Thorlabs acquires Corning's quantum cascade laser business

Oct. 27, 2014
Photonics products manufacturer Thorlabs acquired Corning Incorporated's quantum cascade laser (QCL) business and associated optical semiconductor technologies research group in a private transaction.

Vertically integrated photonics products manufacturer Thorlabs (Newton, NJ) acquired Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE: GLW) quantum cascade laser (QCL) business and associated optical semiconductor technologies research group in a private transaction. Corning developed its QCLs for the sensing, scientific, and defense markets.

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Thorlabs will integrate the assets and intellectual property rights acquired from Corning into its existing Maryland-based semiconductor fabrication facility, Thorlabs Quantum Electronics (TQE). TQE was founded with the acquisition of the Covega Corporation in 2009. This 60,000 square foot end-to-end manufacturing facility includes large scale vertically integrated production capability and is already home to Maxion Corporation, a QCL and ICL (interband cascade laser) company purchased by Thorlabs in November of 2012.

Peter Heim, CTO and General Manager of TQE, said, "Integrating Corning's Advanced Optical Semiconductor Research Group into Thorlabs' existing optical semiconductor fabrication facility not only allows us to ramp up the production of these devices and make them readily available for defense, security, commercial, and research applications but also adds a highly talented group of R&D technologists that significantly expands the depth and range of our core semiconductor laser competencies for future product development."

David Morse, CTO for Corning said, "We expect that this acquisition will complement Thorlabs' core competencies, market understanding and production capacity to enable them to accelerate their commercialization of quantum cascade lasers."

Thorlabs was founded in 1989 to serve the laser and electrooptics research market; manufacturing assets include semiconductor fabrication of Fabry-Perot, DFB, and MEMS-VCSEL-based lasers, fiber towers for drawing glass optical fibers (silica, fluoride, tellurite, and hollow core), MBE/MOCVD crystal growth, extensive glass and metal fabrication facilities, advanced thin-film deposition capabilities, and optomechanical and optoelectronic shops.

SOURCE: Thorlabs;

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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