Three University of Arizona laser startups receive funding

Oct. 3, 2019
The companies were formed to commercialize inventions developed in the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences at UA.

Faculty researchers in the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona (UA; Tucson, AZ) have developed a number of high-power laser technologies that are making the leap from the  lab to the marketplace.

UA inventors and laser application experts professor Mahmoud Fallahi and assistant research professor Chris Hessenius invented the technologies, which include: a deep-ultraviolet, short-wavelength technology; a low-cost multicolor, multiwavelength laser; and a near-to-far laser to “see inside” substances.

The inventions being developed for the marketplace have been licensed respectively to three startups: DeUVe Photonics, CThru Lasers, and Wavelength Unlimited Technologies:

(1) DeUVe Photonics, whose deep-ultraviolet, short-wavelength technology will address an unmet need in the 230-400 nm wavelength range, will enable the company to become a major player in the deep-UV laser field. Significant commercial opportunities for this technology exist in various technology sectors including defense, mining and semiconductors.

(2) CThru Lasers is developing multiple laser technologies including multicolor, multiwavelength lasers, visible lasers and near-infrared lasers--all of which offer greater capabilities, increased efficiencies and lower costs than currently available technologies. The inventions will target multiple tunable-laser market opportunities such as extremely large light displays in sports venues, underwater and space communications, and medical 3D imaging.

(3) Wavelength Unlimited Technologies is bringing to market a technology that utilizes a near-to-far laser to see the interiors of substances. The invention has commercial applications in the medical industry to detect the purity of drugs and in the security industry as an alternative to today’s infrared vision technologies.

All three companies have received funding from UAVenture Capital, or UAVC, a Tucson-based venture capital fund dedicated to the commercialization of University of Arizona discoveries, products, technologies and services. These latest three represent UAVC’s 10th, 11th, and 12th investments.

“We are pleased that UAVenture Capital continues to engage with our faculty to help create an ecosystem of research, innovation, invention and commercialization,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “The Wyant College of Optical Sciences leads the world in the creation of new technology at the frontiers of optics and photonics. With the help of UAVC we will bring these technologies to the world.”

Doug Hockstad, assistant vice president of Tech Launch Arizona, the commercialization arm of the university, said, “TLA has been working with Chris and Mahmoud for several years on their technologies. The launch of these new ventures is the culmination of that work, and a testament to the world-class, impact-focused research being conducted at the University of Arizona.”

SOURCE: University of Arizona;


Do you have more photonics-related news to share with us? Contact Gail Overton, Senior Editor, Laser Focus World

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About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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