Laser Industry News

With operational headquarters in Plymouth, MI, and Hamburg, Germany and production facilities in the U.S., Germany, U.K., Sweden, Singapore, and Japan, Rofin-Sinar-manufacturer of industrial lasers with more than 22,000 laser units installed worldwide-has acquired a 40% stake in H2B Photonics (Garbsen, Germany).

Rofin-Sinar buys stake in H2B Photonics

With operational headquarters in Plymouth, MI, and Hamburg, Germany and production facilities in the U.S., Germany, U.K., Sweden, Singapore, and Japan, Rofin-Sinar-manufacturer of industrial lasers with more than 22,000 laser units installed worldwide-has acquired a 40% stake in H2B Photonics (Garbsen, Germany). H2B specializes in the development, manufacturing, and sales of laser-based systems used to cut brittle materials such as glass.

H2B holds the worldwide license rights on the Multiple Laser Beam Absorption (MLBA) process. The systems are primarily used for displays like plasma screens, windows, and automotive parts. H2B, founded in 2005 as a spinoff from LZH, the Laser Institute of Hanover, Germany, will continue as an independent company within the Rofin Group.

Daylight Solutions debuts ‘tiny tunables’

The startup firm Daylight Solutions (Poway, CA) is set to debut its mid-IR lasers-or “tiny tunables”-and officially announce its transition from R&D into production (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/252457). Tim Day, former CTO and cofounder of New Focus (San Jose, CA; now Bookham New Focus), is serving as CEO, CTO, and chairman of the new company, which is targeting molecular detection and imaging applications.

Daylight Solutions won a $75,000 seed grant from the Department of Defense-funded Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology (San Diego, CA) in October 2005 to commercialize technology that helps solve the stand-off detection problem for explosives, and in January 2006 signed an agreement with an unnamed company to develop a portable, noninvasive glucose-monitoring system. With help from investors and the government contract, the company expects to sell its first lasers within the next few months and is currently seeking investors to help it through the next 18-month phase of scaling production to manufacture hundreds of lasers per month.

eLite wins financing, changes name

eLite Optoelectronics (Sunnyvale, CA), a supplier of LED chips to high-volume solid-state lighting markets, raised $8.5 million in venture capital financing and changed its name to BridgeLux. The funding will be used for capital investments and R&D.

The BridgeLux name stems from the company’s “fabless” business model. While its corporate and R&D operations are located in the U.S., the company manufactures its products in Asia. “BridgeLux is leveraging the best of U.S. technology and Asian manufacturing efficiencies, effectively ‘bridging a gap’ that has hampered many companies in their pursuit of leading-edge technology that can be affordably deployed now, not some years down the road,” said Robert Walker, BridgeLux CEO. “Our mission is to enable the global acceleration and acceptance of energy-saving solid-state lighting (SSL) by providing our customers with advanced product performance while simultaneously achieving aggressive cost reduction.”

Molecular Devices acquires LCM business

For $10 million in cash, Molecular Devices (Sunnyvale, CA) has acquired the portion of Arcturus Bioscience (Mountain View, CA) related to laser capture microdissection (LCM) and laser cutting.

Arcturus, founded in 1996 by Thomas Baer, has been a pioneer in the field of LCM (Baer recently assumed the position of executive director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center at Stanford University). Molecular Devices hired 42 former Arcturus employees who were associated with the LCM business. All of the LCM operations and employees will immediately move to Molecular Devices’ headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA.

For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

Also in the news . . .

Lincoln Laser (Phoenix, AZ) was recognized by The Arizona Association of Industries as the Arizona Manufacturer of the Year for 2006 in the Small Business Category. . . . Westplex (Randburg, South Africa) was appointed the South African distributor for CCS, a Japan-based manufacturer of LED lighting. . . . The West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund has invested $500,000 in Plextronics (Pittsburgh, PA) to accelerate the development of PlexcoreT, an organic, nonacidic, solvent-based hole injection layer for OLEDs. . . . Vertilas (Garching, Germany), a supplier of vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) diodes, completed a third round of financing totaling $4.4 million to advance the commercialization of its products. . . . Veeco Instruments (Woodbury, NY), supplier of epitaxial equipment used in the manufacture of high-brightness light-emitting diodes (HB-LEDs), has been selected to join the Solid-State Lighting and Display Center (SSLDC) at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). . . . Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) established a direct operation in Seoul, Korea to offer customer-focused services to Korean laser customers. . . . Cree (Durham, NC), a provider of LED solid-state lighting components, has signed an agreement with Innovative LED Technologies (Barcelona, Spain) to distribute Cree XLamp LEDs in Spain and Portugal.

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