Display glass partnership: ZC&R Coatings for Optics (Torrance, CA) and Abrisa Industrial Glass (Santa Paula, CA) have joined together to produce display glass and LCD glass plates for a wide variety of glass substrates. Precision coated indium tin oxide (ITO) and index-matched ITO (IMITO) transparent thin films from ZC&R have high transmittance and low resistance. Abrisa’s Ekra X4 fully-automated printing system delivers production printing on glass materials for a variety of industrial and military-grade applications. For rugged environments, such as cockpit displays, bonding of connecting wires and flex cable bonding can be provided.
Solar-cell partnership: ersol Thin Film GmbH (Erfurt, Germany), a subsidiary of ersol Solar Energy AG (ersol), and SCHOTT Solar GmbH (Alzenau, Germany) have concluded a cooperative agreement under which they will jointly develop micromorphous technology for thin-film solar cells. In contrast to amorphous thin-film modules, micromorphous thin-film modules have a double-layer structure consisting of an amorphous and a microcrystalline silicon film. This arrangement results in improved exploitation of sunlight because the two silicon layers convert the whole light spectrum into power. The two companies will be combining their resources in the area of research and development with the aim of achieving faster product maturity and hence a leading market position in micromorphous solar modules.
Laser materials processing job shop: J P Sercel Associates (JPSA; Manchester, NH) expanded and strengthened its Job Shop’s micro processing capabilities with new Class 10000 Clean Room facilities as well as a new IX-200 Galvanometer-equipped laser materials processing workstation. JPSA is a designer, supplier, and systems integrator of laser materials-processing workstations. JPSA’s job shop expertise runs from wafer singulation and LED lift-off for the semiconductor packaging industry, to micromachining a full spectrum of materials for biomedical research and medical products manufacturing. In addition to UV laser technology, JPSA’s job shop and applications laboratory now have different laser types available including IR and “Green” lasers for emerging industries such as thin film solar panel manufacture.
DARPA sensors contract: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected Goodrich Corporation (Princeton, NJ) to develop next-generation night-vision sensor technology for helmet-mounted and micro vehicle applications. A three-year contract released under DARPA’s MicroSensors for Imaging (MISI) program to Goodrich’s ISR Systems division covers engineering and initial prototypes of highly sensitive lightweight imaging cameras based on the company’s commercially successful shortwave infrared (SWIR) sensors. Work will be performed in Princeton, NJ.
Advanced laser development contract: The Boeing Company was awarded a $49 million U.S. Air Force contract to advance the state of the art in laser technology. Under the Laser Application Support and In-house Research and Development (LASIR) contract, Boeing will support research, design, development, and testing at Air Force Research Laboratory sites at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM. Specific efforts will include working to advance gas, hybrid electric-gas and chemical laser systems, as well as technologies related to high-power fiber lasers, fiber laser pumps, non-linear optics, solid-state lasers, and diode-pump lasers, and rapid prototyping of directed-energy technology, including semiconductor lasers, thin-disk lasers, laser-based infrared countermeasures, and mid-wave and long-wave infrared lasers.
MEMS packaging center opens: With the recent investment of $5 million in packaging capabilities, the Infotonics Technology Center (ITC; Canandaigua, NY) has positioned itself as a full-service partner for customers seeking to create new devices and microsystems. “By bringing this state-of-the-art packaging facility on line, ITC now offers the largest array of world-class, MEMS-related services in the industry,” said ITC CEO David. R. Smith. ITC’s offerings now include microsystems design, fabrication, packaging and testing. “As a project matures beyond initial prototypes,” Smith said, “ITC can do pilot-scale manufacturing, then work with clients to develop processes and to refine designs to ensure a smooth transition to high-volume manufacturing.”
Optical communications software: RSoft Design Group (Ossining, NY), provider of photonics design automation software, celebrates the ten-year anniversary of its optical communication system design tool by announcing OptSim 5.0. The new release will include advanced features to model next-generation optical networks, with a particular focus on maximum likelihood sequence estimation (MLSE) decoding, electronic dispersion compensation (EDC) equalization, bi-directional transmission, and advanced modulation formats such as D(Q)PSK and OFDM. The new OptSim features are instrumental in designing dispersion-tolerant and faster optical networks.
Optics website/discussion forum: Optics and optical component supplier Edmund Optics (EO; Barrington, NJ) launched its newly redesigned website (www.edmundoptics.com) that offers access to EO’s more than 15,000 optical products, components, and instruments, and is considerably more user/researcher friendly and features dramatically improved navigation as well as new product selection and application tools. The major feature of the redesigned site is the totally new online discussion forum (forum.edmundoptics.com) that is designed to serve as a technical resource that allows users to connect with each other globally, as well as with EO professionals and engineering staff throughout the world. EO expects the new online forum to emerge as a leading industry professional hub for engineers to discuss industry and technical problems and solutions.
People in the news: The IEEE has named Joe C. Campbell as the recipient of its 2008 Photonics Award, recognizing his work in avalanche photodiodes that has led to advancements in fiber-optic communications technology.
Bookham (San Jose, CA) appointed 20-year telecommunications industry veteran Yves LeMaitre as VP of global sales for Bookham’s telecommunications division and VP of corporate marketing. LeMaitre, who will be based in Bookham’s headquarters in San Jose, will be responsible for leading the Company’s telecom sales team and corporate communications group.
Semiconductor manufacturing and test equipment maker SUSS MicroTec (Munich, Germany) appointed Thomas Breser to the position of VP of sales.
Don W. Cochran, chairman and CEO of Pressco Technology (Cleveland, OH), was presented with the 2008 Automated Imaging Achievement Award during a ceremony held at the Automated Imaging Association’s (AIA; Orlando, FL) 16th Annual Business Conference in Orlando, and was selected from a pool of candidates for his contributions to the machine vision and imaging industry.
PRIMA North America (Champlin, MN), the North American subsidiary of PRIMA INDUSTRIE (Torino, Italy), a manufacturer of industrial laser systems, appointed Carl Bryant to the position of North American Sales Manager for Laserdyne Systems. Bryant is being promoted from a position of regional sales manager, and in his new position, will manage all Laserdyne sales activities for Canada, Mexico, and Latin America as well as the U.S.