, is celebrating 15 years of providing what it says is the best diode laser solutions and customer service on a global scale. Started in 1994 with nine people, the company now exceeds over 200 employees in manufacturing and research/development facilities in Europe, North America, and Asia. DILAS’ solid growth is comprised of a customer base within the medical, diode-pumped solid-state laser, defense, graphic arts, and materials-processing markets. “Celebrating 15 years of successful service is a statement of the dedication of our employees and their commitment to providing the best customer service and support,” said Marcel Marchiano, president & CEO.

High-efficiency solar cell: Research center IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) and BP Solar demonstrated a 18% conversion efficiency for silicon solar cells made of BP Solar’s newly developed Mono2 silicon. BP Solar’s Mono2 production process delivers a promising new wafer platform for solar cells with the potential to become a low-cost alternative to the more expensive Czochralski silicon substrates because it combines extremely low defect densities and high conversion efficiencies with production costs that are comparable to the costs of traditional multicrystalline substrates.

Far side of the moon: Thermal-imaging company Thermoteknix Systems (Cambridge, England) has captured the first thermal image of the far side of the moon. A Thermoteknix MIRICLE TB2–30 thermal camera was launched into space aboard NASA’s LCROSS mission to search for the presence of water on the moon. LCROSS payload manager and chief scientist Anthony Colaprete said, “The Thermoteknix camera provided the first thermal images of the far side of the moon and also images of earth and the moon from distances as great as 560,000 and 850,000 km away, respectively. The camera has work[ed] flawlessly for nearly 100 days (and counting) in interplanetary space.”

Photonics21 Annual Meeting: The 4th Annual Meeting of the platform Photonics 21 will be held in Brussels, Belgium January 14–15, 2010, with an Evening Reception on January 14 at the conference hotel. The informal get together is to share information, discuss strategies, or even to set the starting point for future cooperation. Topics of this years’ event include: Presentation and handing over of the new edited Strategic Research Agenda to the representatives of the European Commission; Discussing and developing research strategies for Photonics Europe--reviewing 2009 activities and deciding action items for 2010; Discussing the importance of photonics in the U.S. and ongoing activities regarding energy efficiency and sustainability.

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