News Briefs

IR detector production ramp-up: Infrared (IR) detector manufacturer ULIS (Veurey-Voroize, France), ranked third in the world for uncooled IR detectors after DRS Technologies and FLIR, expanded the production capacity of its microbolometers from 50,000 to 200,000 units per year to service orders of unprecedented magnitude.

IR detector production ramp-up: Infrared (IR) detector manufacturer ULIS (Veurey-Voroize, France), ranked third in the world for uncooled IR detectors after DRS Technologies and FLIR, expanded the production capacity of its microbolometers from 50,000 to 200,000 units per year to service orders of unprecedented magnitude. ULIS sees three market drivers: the emerging trend to add IR capability to visible surveillance cameras (about 25 million are currently installed worldwide); government mandates for improved safety; and new regulations in energy conservation and building compliance. “This upgrade is a first step in a capacity extension plan that will address the market for large-scale orders, 100K-plus,” says Jean-François Delepau, managing director of ULIS.

Micro-algae spectroscopy: BaySpec (Fremont, CA), provider of spectral engines for bio-chemical identification, shipped a Raman-specific 1064 nm spectrometer designed for measuring micro-algae, a promising future source of renewable biomass oilcrop biofuels. While algal oil is similar to other vegetable oils in terms of fatty acid composition, the oil productivity of micro-algae, on an annual per-acre basis, could potentially provide 100 times greater yield than soy and 10 times greater yield than oil palm. Using BaySpec’s 1064 nm system, researchers were able to overcome issues with fluorescence seen at lower wavelengths.

Biophotonic funding: Freedom Meditech (San Diego, CA), which uses non-invasive, patented, biophotonic, technologies to assess the health of people with diabetes, closed on the second round of its Series A financing (amount not disclosed). “We believe that this additional investment in the company is a vote of confidence in our innovative approach for painlessly and non-invasively measuring daily glucose levels from the eye,” said Craig Misrach, president and CEO of Freedom Meditech. The company is developing a portable ophthalmic daily glucose measurement device that could provide an alternative to the current “finger stick” method. The handheld device is designed to provide an immediate glucose level by shining a light in the eye.

Silicon devices: The new Queensland Microtechnology Facility (QMF) at Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia) ordered a Gamma sputtering system from Surrey NanoSystems (Newhaven, England) to support commercially backed research into advanced semiconductor devices. The prime application for the system is to research, develop, and establish pilot production procedures for silicon-carbide-on-silicon (SiC-on-Si) devices on wafers of up to 200 mm diameter. Established with support from the Queensland State Government, QMF has developed a unique epitaxial SiC-on-Si wafer deposition process. By combining the semiconductor and physical properties of SiC with low cost silicon wafers, QMF is creating a platform technology that has the potential to enable next-generation semiconductor devices.

Laser distribution: Laser Operations LLC, manufacturer of the QPC Lasers’ high-brightness product line, and AMS Technologies (Martinsried, Germany) have expanded their agreement to incorporate U.K./Ireland, France, and Spain. Laurent Vaissie, VP sales and marketing of Laser Operations, said, “AMS Technologies has been very instrumental in developing a strong presence in Germany and neighbouring countries for the QPC high brightness diode laser products over the years. As we enter a new stage of growth as part of Laser Operations LLC, we are pleased to recognize AMS Technologies’ contribution to our growing leadership in European medical and industrial markets as well as unwavering support during our recent restructuring efforts.”

Molecular-imaging funding: ART Advanced Research Technologies (Montreal, QC, Canada), a medical device company and provider of optical molecular imaging products for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, was awarded $500,000 in repayable funding by the Government of Canada for the commercialization of its Optix MX3 and SoftScan optical molecular imaging products in North America. The products measure physiological changes in living tissue, indicating the presence of anomalies, tumors, or lesions. SoftScan is used by clinicians in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, and Optix visualizes and characterizes molecular events in small animals at the preclinical study phase of new drugs.

New fiber preparation website: Vytran (Morganville, NJ), a supplier of fiber fusion splicing, assembly, and glass processing solutions, launched a new website at Complete with illustrative video, the new user-friendly site details the company’s optical fiber processing technologies, products, applications, services, and support. “Vytran has a clear focus on pre- and post-sales support for our customers and their applications,” said Jean-Michel Pelaprat, Vytran president and CEO. “Launching our new website gives these customers and potential customers direct access to key information on our processes, technologies, products and applications, and it serves as a bridge for connecting with our engineers, sales team and worldwide distributors.”

Laser investment in Michigan: Business investment in the Detroit, MI area (Oakland County) in July dropped precipitously from record June levels, but traditional and emerging sectors companies still committed to $19.2 million in investment during the month, county officials said. Among the emerging sector businesses was a $4 million investment by Oxid Corporation, a manufacturer of high-powered medical laser beam delivery systems used for procedures including tattoo removal, Lasik operations, and wrinkle-removal procedures. The company, which plans to create 25 jobs, last year announced it would move to Novi, MI from Farmington Hills, MI.

LED street-lighting consortium: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced plans to form a Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium. The Consortium will collect, analyze, and share technical information and experiences related to LED street lighting and will provide a forum for entities with similar backgrounds and needs to share information, ask questions, and tap into a large body of knowledge and experience that will help maximize the value of their dollars spent evaluating LED street lighting. Membership will be open to municipalities, utilities, and energy efficiency organizations. For details, go to

Aesthetic laser earnings: Cynosure (Westford, MA), a developer and manufacturer of a broad array of light-based aesthetic treatment systems, announced financial results for the three months ended June 30, 2009. Revenues were $20.8 million, compared with $39.2 million in the same period of 2008 and $14.8 million in the first quarter of 2009. The decline from the second quarter of 2008 reflected the ongoing global economic recession and the continued restrictive credit environment in the aesthetic laser industry. The increase from the first quarter of 2009 reflected a strengthening international market coupled with a slight improvement in the North American markets.

People in the news: Optical networking company Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) appointed Ron Martin VP for worldwide sales. From 1987 to 2001, Martin worked at Fujitsu Network Communications and played a key role in Fujitsu’s growth to become one of the largest suppliers of optical systems to leading U.S. telecom companies.

Telecom network solutions provider Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) appointed Victor Agnellini as senior VP, Transformation. Based in Paris, Agnellini will orchestrate the transformation initiatives being done throughout the company into a single global project; he will work with company leaders to accelerate and drive alignment of the many transformation initiatives launched several months ago to insure that Alcatel-Lucent becomes more responsive, moves decision making closer to the customer, reduces complexity, and ultimately achieves profitable growth.

On August 4, 2009, SPIE members elected Ralph B. James to serve as the 2010 SPIE president. James is program manager and Sr. scientist for the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Katarina Svanberg was elected by SPIE members to serve as the 2010 president elect. Svanberg is professor of oncology and chief physician in oncology at Lund University, Sweden. Eustace N. Dereniak was elected by SPIE members to serve as the 2010 vice president. Dereniak is a professor at the College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona. And Brian A. Lula was elected by SPIE members to serve as the 2010 secretary/treasurer. Lula is the president and CEO of PI Physik Instrumente LP.

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