Laser Industry Report

July 1, 2000
Alfalight gets first-round financing to grow aluminum-free diodes; Cielo and Sandia demonstrate 1.3-µm electrically pumped VCSEL; Novalux seeks third-round financing for NECSELs; and more.

Alfalight gets first-round financing to grow aluminum-free diodes

Alfalight (Madison, WI), a commercial enterprise spawned by the University of Wisconsin (UW), has closed on $6.1 million of first-round venture funding. The company's products include high-power, 980-nm single-transverse-mode laser diodes designed to pump erbium-doped fiber amplifiers and 980-nm distributed-feedback lasers. The investor group is made up of three midwestern investment firms led by Arch Venture Partners (Chicago, IL). With nine employees, Alfalight currently operates from its 1800-sq ft headquarters and, for product development, the UW Reed Center for Photonics.

Cielo and Sandia demonstrate 1.3-µm electrically pumped VCSEL

Cielo Communications (Broomfield, CO) in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories (Los Alamos, NM) has announced successful demonstration of an electrically pumped long-wavelength vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) operating single-mode and continuous-wave at 1294 nm. The joint-development team was created though a cooperative research and development agreement, signed by Sandia and Cielo in March 1999. Both firms will continue to work together to bring the long-wavelength technology to market within the next 12 months.

Novalux seeks third-round financing for NECSELs

Last May, while preparing for a third round of financing expected to be in excess of $50 million, Novalux (Sunnyvale, CA) announced an impending "paradigm shift" in surface-emitting laser technology from the site of its class-10 clean-room facility for high-yield processing of 4-in. gallium arsenide (GaAs) wafers. Details on the Novalux extended-cavity surface-emitting-laser (NECSEL) technology will be revealed in a scientific meeting later this year, according to founder and CTO Aram Mooradian. He expects that the company will actually begin shipping products six months to a year from now. So far the rapidly growing two-year-old company with about 60 employees has raised about $17 million in two rounds of financing.

Laser Components buys Laser Analytics from Laser Photonics

Laser Components GmbH (Munich, Germany) has announced the acquisition of Laser Analytics (Wilmington, MA) from parent company Laser Photonics (Carlsbad, CA) along with assets, patents, and licensing related to development and manufacturing of infrared laser diodes and laser systems. The newly formed company, Laser Components Instrument Group, occupies 11,000 sq ft of office, manufacturing, and warehouse space in Wilmington and plans to offer a complete line of tunable laser-diode systems and system components, as well as custom development services. "Our new company is strategically positioned to better serve the existing market as well as to enter new markets," said Edward Renfer, vice president and COO of the new company.

New Coherent facility targets direct-diode-laser thermal market

The Coherent Semiconductor Group has opened a new commercial-applications laboratory in Santa Clara, CA. Headed by applications manager Tony Hoult, the facility will perform proof-of-principle trials for prospective direct-diode opportunities. The new laboratory will allow Coherent to focus on both current applications for diode lasers and the development of applications in the growing direct-diode-laser thermal market.

Also in the news . . .

Infineon Technologies (Munich, Germany) has become the first European member of EUV LLC (Extreme Ultraviolet Limited Liability Corporation; Santa Clara, CA); EUV LLC was founded by Intel, Motorola, and AMD in 1997 to develop EUV lithography technology. . . . GPT Glendale Inc. (Lakeland, FL) has acquired several protective-eyewear lines from Laser Peripherals LLC (Minnetonka, MN). . . . The Tactical High Energy Laser, developed by the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command (Huntsville, AL) to help protect Israel from short-range missile attacks, successfully shot down a target rocket for the first time.

Hassaun Jones-Bey

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at [email protected].

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