Collaboration to improve thin films for OLEDs
Novaled (Dresden, Germany), a provider of doping technology and materials for organic electronics, and Sunic System (Suwon, Korea), a producer of vacuum-deposition equipment for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), announced a joint development to build up the next generation of thin-film encapsulation (TFE) tools, technologies, and materials. TFE is a promising technology to hermetically encapsulate organic devices like OLEDs and replace the current glass plates by very thin organic and inorganic multilayers, allowing for flexible and rollable organic products with a thickness in the micrometer range.
nLight to buy fiber-maker Liekki
Diode-laser manufacturer nLight (Vancouver, WA) signed a definitive agreement to acquire specialty-fiber manufacturer Liekki (Lohja, Finland). “This is a very important acquisition that integrates critical technology for the rapidly expanding markets for diode and fiber lasers,” said Scott Keeney, nLight president and CEO. “Our plan is to invest in the Lohja, Finland operation as our fiber center of excellence.” The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2007.
In related news, nLight was named the fastest-growing technology company in Washington State in the 2007 Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 50 program.
Aculight receives grant for cochlear implant
A Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant was awarded to Aculight (Bothell, WA) to develop an optical cochlear implant (OCI). The $750,000 Phase II award from the National Institutes of Health is funding a joint effort with Northwestern University (Evanston, IL).
Future laser-based cochlear implants could stimulate nerve fibers with high accuracy because optical pulses in different places on the nerve wouldn’t interfere with each other. “Dr. Claus Richter at Northwestern is a pioneer in optical cochlear stimulation. We know from his research that optical neural stimulation resembles auditory stimulation more closely than electrical does,” said Mark Bendett, Aculight’s director of medical products. “This will enable us to better reproduce natural sound in our OCI product. And because an OCI can complement residual hearing, implants wouldn’t need to be restricted to the profoundly deaf like they are today.”
Army contract seeks brighter pump diodes
Alfalight (Madison, WI), manufacturer of high-power diode lasers, received a $1.2 million, 12-month contract from the Army Research Laboratory (Adelphi, MD) for high-brightness diode sources to create laser-diode modules with higher brightness and reliability than current diode lasers can provide. The design will also have less-demanding manufacturing tolerance requirements. The program aims to generate a pump-laser solution to enable improved fiber lasers for industrial and defense applications.
QPC award also seeks better pump diodes
A U.S. defense customer awarded a $750,000 contract to QPC Lasers (Sylmar, CA) to deliver high-power fiber laser pump engines for airborne directed-energy weapons applications. The latest award brings the total value of contracts with this customer to $1.75 million since April. It further enables the refinement of QPC’s Generation III laser technologies, according to George Lintz, QPC cofounder and executive vice chairman .
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Also in the news . . .
The first application of optical supercontinuum lasers in flow cytometry was reported in a recent Nature publication by researchers at the National Cancer Institute; experiments were conducted using Fianium’s (Southampton, England) SC450 white-light source based on an ultrafast high-power fiber laser integrated with photonic crystal fiber. . . . Laser Design (Minneapolis, MN), a supplier of three-dimensional laser scanners for more than 20 years, sold an SLP-250 laser scanner to York Technical College (Rock Hill, SC) for quality inspection and rapid manufacturing applications. . . . A new report from optoelectronics market research firm Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA) says that fiber-laser sales are on track to pass $240 million this year-a growth of 39% over 2006-with robust growth continuing through 2011 at a rate of 26%. . . . GSI Group Laser Division (Rugby, England) has begun to manufacture its flagship range of JK pulsed industrial Nd:YAG lasers at its Suzhou Industrial Park facility in the People’s Republic of China. . . . Diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) laser manufacturer Powerlase (Crawley, England) announced a strong collaborative research partnership with Osaka University (Osaka, Japan) in the field of thin-film patterning for flat-panel display manufacturing. . . . Swedish DPSS laser manufacturer Cobolt is expanding into a new facility in Stockholm that will triple production capacity. . . . Applied Harmonics (AHC; Fremont, CA), developer of DPSS laser systems for treating enlarged prostate, closed its first institutional venture-capital financing led by China Seed Ventures (Shanghai, China).