LASER INDUSTRY REPORT

A team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) received $1.8 million in federal funding to improve the energy efficiency of green light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Oct 1st, 2006

Rensselaer funding to improve green LEDs

A team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) received $1.8 million in federal funding to improve the energy efficiency of green light-emitting diodes (LEDs). As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) solid-state-lighting program, the team aims to close the “green gap” in LED technology by doubling or tripling the power output of green LEDs in three years, an advance that ultimately could lead to the replacement of incandescent and fluorescent lamps in general-illumination applications.

Christian Wetzel, associate professor of physics at Rensselaer, will lead a team that will work to meet the DOE’s roadmap. Wetzel says the prime contender to meet this goal is a white light made from a combination of high-performance red, blue, and green LEDs. Researchers have made major strides in advancing the design of red and blue LEDs, but the technology behind green LEDs has lagged behind substantially, he says.

nLight acquires Flextronics assets

A manufacturer of high-power semiconductor lasers, nLight (Vancouver, WA) has acquired the assets of Flextronics Photonics. The acquisition will add an array of fiber-coupled and hybrid microelectronic products that will complement nLight’s current products.

“The integration of new high-reliability products with our existing high-power and high-brightness diodes will enable new capabilities in a variety of applications and market segments,” said Jake Bell, nLight Defense Group vice president. The acquired packaging design and high-volume manufacturing builds on nLight’s current capabilities.

Connecticut town approves Trumpf factory

Trumpf (Farmington, CT) announced town approval of its plan to construct a new laser facility at its Farmington, CT, campus. The laser factory is designed to consolidate the company’s local laser R&D, manufacturing, assembly, testing and sales. The facility will offer more than 90,000 sq ft of usable space and doubles Trumpf’s current space allocated for laser research and manufacturing of gas and solid-state laser resonators.

Emcore sells stake in HB-LED maker

To better concentrate on its compound semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the broadband, fiberoptic, satellite, and solar power markets, Emcore (Somerset, NJ), has sold its 49% membership interest in GELcore (Valley View, OH) to the Lighting operations of GE Consumer & Industrial, a division of General Electric (GE) for $100 million in cash. GE owned a 51% membership interest in GELcore prior to acquiring the remaining 49% from EMCORE.

GE and EMCORE formed GELcore, a joint venture to address the solid-state-lighting market with high-brightness light-emitting-diode (HB-LED)-based lighting systems in 1999. GELcore’s products include traffic lights and other products that incorporate HB-LEDs.

IMRA extends rights to Cyber Laser

A new cooperative agreement between Cyber Laser (Tokyo, Japan) and IMRA America (Ann Arbor, MI) provides users of femtosecond micromachining processes freedom to use patented processes developed by the University of Michigan, in all areas except human health and cosmetics.

IMRA extended rights to the patent family, including U.S. patent 5,656,186, “Method for controlling configuration of laser-induced breakdown and ablation,” to Cyber Laser through its purchase of IMRA’s ultrafast fiber lasers, Cyber Laser’s customers can obtain rights to use their material-processing methods without any concern for infringement of the basic patent governing use of ultrafast lasers for material processing.

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Also in the news . . .

IPG Photonics (Oxford, MA) filed a registration statement with the U.S. government’s Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock and is opening a new sales and service office in the Detroit, MI, area to improve support for its fiber laser products to Midwest customers. . . . Photon Control (Burnaby, BC, Canada) developed two new systems that will increase its sales to a Fortune 500 producer of semiconductor capital equipment; one is a novel laser alignment system, the other uses fiberoptic sensors to process silicon wafers. . . . Jena-Optronik and Jenoptik Laserdiode (both in Jena, Germany) are developing a pump source for the laser for a new atmospheric lidar (ATLID) system to be used within the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Earth observation program to contribute toward a better understanding of the interaction between clouds, radiation, and aerosol processes. . . . OccuLogix (Toronto, ON, Canada) has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire SOLX (Boston, MA), a privately held company developing novel laser approaches to the treatment of glaucoma. . . . A multi-university research initiative (MURI) administered out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Microphotonics Center (Cambridge, MA) was awarded a $3.6 million Department of Defense grant targeted at demonstrating an electronically pumped silicon laser in three years.

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