Optics Industry Report

Thermo Vision Corp. (Franklin, MA) has signed an agreement to buy part of Optical Corporation of America (OCA; Marlborough, MA) from Corning Incorporated (Corning, NY) for $4 million. The deal was originally announced in February and was to become effective July 5. Equipment and employees from OCA's nontelecommunications optical-filter business will move from Marlborough to Franklin, where they will be merged with Corion, which Thermo Vision bought in 1996. The filter business of OCA makes custo

Jul 1st, 1999

Thermo Vision buys optical-filter business

Thermo Vision Corp. (Franklin, MA) has signed an agreement to buy part of Optical Corporation of America (OCA; Marlborough, MA) from Corning Incorporated (Corning, NY) for $4 million. The deal was originally announced in February and was to become effective July 5. Equipment and employees from OCA's nontelecommunications optical-filter business will move from Marlborough to Franklin, where they will be merged with Corion, which Thermo Vision bought in 1996. The filter business of OCA makes custom thin-film filters and coatings for OEM use in such devices as sensors and cameras.

Polymicro licenses hollow waveguides

Polymicro Technologies (Phoenix, AZ), a subsidiary of Spectranetics Corp. (Colorado Springs, CO), has entered into a license agreement with Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ) and Ramot of Tel Aviv University (Tel Aviv, Israel) to manufacture and sell hollow silica waveguides. The infrared optical waveguides can be used in IR spectroscopy, sensors, printers, and materials processing. The waveguides deliver wavelengths between 2.9 and 20 Em, whereas more-common solid-silica optical fibers are highly absorptive in the IR. Among target markets are applications using Er:YAG and carbon dioxide lasers.

England provides millions for new telescope

A consortium of 18 British universities has approved funding for a new telescope, the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA). The telescope, which will be able to look at large areas of the southern sky for extended periods to search for very faint stars and galaxies, will be a national facility. It is scheduled to be ready for use by the beginning of 2004. Expected cost is approximately £25 million (about $40 million). This is among the first allocations of £700 million (about $1.12 billion) being provided by the Joint Infrastructure Fund, an initiative of the British government's Department of Trade and Industry, the Wellcome Trust, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Optical manufacturing center created

Silicon Valley Group (SVG; San Jose, CA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL; Livermore, CA) have dedicated a new precision optics center for the National Ignition Facility (NIF). Located in Richmond, CA, the center contains computer-controlled optical manufacturing equipment and is staffed by 40 engineers and technicians. The center will fabricate precision optical components as large as 40-cm-square lenses and make a significant number of the thousands of optical components the NIF will need. The center will also be available for other research, as well as commercial purposes, as long as they do not interfere with the work for the NIF. SVG and LLNL have invested about $10 million in the center.

Optoelectronic plastics project funded

A group working to develop optoelectronic plastics has received $5 million in funding from the US Department of Defense. The five-year project, Tunable Optical Polymer Systems (TOPS), will be headed by researchers at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics of the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) and will include scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA), the University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX), and Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, IL). The aim of the TOPS project is to create polymer materials that can be used for holographic storage and computer displays, as well as clothing that stores and displays information and wallpaper that changes color in response to environmental changes. Project leader Samson Jenekhe recently created polymers capable of assembling themselves into sophisticated optical devices for optical data storage and telecommunications.

Also in the news...

The Integrated Small Precision Optics Manufacturing Technology Consortium (Thousand Oaks, CA), which targets definition, development, and insertion of small precision-optical-component technologies into retinal scanning display systems, has announced that Microvision (Bothell, WA) will join as a consortium member. . . . MKS Instruments (Andover, MA) has hired Peter R. Younger for the newly created post of president and chief operating officer.

Neil Savage

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