Dec. 1, 2006
Culminating a five-year effort begun by The Laser and Electro-Optics Manufacturers’ Association (LEOMA; Pacifica, CA) in 2001, the 40 nations that are party to the Wassenaar Arrangement agreed in September to the first complete overhaul of laser export controls since 1990.

New controls adopted for laser exports

Culminating a five-year effort begun by The Laser and Electro-Optics Manufacturers’ Association (LEOMA; Pacifica, CA) in 2001, the 40 nations that are party to the Wassenaar Arrangement agreed in September to the first complete overhaul of laser export controls since 1990. The export of lasers is controlled because lasers have civilian and military applications. While the old export controls were based on the laser technology involved in generating laser light, the new controls are based on the parameters of the laser beam itself.

Germany blocks Coherent merger

Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) received a prohibition order from the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO; Bonn, Germany) regarding the proposed acquisition by Coherent of Excel Technology (East Setauket, NY). Although the acquisition had previously been approved by antitrust authorities in the U.S., none of the multiple remedy proposals offered by Coherent to the FCO addressing the overlap in the low-power CO2 laser market were satisfactory to the FCO, according to a Coherent statement (see “Coherent CEO speaks out on blocked acquisition,” p. 57).

Newport to acquire Picarro’s laser business

A definitive agreement was reached in which Newport (Irvine, CA) will acquire the Laser Products business of Picarro (Ottawa, ON, Canada). The Laser Products business designs and manufactures solid-state lasers targeted primarily at the life- and health-sciences and process-control markets; the acquisition will allow Newport to strengthen its solid-state product offerings for the biomedical instrumentation market. The business will become a part of Newport’s Spectra-Physics Lasers Division and is expected to have 2007 sales in the range of $5 million to $7 million.

New Wave Research wins SBIR contract

New Wave Research (Fremont, CA), a manufacturer of laser-based systems for the microelectronics and analytical instrumentation industries, was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the Department of Energy (DOE) to design, develop and build a next-generation ultraviolet (UV) femtosecond laser-ablation mass-spectrometry system for the DOE’s Nuclear and Radiological National Security Program. The award follows the successful completion of a Phase I SBIR contract won by New Wave Research last year.

Navy collaborates on laser lab

A new $1 million high-energy laser laboratory at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Crane, IN) will enable faculty and students to use the latest in ultra-short-pulse laser technology for applications that include improving military defense systems, detecting biological and chemical agents, and commercial uses in the biomedical and communications fields. The Ultrashort Pulse Laser Laboratory is the result of one of many collaborative programs involving Rose-Hulman and the Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, at Crane, IN.

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Also in the news . . .

Powerlase (Crawley, England) has partnered with the University of Central Florida (UCF; Orlando, FL) in the field of extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) lithography to further the development of high-power laser-produced plasma EUV sources. . . . StockerYale (Salem, NH) acquired privately held Photonic Products, a U.K. provider of laser diodes and modules, for $9.4 million. . . . Time-Bandwidth Products (Zurich, Switzerland), an OEM supplier of customized ultrafast diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers, opened a U.S. sales and customer support office in Westfield, MA. . . . NP Photonics (Tucson, AZ), manufacturer of narrow-linewidth single-frequency lasers, has begun to deliver multilaser systems for field trials in the oil field and security markets. . . . The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has ordered seven Reveal laser systems from Newport (Irvine, CA) for crime scene and lab investigation. . . . ARRI (Munich, Germany) will use Color Kinetics’ (Boston, MA) technology and intellectual property to develop a line of LED-based studio lighting products. . . . Laser applications development specialist Exitech (Oxford, England) has been put up for sale. . . . Diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) laser technology developed at Imperial College (London, England) is being commercialized through a spinout company, Midaz Lasers (London, England). . . . SPI Lasers (Southampton, England) will license IMRA America (Ann Arbor, MI) patents for amplification technology enabling SPI to continue to expand the output energies and peak powers from its fiber lasers. . . . Preco (Lenexa, KS) and PaR Systems (Saint Paul, MN) are partnering in the sales and integration of industrial-based laser materials processing technology and PaR’s motion and robotic systems technologies.

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