OPTICS INDUSTRY REPORT

Precision-optical-component manufacturer Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) forged a cooperative agreement with Clemson University and Benet Laboratories at the Watervliet Arsenal in Albany, NY.

May 1st, 2008

Edmund forges molded-asphere agreement

Precision-optical-component manufacturer Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) forged a cooperative agreement with Clemson University and Benet Laboratories at the Watervliet Arsenal in Albany, NY. The three-year program entitled “Molded Aspheric and Essential System Assembly Technology” is designed to find a cost-effective solution for molding aspheric lenses in the U.S. Currently, Edmund manufactures precision aspheres with a grinding and polishing technique. The goal is to use finite-element-analysis models to predict specific tool geometry and final lens surface figure. Computer simulation has the potential to improve lead time by a factor of three over the conventional iterative processes and minimize expensive up-front costs associated with the precision machining used in cutting the mold tooling.

UA casts two mirrors in one for LSST

The University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory has cast a new kind of giant optic for a unique wide-field survey telescope called the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)—touted as the world’s largest, most powerful wide-angle survey telescope—that will provide time-lapse digital imaging across the entire available night sky every three days to enable the study of celestial events such as approaching asteroids. The Mirror Lab cast two mirrors as a single piece of glass (weighing 51,900 lb)—an outer 8.4-m-diameter primary mirror and an inner 5-m-diameter mirror in one mold. It is the first time a combined primary and tertiary mirror has been produced on such a large scale.

Metrology program welcomes Rudolph

Rudolph Technologies (Flanders, NJ), a provider of process characterization equipment and software for optical thin-film measurement and macro defect inspection, has become the first semiconductor equipment supplier company to join Sematech’s (Albany, NY) Metrology Program headquartered at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany. Sematech, a consortium of chipmakers, said that under the membership agreement, Rudolph and Sematech will jointly establish an International Process Characterization (IPC) program aimed at the development of process, analysis, and characterization technology to address critical challenges in nanoelectronics research.

Near-IR spectroscopy tackles BPH

Urodynamix Technologies (Vancouver, BC, Canada) initiated a second collaborative program for the evaluation of a transurethral-microwave-thermotherapy (TUMT) device incorporating near-IR spectroscopy (NIRS) technology for the minimally invasive treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. The integration of the NIRS technology with existing TUMT treatment devices could significantly improve these procedures by providing an accurate measure of blood flow and necrosis in the prostate, which should allow physicians to optimize the power delivery and the duration of TUMT procedures. Trials at Capital Medical University in Beijing, China, will evaluate the use of prototype NIRS TUMT devices for test subjects before and after treatment.

Grant expands Tessera’s wafer-level optics

The North Carolina Economic Investment Committee is awarding a Job Development Investment Grant to Tessera (San Jose, CA) that enables the company to add 185 jobs and invest approximately $30 million in its Charlotte-based wafer-level-optics facilities during the next five years. “When we acquired Charlotte-based Digital Optics Corporation in 2006, our plan was to proliferate their wafer-level optics technologies into a broader range of applications that would impact people’s lives in tangible ways, and this announcement furthers that intention,” said Bruce McWilliams, Tessera’s chairman, president and CEO.

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Also in the news . . .

The Canadian government has invested an additional $22.3 million in the Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (CPFC; Ottawa, ON, Canada), a pure-play semiconductor foundry serving the photonics industry in Canada and around the world. . . . Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) manufacturer Tronics Microsystems (Crolles, France) and IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) announced their collaboration to enable Europractice IC Service to add MEMS to its Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) programs. . . . PerkinElmer (Waltham, MA) opened a new Center of Excellence in Singapore that will manufacture instruments for atomic absorption spectroscopy and ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy to detect both inorganic and organic materials in the environment, food, materials, and oil industries.

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