LASER INDUSTRY REPORT

April 1, 2007
Looking to build a new presence in the high-power diode-laser market, Intense (Glasgow, Scotland) purchased High Power Devices (North Brunswick, NJ), a manufacturer of customized high-power laser diodes for the defense, medical, and industrial markets.

Intense acquires High Power Devices

Looking to build a new presence in the high-power diode-laser market, Intense (Glasgow, Scotland) purchased High Power Devices (North Brunswick, NJ), a manufacturer of customized high-power laser diodes for the defense, medical, and industrial markets. According to Intense, the merger of the two businesses creates a powerful new global supplier of high-power single-emitters, bars, stacks, and individually addressable laser arrays. “I am delighted that we have been able to bring together two highly complementary businesses to take advantage of the significant opportunity in the rapidly evolving and consolidating diode-laser sector,” said Scott Christie, CEO of Intense. The new company, to be called Intense, will retain its head office in Glasgow. The U.S. business in New Jersey will be called Intense-HPD.

Klastech receives Series A funding

German laser startup Klastech Karpushko Laser Technology (Dortmund, Germany) received $2.7 million in a Series A funding round led by Triangle Venture Capital (Bensheim, Germany). Klastech develops, manufactures, and markets proprietary diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers used for semiconductor production, pharmaceutical industries, and scientific applications.

Klastech started operating in 2006 based on the results of the work of Fedor Karpushko, a scientist with more than 30 years of international experience in photonic research. The proprietary optical design results in a substantial reduction in the complexity of conventional lasers through improved beam quality and industrial process-manufacturing techniques.

Synova shifts strategy to meet laser demand

Responding to increasing applications growth for its water-jet-guided lasers, Synova (Lausanne, Switzerland) has altered its business model from simply selling systems to licensing technology as well. During the last year, revenue increased about 150%. The technology has expanded into so many new applications and markets “that it became impossible to do everything ourselves,” said Synova CEO Bernold Richerzhagen. The decision to start licensing technology was partly an internal one, but was also motivated by numerous requests from potential customers, he said.

Utilizing the difference in the refractive indices of air and water, the technology contains a laser beam within a stream of water by reflecting the beam at the air-water interface. Applications include dicing and edge grinding of semiconductor wafers, organic-light-emitting-diode (OLED) mask scribing, grooving and cutting for flat-panel displays, and other materials processing applications.

Powerlase expands EUV research collaborations

DPSS-laser manufacturer Powerlase (West Sussex, England) continues collaborating in the field of extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Its latest partner is University College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland) and the goal of the project is to further the development of laser-produced plasma as an EUV lithography light source.

This latest development follows previously reported Powerlase collaborations with the Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography Association in Japan and the University of Central Florida. Powerlase reported a 400% increase in revenues in 2006 (ended Dec. 31), from $4.7 million to $18.6 million.

Cree LEDs chosen for solar streetlights

A high-efficiency LED produced by Cree (Durham, NC) is at the heart of 20 energy-saving solar-powered streetlights to be installed by the Guangzhou Multi-Cell Semiconductor Lighting Technology Co. (Guangzhou, China). The white-light LED, the Xlamp XR-E, typically produces a luminous flux of 80 lumens at 350 mA, yielding 70 lumens per watt, a figure that tops the efficiency of compact fluorescent lamps. While LEDs are still more expensive per lumen than compact fluorescents, improvements in mass-production should bring prices down.

Also in the news . . .

Tyco Telecommunications selected Bookham’s (San Jose, CA) 980 nm OceanBright pump-laser technology for deployment in its undersea cable systems. . . . The Laser Institute of America (LIA; Orlando, FL) launched the LIA Career Center (http://careers.laserinstitute.org), an online resource for job opportunities in the laser industry. . . . Zecotek Laser Systems Singapore, a subsidiary of Zecotek Medical Systems (Vancouver, BC, Canada) signed letters of intent with Inversion Fiber and Tekhnoscan (both Novosibirsk, Russia) to acquire exclusive rights to certain assets and expertise in lasers in consideration for minority interests in Zecotek Laser Systems Singapore. . . . Syneron Medical (Yokneam, Israel) and The Procter & Gamble Company (Cincinnati, OH) signed an exclusive joint development and supply agreement to commercialize Syneron’s patented laser/radio-frequency technology for home-use devices designed to treat wrinkles, age spots, and cellulite.

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