optics industry report

Spinouts bloom where opto giants fall; Optics center gets $5 million grant; Corning announces CaF2 lens-blank patent; MORE...

Dec 1st, 2002

Spinouts bloom where opto giants fall

About a month after the departure of Lucent (Murray Hill, NJ) spinout Agere (Allentown, PA) from optoelectronics, Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA) and the Community and Economic Development Department of the State of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, PA) announced matching $15 million grants as the centerpiece of an estimated $50 million funding package to stimulate the growth and development of the optoelectronic industry in the region over the next five years. "Obviously we have looked somewhat askance at the demise of optoelectronics with Lucent, however, our center is entitled the Center for Optical Technologies," said David Williams, a materials science professor and vice provost for research at Lehigh University. "It covers everything from the fundamentals of photonics and glass structure through packaging of optoelectronics devices, flat-panel displays, wire-less technologies, networking technologies, how the two interact, and so on. Agere was a powerhouse and was certainly an important part of what we do, but it was still simply one part of the spectrum."

Optics center gets $5 million grant

A $5 million appropriation by the Department of Defense has been secured to support research and instrumentation at the Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. UNC Charlotte has two reasons to celebrate today," noted Chancellor James H. Woodward. "First, this $5 million appropriation will help us obtain leading-edge equipment needed to conduct the highest quality of research, particularly in the area of smart integrated optical devices and optical metrology. Secondly, site work is on schedule for construction of a new building funded by the 2000 bond referendum that will house the Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications in 2004 and bring added distinction to our campus."

Corning announces CaF2 lens-blank patent

Corning (Corning, NY) has announced receipt of a U.S. patent for a calcium fluoride (CaF2) lens blank that supports the advancement of CaF2 materials for 193- and 157-nm microlithography systems. CaF2 represents the next-generation optical material for semiconductor manufacturing applications. While still in the early stages of development, the material will enable Corning to manufacture CaF2 lens blanks suitable for the 157-nm technology node. In addition to meeting industry demand for high-performance optical materials, the technology will play a critical role in manufacturing faster and more powerful integrated circuits.


Contrary to statements made in "Newport downscales photonics effort," (October, p. 55), Newport is not discontinuing any product lines in its fiberoptics business. Rather, the company is scaling back certain legacy products and delaying some new product-development efforts. LFW regrets the error.

Also in the news . . .

EM Industries (Gibbstown, NJ) announced today that effective Jan. 1, 2003, it would officially begin to conduct business under its new name EMD Chemicals as part of a global branding strategy being implemented by its parent company, Merck KgaA (Darmstadt, Germany) [not to be confused with the U.S. pharmaceutical company, Merck] to unify and strengthen its market presence worldwide. . . . ATS Automation Tooling Systems (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada) has acquired the remaining outstanding equity ownership of ATS Test Systems (Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada). . . . The Belgian Umicore Group (Brussels, Belgium) has taken over Unaxis Materials (Balzers, Germany), a producer of materials for high-vacuum coatings. . . . John Guerra, the inventor of photon tunneling microscopy (PTM) and other near-field technology, has founded Nanoptek (Concord, MA) to develop and commercialize nano- and near-field optical technology and instrumentation. . . . Micron Optics (Atlanta, GA), has acquired Chameleon Optics (Philadelphia, PA). . . . Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) has formed a technical advisory board to facilitate the company's assessment of new and emerging technologies across a range of disciplines affecting the field of photonics. . . . Danaher (Washington, DC) has acquired Dover Instrument (Westboro, MA). . . . ITF Optical Technologies (Montreal, Canada) is acquiring certain business assets of Resonance Photonics (Markham, Ontario, Canada). . . . Corning IntelliSense (Wilmington, MA) was awarded a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Advanced Technology Program to develop embedded digital interface and control circuits for MEMS.

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at jaynesr@pennwell.com.

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