NEWTON, NJ-Thorlabs and Boston Micromachines Corporation (BMC; Cambridge, MA) have announced a new partnership, which will allow BMC, a provider of advanced microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based mirror products, to bring its deformable mirrors into the photonics research community. This wide exposure will create diverse market opportunities and encourage the creation of new products incorporating adaptive optics technology.
The two companies also announced that Alex Cable, president and founder of Thorlabs, has joined BMC’s board of directors, invested in the company, and will serve as an advisor to BMC.
Collaboration between Thorlabs and BMC has already generated considerable results. Researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute developed an Adaptive Scanning Optical Microscope (ASOM), an innovative microscope that uses BMC’s technology and was licensed by Thorlabs earlier this year. ASOM represents the first commercially available adaptive optics instrument.
The new partnership is “an evolutionary next step for the commercialization of adaptive optics technology,” Cable said. “The Boston Micromachines organization represents all the best-fit characteristics for success, most of all that of a unique and creative team.”
“This partnership is a signal to the industry that adaptive optics is now ready for prime time,” said Paul Bierden, president of Boston Micromachines. “With BMC’s technological advancements and Thorlabs’ venerable position in the photonics industry, this partnership will drive this proven technology to wide deployment in new commercial applications.
“We are pleased that Alex Cable will be joining our board,” Bierden continued. “His extensive knowledge of the photonics industry, coupled with his technical expertise, makes him an ideal choice to serve on BMC’s board of directors.”
Adaptive optics, which is widely known for its early success in the field of astronomy, has experienced significant growth over the last few years. Today researchers are also using it for retinal imaging, microscopy, and laser communications.
Thorlabs is a designer and manufacturer of equipment for the photonics industry. Founded in 1989, Thorlabs now operates internationally with over 400 employees and manufacturing and sales offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, and Japan.
Founded in 1999, BMC is a leading provider of advanced MEMS-based mirror products for use in commercial adaptive optics systems, applying wavefront correction to produce high resolution images of the human retina and enhance images blurred by the Earth’s atmosphere. BMC is privately held and also offers custom-designed manufacturing services.