News Briefs

Lithography system purchase: S.E.T. Smart Equipment Technology (Saint Jeoire, France), a supplier of die-to-die, die-to-wafer bonding, and nanoimprint lithography solutions, announced the successful installation of a KADETT High Accuracy Placement and Bonding system at Cambridge University (Cambridge, England), department of Engineering, thanks to a grant of Cambridge Integrated Knowledge Centre for various R&D applications and especially for the assembly of liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCoS) devices using UV-cured adhesive. LCoS is a reflective microdisplay using a silicon backplane. It is an alternative technology to LCD or Plasma for projection television (less pixilated because the circuitry is behind the pixel) and enables much higher resolution images at a lower cost.

Photonics distribution in Israel: Zecotek Photonics (Vancouver, BC, Canada) signed an exclusive sales and distribution agreement with Toyo Ram for Zecotek products in Israel that covers Zecotek’s green fiber and tunable lasers, photodetectors, and vanadate laser crystals. “We are very pleased to have engaged Toyo Ram for sales and distribution of our products into Israel’s medical imaging and expanding photonics markets,” said F. Zerrouk, chairman, president and CEO of Zecotek Photonics. “Israel’s medical imaging and bio-tech sectors are growing rapidly and make up a significant portion of global market in these areas.”

Flexible display forecast: Due to the arrival of Polymer Vision’s Readius pocket-sized e-reader and other such products, iSuppli (El Segundo, CA) forecasts that the total flexible display market will reach $2.8 billion by 2013, a 35-times expansion from about $80 million in 2007. Rising shipments of flexible displays are being enabled by the establishment of several batch and roll-to-roll manufacturing facilities. “Flexible displays are intuitively appealing to end users and product designers because of their ruggedness, thinness, light weight and novelty,” said Jennifer Colegrove, Ph.D. senior analyst for emerging displays at iSuppli. “Furthermore, flexible displays have the advantage of easy and relatively inexpensive shipping and safety handling compared to conventional rigid screens.”

Australia bans laser pointers: The Federal Government of Australia banned the importation of high-intensity laser pointers, which have been used in attacks on passenger airliners landing at airports. The new regulation will make it a criminal offense to import a laser pointer stronger than one milliwatt, Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus said. To make the ban effective he is calling on the states and territories to urgently establish uniform national laws to support the Commonwealth’s controls. The ban follows a series of incidents where lasers with the potential to blind pilots have been pointed into the cockpits of passenger liners landing at Sydney airport. In one attack, four lasers were simultaneously pointed at an aircraft, making it difficult for the pilot to land.

Optics in the Mediterranean: Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) announced another expansion of its global sales presence with the opening of a new office in Rome, Italy, covering southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Allan Kreutzer, VP of global sales, said, “If you want to sell product, you need to physically be there as a full-service provider, fluent in the local language.” Edmund hired Beate Sauter as the first regional sales manager for the Southern Europe and Mediterranean territories. Sauter will develop and manage all aspects of sales including customer relations, sales distribution, analysis and evaluation, trade shows, and customer outreach programs.

SWIR joint development: Nextreme Thermal Solutions (Durham, NC), provider of microscale thermal and power management products for the electronics industry, and Princeton Lightwave (Cranbury, NJ), developer of short-wave infrared (SWIR) sensors and lasers for the defense industry, entered into an agreement to jointly develop a SWIR focal plane sensor using extremely efficient thermoelectric cooling. The solution is based on Nextreme’s unique thermal bump technology and Princeton Lightwave’s indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) focal plane arrays, and will dramatically reduce power consumption and weight, and improve overall performance. These features will allow wide deployment of SWIR sensors for night-vision systems.

Photonics cluster collaboration: The UK Photonics Cluster (www.photonicscluster-uk.org) launched a unique initiative to support the development and success of research and development companies: the Collaborative Partner Programme (CPP). The programme has three main themes: to put R&D companies in touch with expert routes to financial support; to use its network to link members with the correct support skills they need; and to make technical facilities available, such as its own state-of-the-art laboratories at the Aston Science Park in Birmingham. The scheme is backed by major organizations including PERA, QinetiQ, and NPL (National Physical Laboratory).

Beam-profiling patent award: The U.S. Patent Office awarded Patent No. U.S. 7,366,382, to Photon (San Jose, CA) for an optical diagnostic device and method used to characterize optics and optical alignment performed in laser printer manufacturing. The patent applies to a Photon product called the Platen Profiler, which laser printer manufacturers use to build laser printers and printing engines. The Platen Profiler analyzes the beam of a laser printer at multiple locations simultaneously, while the laser printing engine is activated, and provides real-time information on laser printer optical performance and replaces several separate beam-profiler systems used manually with one integrated instrument.

People in the news: Ultrashort pulse laser manufacturer Raydiance (Petaluma, CA) named Mel Engle as CEO; Engle will succeed Raydiance founder Barry Schuler, who will become Executive Chairman of the Board. Prior to Raydiance, Engle was president and CEO of the Merck KGaA subsidiary Dey LP, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on products for respiratory and other breathing disorders, and transformed Dey’s business strategy from the development of commodity generics into branded products, which resulted in five consecutive years of sales growth from $250 million in 2002 to over $600 million in 2007.

Sofradir (Veurey-Voroize, France), developer and manufacturer of cooled infrared detectors for military, space, and commercial applications, appointed Jean-François Delepau as the new managing director of its subsidiary ULIS. ULIS specializes in manufacturing affordable uncooled infrared detectors. Delepau, formerly deputy director at ULIS, takes over from Jean-Pierre Chatard, who headed ULIS from 2002 and was one of the original founders of Sofradir. As ULIS’ new head, Delepau’s mission will be to reinforce ULIS’ capacity to produce mass-volume, high-quality, infrared imaging products to meet the demands of professional and consumer markets and create opportunities for further growth.

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