LASER INDUSTRY REPORT

Well known as a supplier of specialty optical fibers and optical amplifier modules, Nufern (East Granby, CT) made a strategic, vertical move with the debut of its first fiber laser-the NuFIRE laser.

Nufern reveals first fiber-laser offering

Well known as a supplier of specialty optical fibers and optical amplifier modules,Nufern (East Granby, CT) made a strategic, vertical move with the debut of its first fiber laser-the NuFIRE laser. “Nufern comes from a telecom background, in which it is not uncommon for a systems manufacturer to also be an OEM supplier of individual components,” says Bryce Samson, vice president of business development. Samson emphasizes that its customers have been driving Nufern to expand its optical amplifier “engine” into a system offering. “As with our move from specialty-fiber manufacturer to optical-amplifier provider, our customers communicated a desire to see a more user-friendly fiber-laser system introduced to the market. The NuFIRE fiber laser is a ‘turnkey’ system, with a simple Windows-based user interface and ultrafine control over the laser’s pulse attributes.”

DPSS lasers assist display manufacturing

Powerlase (Crawley, England), a manufacturer of diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers, announced that LG Electronics (Seoul, Korea) purchased its high-powered Starlase AO8 lasers to be used as the essential component of a rapid-laser-patterning process. “The introduction of the Powerlase laser systems has significantly altered flat-panel production methods,” said Tony King, Powerlase CEO. “The previous wet-etch technique was a six-step process and required multimillion-dollar area steppers and patterning equipment.”

Report looks at OLEDs for lighting

NanoMarkets (Glen Allen, VA) published a report, “Emerging Markets for OLED and Printed Lighting,” which looks at growing interest in new business opportunities that will be available as the result of organic-light-emitting-diode (OLED), phosphorescent, and (to a lesser extent) carbon nanotube lighting. NanoMarkets says that interest in this new form of illumination is being driven by its low power consumption and the fact that it can be built without the need for complex active-matrix backplanes. Applications include architectural lighting, backlighting for liquid-crystal displays , signage, instrument panels, lighting for cars, toys, games, and even clothing. Nanomarkets expects the market for printed and organic lighting to exceed $2.9 billion by 2012 and $5.9 billion by 2014.

ESI acquires New Wave Research

Electro Scientific Industries (ESI; Portland, OR), a provider of photonic microengineering solutions, has agreed to acquire New Wave Research (Fremont, CA) for $36 million net cash, approximately one time New Wave’s annual revenue. New Wave Research manufacturers laser-based systems and components, including sapphire wafer scribing and laser micromachining equipment. “New Wave Research will give us entry into the sapphire wafer-scribing market through its Accuscribe systems, as well as LCD repair with its Quicklaze suite of products,” said Nick Konidaris, president and CEO of ESI.

Alcon plans takeover of German eye-laser firm

Eye-care company Alcon (Huenenberg, Switzerland) announced it intends to acquire eye-laser manufacturer WaveLight (Erlangen, Germany) through a “friendly takeover.” WaveLight develops and manufactures refractive laser and diagnostic systems, including the Allegretto laser system for refractive eye surgery.

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Also in the news . . .

PhotoMachining(Pelham, NH) has expanded its ultraviolet laser micromachining tools facility from 7000 to 11000 sq ft and has added five more employees in the last few months bringing its employee total to 20. . . . Luminus Devices moved its corporate headquarters to an expanded facility in Billerica, MA, to help meet demand for its PhlatLight LED products. . . . Northrop Grumman’s (Apopka, FL) Laser Systems business unit achieved a key milestone with the delivery of its 5000th Mark VII handheld laser rangefinder. . . . Enfis (Swansea, Wales), a developer and manufacturer of multiwatt plug-and-play LED light engines, expanded its distribution network with Pacer International (U.K. and U.S.), Mobicon Group (Asia), and Roithner Lasertechnik (Europe). . . . Preliminary 2006/07 fiscal earnings data from Trumpf (Ditzingen, Germany) showed that sales grew by 18% to $2.68 billion dollars. . . . JMAR Technologies (San Diego, CA) announced a second sale of its proprietary BriteLight laser heads to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for use in the National Ignition Facility program. . . . Reliant Technologies’ (Mountain View, CA) Fraxel repair laser system received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for ablation, coagulation, and skin resurfacing. . . . Raydiance (Petaluma, CA) entered into a two-year cooperative research and development agreement with the FDA to use its ultrafast lasers in laser-tissue interaction studies. . . . Scientists at the University of Texas Health and Science Center (San Antonio, TX), selected the DynaPro Dynamic Light Scattering laser instrument from Wyatt Technology (Santa Barbara, CA) to study macromolecular dynamics.

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