IMAGING & DETECTOR INDUSTRY REPORT

June 1, 2007
Acreo is spinning off its successful infrared detector activity to a separate company, IRnova (both in Kista, Sweden).

Spinoff focuses on IR detectors

Acreo is spinning off its successful infrared detector activity to a separate company, IRnova (both in Kista, Sweden). IRnova is based on Acreo’s experience in development and production of quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIP). IRnova will be owned by Acreo and the employees, with Acreo as the major shareholder. Acreo’s QWIP activity has historically had a limited customer base, delivering the major part of its production to the leading company in infrared cameras and systems, FLIR Systems.

Grant awarded for organic solar cells

Plextronics (Pittsburgh, PA), a developer of active-layer technology for electronic devices, was awarded a $340,500 grant from the Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center to focus on the continued development of Plexcore PV active-layer technology for organic solar cells.

Plexcore PV is a new generation of polymer-based semiconductive inks that increase solar conversion efficiency, while extending the lifetime of the device. “The primary commercialization challenge for organic solar-cell technology is achieving the required combination of operating efficiency and device lifetime. Nanotechnology is the key to success,” said Alan Brown, executive director of the center.

3-D images improve solar forecasting

NASA’s Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) satellites provided the first 3-D images of the Sun, aiding scientists’ ability to understand solar physics and thereby improving space weather forecasting. STEREO can see the Sun in several wavelengths and temperatures; each wavelength allows scientists to see different features on the Sun. It is the third mission in NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Probes program (STP).

Seiko and Nemoptic ink e-paper agreement

Nemoptic (Magny les Hameaux, France), an e-paper display company for consumer and professional handheld devices, has agreed to subcontract its manufacturing to Seiko Instruments (SII; Akita, Japan). Nemoptic will grant SII access to its BiNem technology, enabling SII to produce high volumes of Nemoptic’s bistable LCD display modules. Manufacturing will take place at SII’s Microtechno plant in Akita, Japan.

PerkinElmer gains 3-D cell-imaging capability

With its acquisition of Improvision (Coventry, England) in a cash transaction, health-sciences and photonics technology developer PerkinElmer (Waltham, MA) has acquired 3-D medical-imaging capabilities. Improvision, a provider of cellular-imaging software and integrated hardware solutions for life-sciences research, had revenue of approximately $11.9 million in 2006.

“This acquisition strengthens our leading capability in the fast-growing field of advanced cellular sciences,” said Gregory L. Summe, chairman and CEO, PerkinElmer. “PerkinElmer now provides pharmaceutical and academic researchers with a single source for imaging and analysis solutions that will help increase their understanding of disease mechanisms at the cellular level, potentially speeding the development of new therapies for conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and cancer.” PerkinElmer also recently acquired Evotec Technologies, a provider of high-performance cellular screening systems.

Partnership seeks real-time imaging

Neptec Design Group (Ottawa, ON, Canada), a leader in 3-D vision systems, is partnering with Terrapoint (Nepean, ON, Canada), a light detection and ranging (lidar) technology company, to generate new intelligent scanning systems.

Under the terms of the joint collaboration agreement, Neptec will support further development of Terrapoint’s terrestrial lidar system, TiTAN.

In turn, Neptec will license the technology that underlies the TiTAN sensor system and produce a vehicle-mounted 3-D lidar imaging system for the military and security markets.

Also in the news . . .

Hinds Instruments (Hillsboro, OR), a supplier of photoelastic modulators (PEMs), is working closely with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL; Pasadena, CA) to integrate spectropolarimetric sensing into a candidate next-generation remote-sensing satellite imaging system to improve atmospheric measurements of global particulate pollution. . . . Photon Dynamics (San Jose, CA), a supplier of solutions for the flat-panel display market, and Salvador Imaging (Colorado Springs, CO), a supplier of high-performance digital cameras, formed a new venture named Salvador Systems, a Photon Dynamics Company, that will provide sensitive cameras that can be used to provide surveillance capabilities from full daylight to starlight conditions for the military and security markets, and unique inspection capabilities in industrial applications.

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