LASER INDUSTRY REPORT

A consortium led by fiber-laser manufacturer Fianium (Southampton, England) received a $2.7 million award from the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry to develop next-generation fiber lasers for industrial and imaging applications.

Mar 1st, 2007

Fianium leads next-gen fiber-laser consortium

A consortium led by fiber-laser manufacturer Fianium (Southampton, England) received a $2.7 million award from the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry to develop next-generation fiber lasers for industrial and imaging applications. The project includes Lairdside Laser Engineering Centre (LLEC) at the University of Liverpool and the Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials (CPPM) of the University of Bath.

The LLEC took delivery of a new picosecond fiber-laser system from Fianium in January for materials-processing characterization trials as part of the ULTRAFAST project. The CPPM will develop new types of photonic-crystal fibers tailored for use within ultrafast fiber lasers.

IPG and Newport settle patent litigation

Although terms of the settlement were not disclosed, IPG Photonics (Oxford, MA) and Newport (Irvine, CA) settled patent-infringement claims made against IPG Photonics by Spectra-Physics, now a division of Newport, as well as IPG Photonics’ counterclaims against Spectra-Physics, by mutual agreement. IPG Photonics does not expect the agreement to have a material effect on its financial statements or condition.

The settlement was related to a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in June 2006 by Spectra-Physics alleging that certain of IPG Photonics’ optical-fiber laser and amplifier products infringed a U.S. patent owned by Spectra-Physics.

In related news, Newport formed the Fiber Laser Business Group within its Spectra-Physics Lasers Division. Newport’s chairman and CEO Robert Deuster says adding the products to its existing portfolio of diode-pumped solid-state lasers will add additional breadth to Newport’s integrated photonics solutions strategy.

QPC partners with Northrop Grumman

For integration of its high-power semiconductor lasers, QPC Lasers (Sylmar, CA)-parent of Quintessence Photonics-has partnered with Northrop Grumman Space Technology Cutting Edge Optronics (St. Charles, MO). The integrated semiconductor laser modules and systems include QPC’s proprietary BrightLase and Internal Grating semiconductor laser technology and expand QPC’s product line to include high-power water-cooled laser modules and turnkey systems.

“Northrop Grumman Cutting Edge Optronics is a premier provider of high-power laser integration, and after evaluating several companies in this sector, we are confident that they are the ideal company to team with for QPC’s growing laser integration requirements,” said George Lintz, QPC COO.

Homeland Security evaluates missile defense

As part of Phase III of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-sponsored Counter-Man Portable Air Defense Systems (C-MANPADS) program, a Northrop Grumman-led industry team will complete production of Guardian missile-defense systems for installation on MD‑10 aircraft, to defend against the potential threat posed by anti-aircraft, shoulder-fired missiles. During the test and evaluation effort, which concludes in March 2008, nine MD-10 aircraft equipped with the systems will be in continual revenue service operation.

Display companies collaborate on OLEDs

Idemitsu Kosan (Tokyo, Japan) and Universal Display (Ewing, NJ) have signed a nonexclusive collaboration agreement to accelerate the development of blue phosphorescent organic-light-emitting-diode (OLED) materials. Idemitsu Kosan has been developing and commercializing mainly fluorescent OLED materials (blue, green, and red). Universal Display holds basic patents on phosphorescent OLEDs, which offer up to four times higher efficiency than conventional fluorescent OLEDs.

Also in the news . . .

Laser manufacturer Aculight (Bothell, WA) moved into new corporate headquarters, increasing its floor space by 60% over its previous facility and consolidating its staff into one building. . . . Litron Lasers (Rugby, England) has opened Litron Lasers of North America (Bozeman, MT) to serve the U.S. and Canada with its pulsed and continuous-wave Nd:YAG lasers for scientific and industrial applications. . . . Cambridge Display Technology (Cambridge, England) acquired the assets of Next Sierra (Mountain View, CA), a hardware developer that specializes in designing polymer organic light-emitting-diode (P-OLED) and OLED display driver chips. . . . Luminus Devices (Woburn, MA) launched a new Web site-www.phlatlight.com-to provide information about the advantages of LED illumination technology for high-definition rear-projection televisions. . . . Spectranetics (Colorado Springs, CO) used its excimer laser system for the first time in the U.S. at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City for a neurovascular surgical procedure.

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