LASER INDUSTRY REPORT

Cambridge Display Technology (CDT; Cambridge, England) and Sumitomo Chemicals (Japan), providers of polymer organic-light-emitting-diode (P-OLED) devices, and Novaled (Dresden, Germany), provider of high efficiency p-i-n OLED structures and dopant materials, will collaborate under a joint development agreement to investigate the feasibility and benefits of new materials and Novaled structures in P-OLED devices.

Collaboration improves P-OLED development

Cambridge Display Technology (CDT; Cambridge, England) and Sumitomo Chemicals (Japan), providers of polymer organic-light-emitting-diode (P-OLED) devices, and Novaled (Dresden, Germany), provider of high efficiency p-i-n OLED structures and dopant materials, will collaborate under a joint development agreement to investigate the feasibility and benefits of new materials and Novaled structures in P-OLED devices. The collaboration aims to develop hybrid OLED devices combining both new polymer emitting layers and doped electron transport layers that should offer improvements in power efficiency without additional manufacturing complexity.

Novaled will grant a license to CDT to add necessary Novaled device intellectual property to its existing and future licenses. Each company will be responsible for marketing its own materials resulting from this collaboration.

Cascade gets funding, extends BP contract

University of Strathclyde spinout and quantum-cascade-laser manufacturer Cascade Technologies (Stirling, Scotland) secured an additional $2 million in funding for expanding its marketing efforts. Cascade Technologies developed and patented the world’s first real-time technology for the detection, measurement, and monitoring of gas emissions and explosives through the use of quantum-cascade lasers.

Cascade also extended its technology licensing agreement with BP Marine for five more years; the partnership allows Cascade to exclusively design and supply emissions monitoring systems for use in the marine industry. The extended commitment will generate $20 million of orders by 2010, with projected revenues set at $50 million over the next five years.

Fiber-laser maker IPG enters gas-laser market

IPG Photonics (Oxford, MA), a company known for fiber lasers and amplifiers, developed a new family of CO2 gas lasers that will allow the company to enter new markets and applications. “Fiber lasers remain the best choice for a large variety of applications,” said Valentin Gapontsev, IPG’s CEO. “In fact, fiber lasers are replacing conventional lasers, including CO2 lasers, in many applications such as metal welding, cladding, sintering, and brazing. However, some nonmetal materials like polymers and organic materials could be processed better by the 10 µm spectral range of CO2 gas lasers.”

ESA selects Modulight for pump-laser contract

Modulight (Tampere, Finland and San Jose, CA) continues its close cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) by signing a two-year, $1.1 million contract to develop high-brightness pump-laser technology for Earth observation. The project aims to improve brightness and reliability of high-power laser arrays that are generally used for pumping solid-state lasers. “We have already supplied space-qualified communications lasers to ESA for the SMOS mission in 2004,” said Petteri Uusimaa, Modulight president and CEO. “This new contract helps us to further exploit our product offering in space applications, and opens interesting new business opportunities in commercial markets where higher brightness and more reliable pump lasers are continually needed.”

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Also in the news . . .

Laser-diode test company ILX Lightwave(Bozeman, MT) donated $10,000 worth of laser-diode instrumentation to the University of Texas at Austin for research on mid-infrared laser diodes for spectroscopy and gas sensing. . . . Laser Mechanisms (Farmington Hills, MI), provider of laser-beam delivery components and articulated-arm systems for industrial lasers, moved its Laser Mech Europe sales offices from Destelbergen, Belgium, to Mariakerke, Belgium, in response to unprecedented European sales growth. . . . Laser manufacturer Z-Laser Optoelektronik (Freiburg, Germany) established a U.K. sales office in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, to enhance and expand its customer base by providing improved service and focus. . . . Raytheon and Emirates Advanced Investments of the United Arab Emirates signed a cooperative development agreement for a semi-active laser-guided 70 mm rocket designed to provide increased precision and lethality compared with conventional unguided rockets. . . . The Boeing Company (Chicago, IL), Northrop Grumman (Los Angeles, CA), Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, MD), and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency reached a milestone for the Airborne Laser missile-defense program by completing the first laser-activation testing on the ground at Edwards Air Force Base in California. . . . For his contributions to high-resolution optical-imaging techniques, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) Professor Xiaoliang Sunney Xie will receive the Berthold Leibinger Zukunftspreis for outstanding research in applied laser technology. . . . Powerlase (Crawley, England), manufacturer of nanosecond Q-switched, diode-pumped solid-state lasers, was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category for significant growth in overseas earnings.

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