Ultrafast market to reach $260 million in 2008
Ultrafast Lasers–2008, a new report from Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA) forecasts that the ultrafast laser market will reach about $260 million in 2008 with healthy growth expected in coming years, fed by innovations in technology, new suppliers to the market, and some novel applications and strategies. Margins are high and the products are almost immune from commoditization, but the market is overfilled with competitors. In addition to a half-dozen major players, more than 30 other companies offer an ultrafast laser product. The new report reviews the technology, applications, key trends, markets, and suppliers of ultrafast laser oscillators and amplifiers, with forecasts to 2012.
Snake Creek pursues green-laser technology
While a host of companies are pursuing the development of green lasers (especially as a key color in laser projectors and displays), Snake Creek Lasers (Hallstead, PA) signed a licensing, manufacturing, and collaboration agreement with Alps Electric (Tokyo, Japan) that will enable it to pursue high-volume manufacturing. The green-laser technology developed by Snake Creek is relatively low in cost compared to alternative green sources and is the smallest in the world. “That’s why people are so interested. They’re the smallest [green lasers] in the world and put out more power. That’s why Alps came to us,” said Lisa Vitali, director of business development at Snake Creek.
Schawlow Award goes to Eckhard Beyer
Eckhard Beyer, professor at the University of Technology Dresden (Dresden, Germany) and Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Germany, was awarded the highly distinguished 2008 Arthur L. Schawlow Award for his outstanding contributions to laser science and engineering. “The Laser Institute of America first presented the Schawlow Award in 1982 to recognize individuals who have made distinguished contributions to applications of lasers in science, industry, education and medicine,” said Peter Baker, executive director of the LIA (Orlando, FL). Beyer’s accomplishments span more than 20 years and include the development of a rotating hollow needle for beam diagnostics, and several important patents in the field of intelligent process control during laser cutting and welding.
Laser project to improve eye conditions
The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research launched a new project—selected as the winner of the “Innovation Competition for the Advancement of Medical Technology” by the ministry—aimed at implementing an exact dosage of laser radiation for each individual eye during retinal procedures by ensuring that the laser automatically adjusts to the optimal temperature needed for a specific treatment. In cooperation with such leading scientific institutions as the Medical Laser Center (Lübeck, Germany) and the Institute of Biomedical Optics of the University of Lübeck, as well as the Eye Clinic of the University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein (Kiel, Germany), Carl Zeiss Meditec (Jena, Germany) is currently developing the new technology for laser retina treatment.
Axsun tunable lasers to supply OCT system
Photonic component and subsystems manufacturer Axsun Technologies (Billerica, MA) entered into a multi-million dollar volume purchasing agreement with LightLab Imaging (Westford, MA). Under the multiyear exclusive agreement, Axsun will provide advanced tunable lasers for LightLab’s next-generation cardiac optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging system. “Swept-source OCT enables extremely high-speed imaging with 10× higher imaging resolution than ultrasound,” said Dale Flanders, CEO of Axsun Technologies.
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Also in the news . . .
Osram Opto Semiconductors (Santa Clara, CA) broadened its light-emitting-diode portfolio with products that will meet or exceed Energy Starstandards for the solid-state-lighting market, which will go into effect on Sept. 30 of 2008. . . . The Federal Government of Australia banned the importation of laser pointers stronger than 1 mW, which have been used in attacks on passenger airliners landing at airports. . . . The OLLA(Aachen, Germany) project consortium achieved its final milestone: a white organic light-emitting-diode (OLED) light source with an efficacy of 50.7 lumens per watt based on Novaled (Dresden, Germany) PIN OLED technology. . . . J. P. Sercel Associates (JPSA; Manchester, NH) began delivery of laser workstations for processing solar thin-film photovoltaic (PV) products. . . . A laser-based silicon-deposition technique developed by NanoGram (Milpitas, CA) for solar-cell manufacturing won an Energy Innovator Award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.