Mobius comes out of stealth mode

SAN JOSE, CA-Mobius Photonics, founded in 2005 by former engineers and executives from Lightwave Electronics, plans to informally launch its fiber laser technology at Photonics West in January.

Dec 15th, 2006

SAN JOSE, CA-Mobius Photonics, founded in 2005 by former engineers and executives from Lightwave Electronics, plans to informally launch its fiber laser technology at Photonics West in January. The company will hold private demonstrations of its green (532 nm) and blue (355 nm) fiber lasers, which are initially being targeted at the industrial market-specifically, precision applications in microelectronics.

“We are basically a replacement for diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) technology, while most of the fiber lasers out there are infrared, which is great because they have educated the customer base tremendously,” said Laura Smoliar, founder and CEO of Mobius. “But we are focused more on precision work, where you need frequency conversion, and we’re doing it on a fiber platform.”

According to Smoliar, the company’s initial technology platform can do very high repetition rates in the nanosecond regime with very fast pulses, which translates into increased throughput for materials processing applications at the micro and nano scales. In addition, the user can change the pulsewidth without changing the beam shape-which isn’t always the case with DPSS lasers, according to Smoliar.

“My team (at Lightwave) worked on high-power fiber amplifiers with frequency conversion for displays, and we were making high power green and blue systems,” she said. “So we decided to take what we’d learned and apply it to the industrial market.”

In addition to the support of former Lightwave executive Bob Byer, Smoliar turned to the Women’s Technology Cluster (San Francisco, CA), a nonprofit business incubator founded in 1999 by Cate Muther, former CMO of Cisco. To date the WTC has incubated more than 60 companies that have raised more than $60 million. With the help of the WTC’s four-month mentoring program, she was able to develop the company business plan and fine-tune her fund-raising skills.

“When we started this company, it was just me and Bob Byer helping me out. I had to figure out what a business plan was, how to raise money, etc., so I went to the Women’s Technology Cluster and the helped me with all the aspects of setting up and building this business,” said Smoliar.

Eventually Mobius plans to expand into other markets, including medical and displays. For the time being, however, the company is working with customers on pre-production/pre-OEM units primarily for microprocessing applications.

“We are at a very early stage, but people are pretty excited about this technology,” Smoliar said. “Our product roadmap calls for systems with pulse-to-pulse power and energy control to be available next year. While we had always planned to offer these unique pulse control capabilities, recent advances in our system architecture now enable these revolutionary features.”

-Kathy Kincade


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