OPTICS INDUSTRY REPORT

The University of Nevada, Reno’s (UNR; Reno, NV) Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center has opened its newest exhibit entitled “Perceptual Relativity”-an interactive exhibit exploring individual perception through optical illusions.

OSA optics and vision exhibit opens in Nevada

The University of Nevada, Reno’s (UNR; Reno, NV) Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center has opened its newest exhibit entitled “Perceptual Relativity”-an interactive exhibit exploring individual perception through optical illusions. It was developed by faculty from the UNR Department of Psychology and funded in part by a grant from the Optical Society of America (OSA; Washington, D.C.) Foundation.

In related news, the OSA Foundation Board of Directors approved funding for three new optics-related programs for 2007 through 2009: an optics curriculum for EASTCONN, a nonprofit education service center to manage an optics education and hands-on demonstration program developed by the OSA Rochester (NY) local section, and for the distribution of educational materials to developing nations.

Subaru adaptive optics see first light

The Subaru Telescope (Hilo, HI), located on the summit of Mauna Kea, recently inaugurated the High Contrast Instrument for Adaptive Optics (HiCIAO) camera, which recorded “first light” in early December 2007. This new system replaces the infrared Coronagraphic Imager unit in operation since April 2000.

The HiCIAO camera will be used with an adaptive-optics (AO) system that was significantly upgraded to increase the clarity of Subaru’s vision by a factor of ten. The AO system uses 188 actuators behind a deformable mirror to remove atmospheric distortion, allowing the Subaru Telescope to observe close to its theoretical performance limits. The HiCIAO system was developed by scientists and engineers from the Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, and the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy.

Foundation funds 30-meter telescope

The California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA) and the University of California received a $200 million commitment over nine years from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation toward the further development and construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT; www.tmt.org). Funding will be shared equally between the two universities, with matching gifts from the two institutions expected to bring the total to $300 million. With the TMT, astronomers will be able to locate and analyze the light from the first stellar systems born soon after the Big Bang, determine the physical processes governing the formation and evolution of galaxies like our own Milky Way, study planet formation around nearby stars, and make observations that test the fundamental laws of physics.

Corning to collocate glass facility with Sharp

Sharp’s (Osaka, Japan) liquid-crystal-display (LCD) glass plant in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan, will be the site for a collocated facility for Corning (Corning, NY) and Sharp. Corning’s board of directors approved a five-year capital-expenditure plan of $795 million to collocate the facility, with an initial capital expenditure of $400 million in 2008.

This investment will enable Corning to be the first manufacturer of thin-film-transistor-grade Gen 10 substrates. At 2850 × 3050 mm, Gen 10 will be the largest LCD glass substrate available. In 2006 Corning signed a long-term supply agreement with Sharp for its Gen 8 fab, but this is Corning’s first major collocation with a customer. “The timing is right, since LCD televisions of increasingly larger size are quickly becoming a product of choice for consumers worldwide,” said James P. Clappin, president of Corning Display Technologies.

Agilent and Multiprobe partner on nanoprobe

Multiprobe (Santa Barbara, CA) and Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) announced their intent to expand the companies’ strategic partnership. As a result, Multiprobe’s Multiscan Atomic Force Prober (AFP), billed by the companies as the world’s highest-resolution nanoprober, will be sold and supported by Agilent to customers in Asia and Japan. This arrangement expands Agilent’s product offerings to include this solution for failure analysis in semiconductor devices. Multiprobe is already using the Agilent B1500A semiconductor device analyzer in its current products.

For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

Also in the news . . .

Rudolph Technologies (Flanders, NJ), a provider of process characterization equipment and software for thin-film measurement and macro defect inspection, signed an agreement to acquire the net assets of the semiconductor business of Applied Precision (Issaquah, Washington), a provider of wafer probe-card metrology systems and process-management systems to semiconductor final manufacturing facilities. . . . According to a new technical market research report, Photonic Crystals: Technology and Global Markets (AVM059A) from BCC Research (Wellesley, MA), the global market for photonic crystals will be worth $13.9 million in 2007 and will increase to $32 million in 2008. . . . Precision optics maker Optimax (Ontario, NY) invested more than $2 million dollars into capital equipment and facility improvements in 2007 to expand its manufacturing capabilities and increase capacity.

More in Optics