OPTICS INDUSTRY REPORT

A 69-year-old manufacturer of electronic components, including electrical and fiber-optic interconnection products and systems, switches, and integrated products, Molex (Lisle, IL) completed its acquisition of Polymicro Technologies (Phoenix, AZ).

Sep 1st, 2007

Molex acquires Polymicro Technologies

A 69-year-old manufacturer of electronic components, including electrical and fiber-optic interconnection products and systems, switches, and integrated products, Molex (Lisle, IL) completed its acquisition of Polymicro Technologies (Phoenix, AZ).

Polymicro manufactures silica capillary tubing and specialty optical fibers, optical fiber and capillary assemblies, discrete microcomponents, and quartz optical-fiber ferrules. It offers initial product design, product and process development, prototyping and beta trials, and volume production. Polymicro was founded in 1984 and employs about 100 people. It will operate as a subsidiary of Molex and will be part of the company’s Global Integrated Products Division.

API Nanotronics buys NanoOpto

Nanotechnology components company API Nanotronics (Hauppauge, NY) acquired NanoOpto(Somerset, NJ)-a maker of subwavelength optical elements-for $4 million. The transaction includes NanoOpto’s intellectual property related to the design and high-volume nanofabrication of nano-optic devices for optical components, as well as equipment at its ISO 9001:2000-registered nanofabrication facility in Somerset.

NanoOpto was founded in 2001 by Stephen Chou and subsequently raised more than $50 million in venture capital. Chou is generally considered the “father” of nanoimprint lithography (NIL), a primary focus for NanoOpto’s technology (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/298394). Although the semiconductor industry favors extreme-UV and immersion for sub-32 nm lithography, NIL has gained traction in industries with less-stringent defect, alignment, and throughput requirements, such as the manufacture of high-brightness light-emitting diodes, storage media, flat-panel displays, and biomedical devices.

Carl Zeiss creates microscopy center

Carl Zeiss, a provider of electron- and ion-beam microscopy and analysis equipment and services, has moved its North American headquarters from Thornwood, NY, to a new facility in Peabody, MA. The move goes along with the operational integration of ALIS (Peabody, MA), a technology startup developing helium-ion microscopy, which was acquired by Carl Zeiss in 2006.

The new 53,000 sq ft facility houses a 14,000 sq ft development and manufacturing plant, plus a new application development and system demonstration laboratory where up to six of the latest-generation microscopy models can be operated and evaluated by customers.

Consortium created to build telescope

Five institutions from North America and Europe have created a consortium to oversee the building of a 25 m submillimeter telescope on a high elevation in Chile. When completed in 2013, the $100 million instrument will be the premier telescope of its kind in the world.

The project is formally known as the Cornell Caltech Atacama Telescope, and has been in the works since a $2 million feasibility/concept design study was begun in 2004 by the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA) and Cornell University (Ithaca, NY). The consortium members are the California Institute of Technology and its Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Cornell University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of British Columbia, and the United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre. Large submillimeter cameras will complement the huge size of the dish, which will have more than twice the area of the largest submillimeter telescope currently in existence.

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Also in the news . . .

A2 Technologies (Danbury, CT) launched its new Web site at www.a2technologies.com to better educate customers on its portable Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers. . . . Thermo Fisher Scientific(Waltham, MA) shipped its 500th iCAP 6000 inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometer manufactured at its Cambridge, England, facility to Boeing (Seattle, WA) for monitoring the contents of chemical tanks used in the production of aluminum wings and other structural components; the company also announced a new Web tool at www.thermo.com/selectuv to help customers learn about its spectrophotometer systems. . . . Microelectromechanical systems solutions provider Colibrys (Neuchâtel, Switzerland) appointed Midoriya Electric Company(Tokyo, Japan) as its Japanese distributor. . . . According to published reports, eye-care products maker Advanced Medical Optics (AMO; Santa Ana, CA) withdrew its bid for rival Bausch & Lomb (Rochester, NY), saying that AMO faced unrealistic demands to show that its shareholders supported the deal. . . . Kruger Optical (Sisters, OR, and Walnut, CA) will design, manufacture, and market a new line of optics products, including binoculars, spotting scopes, and high-performance riflescopes, for Columbia Sportswear (Portland, OR) .

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