laser industry report

Excel buys Continuum pulsed-laser group; StockerYale wins BAE Systems contract; Optomec wins $2 million ATP award; MORE...

Excel buys Continuum pulsed-laser group

Excel Technology (East Setauket, NY) has acquired the scientific division of Continuum (Santa Clara, CA) from Hoya Photonics (Santa Clara, CA, and Tokyo, Japan) in a cash deal that adds pulsed-laser technology to Excel's established industrial and commercial laser business for the first time. Excel paid $13 million for Continuum's pulsed-laser activities in the commercial and scientific markets, plus the names "Continuum" and "Continuum Electro-Optics" and offices in California, France, and Japan. The company will continue to operate as Continuum and will remain in Santa Clara, according to Larry Cramer, vice president and general manager of Continuum and now president of the new Continuum group under Excel. Hoya retains the medical laser business of Continuum, formerly known as ConBio, and will likely revert back to the ConBio name, according to Cramer.

StockerYale wins BAE Systems contract

StockerYale (Salem, NH) has been awarded a contract from BAE Systems (London, England) to supply custom-designed thermoelectrically cooled lasers for its Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures (ATIRCM) system. StockerYale will initially supply several specialized lasers to BAE's Information & Electronic Warfare Systems business unit in Nashua, NH, in the fourth quarter of 2002, with the opportunity for long-term deliveries through 2020. BAE Systems' ATIR-CM is the next-generation counter-measure to protect military aircraft from infrared-guided missiles. "This win underlines our strategic objective of positioning the Lasiris brand laser into the military and biomedical markets," said Luc Many, StockerYale's senior vice president of sales and marketing, Illumination Products.

Optomec wins $2 million ATP award

Optomec (Albuquerque, NM) has received an Advanced Technology Program (ATP) award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; Gaithersburg, MD) to fund further development of the company's laser-engineered net-shaping (LENS) system for the manufacture of medical implants and other titanium components. The project, entitled "Economic Titanium Alloy Manufacture by Laser Deposition," will explore ways to improve implant designs and properties using lightweight, high-strength titanium alloys. According to the company, the new development will enable low-cost manufacture of high-quality titanium components and could lead to healthcare savings of up to $2 billion over 10 years by reducing the number of surgeries needed for failed implants.

Silicon-based light emitters announced

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) has announced the development of silicon-based light emitters to match the efficiency of traditional light-emitting compound semiconductor materials such as gallium arsenide (GaAs). The technology is based on a structure in which ions of rare-earth metals such as erbium or cerium are implanted in a layer of silicon dioxide enriched with silicon nanocrystals of 1- to 2-nm diameter, according to the company. "The quantum efficiencies achieved are about 100 times better than have previously been possible with silicon and are, for the first time, comparable to those obtained from GaAs and other compound semiconductors traditionally are used to make Light-Emitting Diodes," said Salvo Coffa, manager of the research team.

Infinite loses DARPA contract

Infinite Group (Warwick, RI) announced that its primary contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been terminated for the government's convenience. Despite the loss of this contract, the company plans to continue research and development of its GCSEL and GCSOA laser technologies.

Also in the news . . .

Cymer (San Diego, CA) is building a $50 million manufacturing facility for its advanced lithography light source solutions that will be approximately 265,000 sq ft in size. Completion of Phase I and initial occupancy of the new building is slated to occur in April 2003, and the final phase will be completed by the third calendar quarter of 2003. . . . Air Products (Allentown, PA) and The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State; University Park, PA) are continuing cooperative research efforts to understand the effects of gas source purity on Group III-Nitride (AlGaInN)-based thin films and device structures. . . . Molding Systems (Granby, CT), is teaming up with Complete Systems Company (Warwick, RI) to form a rep organization, Complete Molding Systems, which will cover all of New England, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, for Mokon (Buffalo, NY), a manufacturer of temperature control systems.

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

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