French firm to produce green microlasers
A new company, Unilase, is being formed in Grenoble, France, to manufacture lasers based on the microlaser technology developed at LETI and recently licensed to SFIM ODS. Under an agreement between the companies, Unilase will manufacture a line of devices to be called "nanolasers" using chips fabricated by SFIM ODS. Unilase founder Daniel Guillot says that "because of the mass fabrication process of the chi¥and the simplicity of the passive Q-switching, the nanolaser has an inherent low cost that will allow entry into markets not currently accessible to solid-state lasers. Green solid-state lasers at prices of less than $1000--in quantity--are in the cards now." The green nanolasers will produce between 1 and 5 mW of output power at repetition rates between 10 and 25 kHz. Applications for the quasi-CW devices are likely to be in the visualization and alignment markets, where they can compete effectively with green HeNe lasers. Production should start during the first half of 1996 in Grenoble. Uniphase Inc. (San Jose, CA), a minority investor in the firm, will be the US distributor of the devices.