News Briefs

Oct. 1, 2008
Fiber laser partnership: Diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) laser manufacturer Powerlase (Crawley, England) announced a strategic partnership with fiber laser manufacturer Eolite Systems (Pessac, France).

Fiber laser partnership: Diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) laser manufacturer Powerlase (Crawley, England) announced a strategic partnership with fiber laser manufacturer Eolite Systems (Pessac, France). Powerlase and Eolite will combine their capabilities to broaden the range of laser systems they produce and the markets they can address and will jointly develop market and business opportunities. The high-average-power, high-beam-quality lasers from Eolite complement the high-average-power, medium-beam-quality lasers of Powerlase. Eolite technology is based on a rod-type fiber configuration that can frequency convert to green and ultraviolet wavelengths.

Spectroscopy companies get closer: Spectroscopy instruments manufacturer Avantes Holding (Eerbeek, The Netherlands) sold 51% of its shares to the publicly traded company m-u-t AG (Wedel, Germany). m-u-t AG was founded in 1995 and went public in 2007. The company develops and produces high-tech solutions for laboratory automation, spectroscopy, aviation, and fire detection; approximately 170 people are employed. m-u-t AG has its own distribution offices in the main high-tech markets of China, Europe, and North America. The sale is seen as a strategic alliance between both companies. Distribution of Avantes spectrometers will continue through the existing channels and under the Avantes trade name as before.

Innovationspreis awards: For 2008, the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung presented a total of four awards for its Innovationspreis. The Innovationspreis has been awarded every two years since the year 2000 to honor and promote the work of scientists and developers who are making groundbreaking advancements in the use of laser light. It is endowed with one of the largest prize funds of any international innovation award for laser technology, with the four prizes awarded this year having a total value of more than $57,700 dollars.

First prize went to a Jens Koenig, Thorsten Bauer, Markus Willert, and Ulrich Graf of from Robert Bosch GmbH and its subsidiary Bosch Rexroth AG for their study “Ultrashort Pulse Laser Technology: The Future of High-Precision Micromachining in Large-Scale Series Production.” Second prize went to Richard Sandstrom and Bill Partlo from Cymer for advanced microlithography. And two applications tied for third place: Cary Gunn from Luxtera for his work on silicon photonics, and Juergen Czarske, Lars Buettner, and Thorsten Pfister of the Technical University Dresden for the development of a laser Doppler distance sensor

Information on the award can be found at

Raytheon supplier excellence award: Photonic Products Group (Northvale, NJ) announced that its Laser Optics business unit was honored by Raytheon’s Network Centric Systems Division supply chain executive management this week in ceremonies in Richardson, TX. Laser Optics was named a recipient of a 2008 “3 Star Supplier Excellence Award” based upon on-time delivery performance and product quality metrics, as well as perceived responsiveness and customer service. Only 19 of 5000 suppliers received this recognition in 2008. The award cited Laser Optics “In recognition of your exemplary performance in helping us deliver NoDoubt mission assurance to our customers.”

Solid-state lighting (SSL) awards: The 2008 Lighting for Tomorrow Design Competition winners were announced at the American Lighting Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Sponsored by DOE, ALA, and the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, the competition included solid-state lighting (SSL) for the third year. Winners in the SSL category were Kichler Lighting for the Design Pro Series undercabinet light fixture, Cree LED Lighting Solutions for the LR4 recessed downlight, and Luximo for the Cylindrium portable task light. More than 56 SSL entries were evaluated by a panel of eleven lighting experts on the basis of energy efficiency, design, and lighting quality. More information on the winning entries and honorable mentions can be found at

Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize: A group of French researchers won the 2007 Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize, awarded annually by SPIE for the most noteworthy original paper to appear in the SPIE journal Optical Engineering on the theoretical or experimental aspects of optical engineering. Award winners receive a plaque and honorarium of $2,000. Monique Thual, Damien Malarde, Benoit Abhervé -Gué gen, and Philippe Rochard of Université de Rennes 1, Ecole Nationale Supé rieure de Sciences Appliqué es et de Technologie, and Philippe Chanclou of France Té lé com Division R&D will share the prize for their paper, “Truncated Gaussian beams through micro-lenses based on a graded index section” published in the January 2007 issue of OE.

