Laser Industry Report

Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) announced at Laser 2005 in Munich that it had acquired privately held TuiLaser (Munich, Germany) for €22.

Coherent buys TuiLaser for $27 million

Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) announced at Laser 2005 in Munich that it had acquired privately held TuiLaser (Munich, Germany) for €22.5 million (US$27 million). TuiLaser designs and manufactures excimer and solid-state lasers for scientific, OEM, medical, and industrial applications.

The acquisition provides Coherent with a strong market presence in all classes of excimer lasers in all markets, with the exception of lithography. TuiLaser is one of the leading suppliers of low-end excimer lasers for medical applications; this is an interesting addition to Coherent’s product mix, given that the company essentially exited the medical-laser business (except as an OEM supplier) several years ago.

NIF again faces uncertain future

The U.S. Senate approved a bill that deletes $146 million for further construction of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA).

In February, President George W. Bush proposed a 12% cut in the NIF budget for FY2006 while also requesting funding for NIF construction. The House agreed to that figure but in mid-June the Senate Appropriations Committee eliminated it in a measure pushed through by Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM), chairman of the Energy Committee and the Appropriations Committee. According to news reports, Domenici complained that ballooning costs on the project are a drain on other programs designed to maintain the nation’s nuclear arsenal, such as Sandia and Los Alamos, both of which are located in his state of New Mexico.

Thales Laser repositions its laser business

Thales Group (www.thalesgroup.com), a worldwide manufacturer of electronic and optoelectronic systems, with 65,000 employees, is repositioning its laser strategy by linking Thales Laser (Orsay, France) to its Device hardening Instrumentation & Safety division (DIS; Colombes, France), part of the Land and Joint Systems Business Group, to allow an even stronger position on scientific, medical, and defense-related markets.

The ultrafast lasers manufactured by Thales Laser are now seamlessly integrated in the cyclotrons, synchrotrons, and particle accelerators manufactured by DIS, providing accelerator seeding with excellent photoelectron beam quality and high-power beams to interact with the accelerated particles. The repositioning also opens new applications such as medical x-ray.

JDS Uniphase acquires Photonic Power

JDS Uniphase (JDSU; San Jose, CA) is broadening its base in commercial lasers by investing in growing markets for those lasers. The company’s latest acquisition is Photonic Power Systems (Cupertino, CA), a provider of photonic power for the delivery of power over fiber.

All eight of Photonic Power Systems’ employees will transition to JDSU’s corporate offices and will form the nucleus of its Photonic Power Business Unit, led by Jan-Gustav Werthen, founder and CEO of PhotonicPower Systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Melles Griot goes green

The Melles Griot Laser Group (Carlsbad, CA) produces lasers of many wavelengths, but soon they will all be green. In an effort to conserve natural resources and restrict or eliminate hazardous substances from its products, Melles Griot plans to institute programs for recycling lasers and reducing hazardous materials.

Effective July 1, 2006, the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBBs) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in Melles Griot laser products will either be fully eliminated, or restricted to the levels permitted by European Union directive 2002/95/EC on the restriction of use of certain hazardous substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment (see Laser Focus World, June 2005, p. 110).

Also in the news . . .

The Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA; Washington, DC) released a roadmap for the indium phosphide (InP) technology market, including recommendations on ways to improve the current conditions in this particular industry sector. . . . New Wave Research (Fremont, CA), a manufacturer of laser-based systems for flat-panel display repair, semiconductor failure analysis and micromachining, and Opto System Co., a Japanese manufacturer of inspection and manufacturing equipment for semiconductor-related products, announced a cooperation to develop and market advanced LED wafer-scribing systems for the semiconductor-manufacturing marketplace. . . . Melles Griot signed a limited global-distribution agreement allowing for distribution of some of Coherent’s laser measurement and control product line. . . . Sherwood Technology (Cheshire, England) was granted a European patent for its method of laser marking edible products using its color-change technology.

Gail Overton

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