News Briefs

IR acquisition

Infrared Solutions (Plymouth, MN) has agreed to the sale of Infrared Solutions Inc. to Fluke Electronics (Everett, WA), an electronics manufacturer. Infrared Solutions was founded in 1994 by a group of former Honeywell scientists and engineers who first developed infrared sensors for the U.S. military. Today, the company designs, manufactures, and sells a broad range of infrared thermal imaging products for applications across a number of channels including predictive and preventative maintenance. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2005, following satisfaction of certain customary closing conditions.

Photonic crystals

The Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA) has been awarded a grant totaling $4.16 million for photonic and phononic (the photonic crystal’s acoustic equivalent) crystal research by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The grant also includes a two-year option for an additional $2.75 million. A new research group led by Ali Adibi, associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will develop 3-D crystal fabrication tools affordable enough to make them accessible to a wider range of researchers, stepping up crystal research and increasing the possibility for innovation. The new tools will be based on optical patterning of 3-D polymeric structures with chemical and biochemical modification to create high-quality photonic and phononic crystals with tailored functions and resolutions below 100 nm. A portion of the group’s research will focus on multiphoton lithography and multibeam interference lithography.

IR thermography

The Joint European Torus (JET) research group (Abingdon, England) has placed an order with CEDIP Infrared Systems (Croissy-Beaubourg, France) to supply an advanced IR thermography system for monitoring the temperature of components inside its Tokamak Fusion reactor. Based upon CEDIP’s EMERALD camera technology, operating in the 3-5 µm region, the new IR thermography system will monitor the plasma temperature inside the reactor through a set of IR endoscopes. Installed inside the reactor facility, an area inaccessible during time of operation, the camera will be integrated with the main data processing system of the JET Tokamak for the setting of parameters, synchronizing acquisition and gathering of data. CEDIP’s 32-bit Altair software will be used to remotely control the camera via fiberoptics as well as transfer and store acquired data. Benefiting from the experience of IR thermography installations in nuclear fusion research facilities at the Atomic Energy Commission (Cadarache, France), CEDIP will supply a specially adapted version of the EMERALD camera.

Lens supplier

Kodak has reached agreement with Rochester Precision Optics (RPO; Rochester, NY) to sell RPO the assets used to produce precision glass molded aspheres, spherical lenses, and lens assemblies. RPO will provide precision molded and machined optics to companies who require quick-turn production solutions. RPO will have the capacity to continue to produce all of the catalogue lenses and lens cell assemblies that were previously produced by Kodak. RPO plans to start production by January 2006.

Series D

Capella Photonics (San Jose, CA), a developer of wavelength selective switch (WSS) modules for use in reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) and optical cross connect (OXC) applications, announced the closing of $10 million in its Series D financing round. The round was led by investors Bay Partner, BCE Capital, Vanguard Ventures and several private investors. The capital infusion will enable Capella to mass-produce, sell and support Capella’s patented WavePath products. In addition, Capella also announced that it and its development partner, RED-C Optical Networks Ltd., have been awarded a grant of $1 million from the US-Israel Bi-national Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD Foundation). Capella and RED-C plan to deliver the world’s first integrated EDFA/ROADM subsystem, offering intelligent management of optical transmission in a dynamic and remotely reconfigurable transparent network.

New distributor

JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA) has appointed Elliot Scientific (Hertfordshire, England) to distribute all of their commercial lasers throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. Following JDSU’s acquisition of Lightwave Electronics Corporation and subsequent review of distribution channels, JDSU has chosen Elliot Scientific as its distributor for the UK and Ireland, responsible for all JDSU commercial laser products, including argon-ion, HeNe, solid-state, and fiber lasers, laser diodes, and marking systems.

Multi-line filters

Ondax (Monrovia, CA), a developer of volume holographic gratings and wavelength stabilized laser solutions, has been awarded a two-year, $500,000 Phase II SBIR grant by the National Science Foundation to develop and produce multi-line rejection filters. The contract will focus on developing the fabrication technology for an astronomical holographic multi-spectral filter with up to 50 lines in the infrared region (0.7-1.7 µm). A prototype of a 10-line filter in the 1.5-1.6 µm range was successfully tested at the Palomar Observatory in California.

New VP

Alfalight (Madison, WI), a manufacturer of high-power diode lasers, named Rajesh Nair as vice president of operations. Nair will lead Alfalight’s production and engineering teams to drive manufacturing excellence and accelerate product development. With nearly 20 years of experience in high-volume, high-quality semiconductor manufacturing, Nair will institutionalize continuous improvement methodologies at Alfalight for both manufacturing and new product introduction. Prior to joining Alfalight, Nair was executive director of wafer fabrication at Maxim Integrated Products, where he led the manufacturing and module development of mixed-signal devices.

Bragg gratings

A leading U.S. defense contractor has awarded Quintessence Photonics (Sylmar, CA) a fixed-priced contract for delivery and performance testing of BrightLase semiconductor lasers with internal Bragg gratings associated with an undisclosed defense application. According to the company, the BrightLase devices feature high brightness operation and an internal grating that stabilizes and narrows the spectrum while enabling extremely accurate center wavelength accuracy in production.

OLED SBIR

Universal Display Corporation (Ewing, NJ) has been awarded a two-year, $750,000 SBIR Phase II contract by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a novel white OLED light source featuring the company’s proprietary TOLED transparent OLED technology. In this program, “High Efficiency White TOLED Devices for Lighting Applications,” Universal Display will demonstrate a novel lighting concept with improved light extraction. During the Phase I program, the company demonstrated a 20% enhancement in the amount of light extracted from an OLED by using a TOLED structure integrated with an external reflector. During Phase II, the company intends to optimize the performance of this novel design for white lighting applications.


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