10,000 OCT systems milestone: Carl Zeiss Meditec (Jena, Germany), supplier of ophthalmic solutions and visualization systems for neural surgery, has placed more than 10,000 optical coherence tomography (OCT) platforms worldwide--the largest OCT portfolio on the market today. These units include the Cirrus HD-OCT, the Stratus OCT, and the Visante OCT, a technology suite that encompasses imaging capabilities for both the front and the back of the eye, identifies all major categories of eye diseases, and supports all ophthalmic and optometric specialties. Cumulatively, these devices capture more than 100,000 visual images per day, providing eye care professionals with critical details about the tissues and structures that lie deep inside the eye.

Diffraction grating catalog: Laser and photonics solutions company Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA) unveiled its 2008 Newport Diffraction Grating Catalog that showcases hundreds of gratings including plane, concave, ruled, holographic, echelle, and transmission types. Newport’s Richardson Gratings business (Rochester, NY) designs and manufactures ruled and holographic diffraction gratings for the analytical instrumentation, semiconductor, and fiber-optic telecommunications markets, as well as for scientific and academic applications. It was acquired by Newport from Thermo Electron Corporation in 2004, and was originally established by Bausch and Lomb in 1947. To obtain a copy, visit

Optical inspection: Electronic contract manufacturer Altron (Anoka, MN) selected the Agilent (Santa Clara, CA) Medalist sj5000 Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) system and is replacing its existing optical inspection platform with the Agilent Medalist sj5000 on all six fully automated surface mount technology (SMT) lines, including one that operates offline. The Agilent Medalist sj5000 is Agilent’s latest offering in automated optical inspection, providing pre- and post-reflow inspection capabilities, and able to inspect even the smallest 01005 components, with no compromise in speed and resolution.

People in the news: The Materials Research Society (MRS; Warrendale, PA) appointed Todd Osman its new executive director effective September 1, 2008. He will succeed John Ballance who is retiring after 25 years of service and leadership. Osman was instrumental in the creation of The Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center, serving as a founding Board member, co-authoring the Center’s Technology Roadmap, and chairing the Center’s Technical Advisory Group. Prior to joining TMS, Osman worked as a researcher and technical manager for United States Steel Corporation.

nLIGHT Corporation (Vancouver, WA), a supplier of high-power semiconductor lasers and high-performance fibers, announced that Jim Haden was named COO. Haden most recently served as director of operations and product line development at Coherent. Before that, Haden held the position as director of operations at JDSU. Haden started his career at SDL in 1988 after graduating with a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California.

Ellen Richstone joined PhlatLight LED developer and manufacturer Luminus Devices (Billerica, MA) as executive VP and CFO. With extensive experience in public and private companies, international business, and M&A, Richstone will implement and manage worldwide finance, administrative, human resources, legal, and IT operations. Prior to joining Luminus Devices, Richstone served as CFO at Sonus Networks and also served as CFO and senior VP, finance and administration at Brooks Automation, a hardware and software provider to the semiconductor industry.

Canadian O/E services: Avo Photonics (Horsham, PA), provider of design and contract manufacturing services in optical, mechanical, electrical, thermal, materials, and system design for packaging and manufacturing, is expanding its services through the relocation of its Toronto, Canada facility. The new facility has enhanced optoelectronic characterization and prototyping capability and an additional clean and stable environment necessary for precise laser and optical component characterization. According to Joseph Dallas, president of Avo Photonics, “Though all these capabilities also exist within the PA facility, the expanded Canadian services provide strategically located support and overall additional Avo capacity.”

Fluorescence filter patent: Semrock (Rochester, NY), manufacturer of optical filters for biotech and analytical instrumentation, was awarded U.S. Patent No. 7,411,679 providing further coverage for its BrightLine series of hard-coated fluorescence filters. This new patent broadens the scope of previous patents pertaining to Semrock’s highly multilayered thin-film “hard” coatings and robust one-piece construction--both hallmarks of its BrightLine filters. Covered features include superior image-registration performance, and a broader range of thin-film coating approaches to simultaneously achieve high transmission with deep and wide blocking for industry-leading brightness and contrast. Founded in September 2000, Semrock has sales offices throughout the U.S and a team of international distributors.

Submit your news to Optoelectronics Report. Sales reports, market outlooks, and strategic moves are just a few of the items we would like you to share. Please fax information to Gail Overton at (603) 891-0574 or send e-mail to [email protected].

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