Multi-unit lithography order: Cymer (San Diego, CA), supplier of light sources used in semiconductor lithography, reached a significant multi-unit agreement with Toshiba. Under the agreement, Toshiba will include Cymer’s krypton fluoride (KrF) and argon fluoride (ArF) light sources in its future 300 mm memory fab in Japan. Toshiba’s new light sources and currently installed systems will receive light-source support through Cymer’s By the Pulse Program. Toshiba will also benefit from Cymer’s Gas Lifetime eXtension (GLX) control system that extends the gas refill interval from 100 million pulses to 2 billion pulses and enables increased scanner output and availability. Toshiba is expected to achieve higher productivity and lower cost of operation for its existing and expanding Cymer installed base.
PV laser cutting order: Synova (Lausanne, Switzerland), pioneer and patent holder of water-jet-guided laser technology, announced a milestone follow-on order for 25 of its Laser MicroJet (LMJ) systems from a European-based solar cell manufacturer. The systems will be integrated into its customer’s edge-defined film-fed growth (EFG) process—a proprietary silicon-efficient technology—at its European-based solar fab. Several LMJ systems have already been shipped and installed, with the remaining units to be integrated throughout 2009 and 2010. Synova’s LMJ approach reduces heat damage, micro-cracks, and burr formations that can weaken the fracture strength of photovoltaic (PV) cells, resulting in wafers with a 250% higher fracture strength—a significant contributing factor to increasing solar-cell yield and lifetime.
Joint AMOLED development: According to a news story on www.oled-display.net, Hitachi and Canon have agreed to jointly develop and manufacture small and mid-size organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays for digital cameras within two years. The two firms will transfer a total of about 100 engineers to a new organization they plan to set up in early July to handle the project. They also intend to build a new production line at an existing plant in Chiba Prefecture, Japan to turn out organic electroluminescent (EL) displays on a trial basis. Based on the results, the two partners expect to build a system to mass-produce the EL displays at relatively low cost, taking advantage of Canon’s materials coating technology and production control know-how.
OPTICSforKIDS.org relaunched: The Optical Society of America (OSA; Washington, DC) unveiled a redesign of its optics education Web site, OPTICSforKIDS.org. Developed to encourage interest in optics and photonics, the site includes new and updated features such as an optics history timeline, a gallery of optical images, more than 30 experiments, a variety of tutorials, and a career quiz. The new Web site combines content from the former OPTICSforKIDS and OPTICSforTEENS Web sites in order to provide one comprehensive resource for students from grade school through secondary school as well as parents and educators. OPTICSforKIDS is the product of an ad hoc committee of OSA student members working in conjunction with OSA and Florida State University’s (FSU) MolecularExpressions.org management team.
Polarizer distribution: Polarizer manufacturer Codixx (Barleben, Germany) appointed scientific component and instrumentation provider Elliot Scientific (Hertfordshire, England) as distributor of its high-quality dichroic glass polarizers for use in the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared regions. The Codixx colorPol range of polarizers are built on a unique technology—doping of sodium silicate glass with prolate silver nanoparticles—that allows for the production of customized products with a flexibility that meets the demands for all spectral ranges, contrast conditions, and designs. Elliot Scientific will market the polarizers throughout the U.K. and Ireland.
Exporter award: Stephen D. Fantone, president of Optikos Corporation (Wakefield, MA), was named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2008 Massachusetts Small Business Exporter of the Year. Optikos manufactures equipment for the measurement of optical image quality. The award is presented by SBA Massachusetts annually to an individual or individuals who own and operate a small business engaged in exporting. Nominations are evaluated on the following criteria:
- Increased sales, profits and/or growth of employment because of exporting;
- Creative overseas marketing strategies;
- Effective solutions to export-related problems; and
- Voluntary assistance with other firms engaged in exporting.
Solar-energy spinoff: Intel Corporation (Santa Clara, CA) is spinning off key assets of a start-up business effort inside Intel’s New Business Initiatives group to form an independent company called SpectraWatt. Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organization, is leading a $50 million investment round in SpectraWatt and is joined by Cogentrix Energy, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund (CETF), and Solon AG. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2008. SpectraWatt expects to break ground on its manufacturing and advanced technology development facility in Oregon in the second half of 2008 with first product shipments expected by mid-2009.
New CFO sought: Zecotek Photonics (Vancouver, BC, Canada), with three distinct divisions focusing on imaging, lasers, and 3-D displays, announced that Michael Minder stepped down as CFO, and the company’s senior financial controller and corporate secretary Azim Dahya has assumed the position of CFO on an interim basis. Minder will continue to work with the company in an advisory role. “Michael’s skill sets, particularly in corporate finance, were greatly appreciated and he played a key role in the development and funding of Zecotek’s technologies as we prepared for commercialization,” said A.F. Zerrouk, Chairman, President, and CEO of Zecotek. “Our Company has reached a point where a CFO with the particular expertise in managing the operating photonics entity in growth mode is necessary.”
People in the news: SCHOTT North America (Duryea, PA) named Eric Urruti as the Director of Research and Development for the North American R&D group in Duryea. Urruti brings to SCHOTT several years of experience working in high-level positions with both Red Sky Systems and Corning Incorporated, with a background in nano-materials, coatings, and polymers. He holds numerous patents and has authored several technical articles.
Andrew (Andy) J. W. Brown has joined SPIE (Bellingham, WA) as senior director for Global Business Development. A long-time member of SPIE and other photonics organizations, Brown came to SPIE from Aculight Corporation, a laser development and manufacturing company near Seattle, WA where he held positions as principal scientist, marketing manager, and most recently, director of business development. Brown succeeds Janice Gaines Walker in the senior director position at SPIE, who is retiring in July after 24 years with the Society.
Conformal coating solutions provider HumiSeal Europe (Surrey, England) appointed John Anderson as development chemist to continue its focus on further developing the European market and specifically vertical markets such as the automotive and telecoms sectors following sustained growth over the last two years and increased demand for its UV40 range of UV curable coatings. John graduated from The University of Leeds in 2007 with an MSc in Chemical biology and BSc (with honors) in chemistry.