News Briefs

Technology transfer award: Don Dooley, president of Spectrum Detector (Lake Oswego, OR) and John Lehman of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Boulder, CO) received a 2008 FLC Technology Transfer Award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC; They were selected, along with 20 other recipients, out of over 300 national labs for their efforts to commercialize optical TRAP detector technology. One of the most coveted awards in the field of technology transfer, the FLC Awards for Excellence in Technology Transfer recognize laboratory employees who have accomplished outstanding work in the process of transferring federally developed technology to the marketplace. A panel of experts from industry, government, academia, and the federal laboratory system judge the nominations.

Photovoltaic production line: NexTech Solutions and FAS Holdings Group, doing business jointly as “NexTechFAS” (Houston, TX) announced that a leading organic photovoltaic (OPV) materials and process development company has ordered an Advantage Extrusion Coating system for integration into a pilot production line. This technology will be used for the development of solar panels in an industry that is predicted to grow to over $71 billion by 2012, according to industry analysts at Lux Research. NexTechFAS’s Advantage Series coating systems, which are typically used in the manufacturing of flat-panel displays, have now proven to be capable of very precisely coating complex OPV materials, even at submicron thicknesses.

Pump laser contract: Modulight (Tampere, Finland and San Jose, CA) continues its close cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) by signing a two-year, $1.1 million dollar contract to develop high-brightness pump laser technology for Earth observation. The project aims at improving brightness and reliability of high-power laser arrays that are generally used for pumping solid-state lasers. “We have already supplied space-qualified communications lasers to ESA for the SMOS mission in 2004 … This new contract helps us to further exploit our product offering in space applications, and also opens interesting new business opportunities in commercial markets where higher brightness and more reliable pump lasers are continuously needed,” said Petteri Uusimaa, Modulight president & CEO.

Laser beam delivery office moves: Laser Mechanisms (Farmington Hills, MI), a designer and manufacturer of laser beam delivery components and articulated arm systems for industrial lasers, will move its Laser Mech Europe sales offices from Destelbergen, Belgium to Mariakerke, Belgium in early June. The new 2,500 sq. ft. facility will house sales offices, a showroom, a training room, a meeting room, and expanded warehousing for inventory. The move is in direct response to unprecedented European sales growth and will enable Laser Mech Europe to further strengthen its sales and support of industrial and medical laser systems users in the region.

New U.K. laser office: Laser manufacturer Z-Laser Optoelektronik GmbH (Freiburg, Germany) has set up a U.K. sales office in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales with an aim to enhance and expand its customer base by providing improved service and focus. Gary Rees, head of the Z-Laser U.K. operation, has more than six years of experience in lasers within the electro-optics industry and looks forward to the new challenge. Born and raised in South Wales, he will be a familiar and friendly face to customers and will offer the Z-Laser range of industrial laser products

“There are exciting and challenging opportunities in the U.K. and Ireland where hands-on support and close relationships with customers are needed; it’s my job to make sure the U.K. office provides this,” said Rees.

Nano-precision motion partnership: ALIO Industries (Wheat Ridge, CO), a nano-precision motion systems company, and laser and precision optics manufacturer Kohzu Precision (Kanagawa, Japan) have penned a new agreement that will insure the availability of both companies’ products throughout the high tech and nanotechnology fields. ALIO Industries will be the distributor for Kohzu products in North America; in turn ALIO will design and build their nano-precision systems for Kohzu to distribute throughout Japan and the Asian markets via private label. Bill Hennessey, founder & CEO of ALIO said, “The combination of ALIO and Kohzu products for the North American markets gives our union a complete motion system offering that is currently not available even from the multi-billion dollar holding companies.”

Equipment donation: Laser diode test instrumentation company ILX Lightwave (Bozeman, MT) donated $10,000 worth of laser diode instrumentation to the University of Texas at Austin. Seth Bank Assistant Professors with the University of Texas will use the laser diode controllers for research on new mid-infrared laser diodes for spectroscopy and gas sensing. In addition, the equipment will allow hands-on opportunities for the undergraduate and graduate students who take the optoelectronics courses in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Patrick Gale, ILX Lightwave’s product marketing engineer for laser diode test systems said, “Our goal with the university donation program is to provide cutting-edge equipment to the nation’s colleges and universities who are educating the future generation of photonics industry researchers and engineers.”

Lithography license agreement: SUSS MicroTec (Munich, Germany), supplier of solutions for the 3-D, MEMS, advanced packaging, and nanotechnology markets, entered into a license agreement with Philips Research (Eindhoven, The Netherlands), for a new enabling technology called substrate conformal imprint lithography (SCIL). This new imprint technology for sub-50 nm patterning is bridging the gap between small rigid stamp applications for best resolution and large-area soft stamp usage with the usual limited printing resolution below 200 nm. “SCIL represents an enabling new technology that paves the way for further commercialization of nanoimprint lithography,” said Rolf Wolf, general manager of SUSS MicroTec lithography division.

Semiconductor acquisition: France-based materials maker Saint-Gobain acquired Lumilog of Vallauris, France, which is now operating as a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Spun off from the Center of Hetero-Epitaxie Research and Applications (CHREA) of France’s National Scientific Research Center’s (CNRS) in 2001 by Jean-Pierre Faurie (president), Bernard Beaumont (director/production manager) and Pierre Gibart (VP of supervisory board), Lumilog manufactures HVPE-grown free-standing bulk gallium nitride substrates as well as MOCVD-grown 2-inch gallium nitride template epiwafers on sapphire substrates, for both optoelectronic and microelectronic applications.

Another semiconductor acquisition: AmberWave Systems (Salem, NH), developer of semiconductor materials technologies, acquired Aonex Technologies (Pasadena, CA) and its suite of materials integration technologies originating from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Aonex, a publicly traded company commercializing new technologies in life sciences, electronics and energy, was co-founded in 2004 by Arrowhead and Caltech professor Harry Atwater, whose research in materials integration and applications for advanced, laminate composite semiconductors led to the development of the company. Since then, Aonex has explored materials relevant to solar energy and advanced laser products, making significant progress in demonstrating the viability of laminated semiconductor materials for high-efficiency electro-optical devices.

People in the news: Peter de Groot, director of research and development for Zygo (Middlefield, CT), was elected a Fellow of SPIE in honor of his many contributions in high-precision interferometry, a core technology of Zygo’s products. SPIE noted, “Dr. de Groot is the inventor and developer of optical metrology tools for inspecting a range of optical and engineering surfaces from MEMS devices to airplane wings - with more than 75 patents issued and pending and four R&D 100 Awards to his name, he is truly a prolific and leading inventor in the optical metrology arena.”

Colibrys (Neuchâtel, Switzerland and Houston, TX), a supplier of MEMS-based motion sensors, appointed Don Stoops to the role of VP global operations. Before joining Colibrys, Don spent fifteen years in executive management positions within the semiconductor industry at Advanced Micro Devices and Cypress Semiconductor.

Bridgelux (Sunnyvale, CA), a supplier of LED technology for high-volume, solid-state lighting markets, appointed Keith Scott as VP of business development, and David Barnby as VP of sales and general manager for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa).

The OSA, SPIE, and MRS selected its 2008–2009 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows that serve one-year terms working as special legislative assistants on the staffs of members of Congress or congressional committees. Robert Saunders, a post-doctoral fellow in the Duke Advanced Imaging Laboratories, will serve as the Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow, and Amit Mistry, a science policy intern at Research! America, will serve as the OSA/MRS Congressional Fellow.

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