Imaging and Detector Industry Report

Aug. 1, 2003
DuPont Photomasks to cut jobs by 5% ; TeraView and Bruker collaborate on terahertz spectrometers; Intevac to develop sensor for Los Alamos LIVAR project ; MORE...

DuPont Photomasks to cut jobs by 5%

DuPont Photomasks (Round Rock, TX) will reduce its global workforce by 5% (96 positions) and begin reducing internal pellicle production at its Danbury, CT, facility immediately, ending production by September. Micro Lithography (Sunnyvale, CA) will supply pellicles to DuPont Photomasks under a multiyear supply agreement.

"After a thorough analysis of our pellicle operations, we've concluded that we can serve our customers more cost-effectively through outsourcing vs. internal production," said Marshall Turner, chairman and CEO of DuPont Photomasks. "Our agreement with MLI allows each company to do what it does best. By outsourcing pellicle supply, DuPont Photomasks will better focus resources and capital on delivering micro-imaging solutions to customers through our core business of photomasks."

TeraView and Bruker collaborate on terahertz spectrometers

TeraView (Cambridge, England) and Bruker Optics (Coventry, England) have formed a strategic marketing and sales alliance to commercialize terahertz spectrometers for pharmaceutical drug discovery, product formulation, and manufacturing. The TPI spectra 1000-THz pulsed imaging spectrometer incorporates TeraView's TPI technology and the Bruker OPUS spectral imaging and analysis software platform. The system will be launched by Bruker Optics and TeraView in August at ICAVS-2, the Second International Conference on Advanced Vibrational Spectroscopy.

Intevac to develop sensor for Los Alamos LIVAR project

Intevac (Santa Clara, CA) has been awarded a $684,500 contract from Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, NM) to develop a prototype advanced single-photon sensor that will enable its LIVAR target identification system to generate 3-D images. The new sensor, under development for the Department of Energy by Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM) and Los Alamos, will combine Intevac's patented LIVAR photocathode with an advanced CMOS chip developed by Rockwell Scientific (Thousand Oaks, CA), using advanced ultrahigh-vacuum packaging technology developed by Intevac.

According to Verle Aebi, president of Intevac's photonics technology division, the new sensor offers 3-D imaging capability to Intevac's LIVAR long-range target identification system that significantly enhances the value of LIVAR for use in automated target identification systems by giving it the capability to image the shape of a target.

U.S. Army testing SpectRx biosensor

Using technology developed by SpectRx (Norcross, GA), the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command is testing a biosensor designed to measure combat readiness of soldiers in training. The biosensor is intended to provide field measurements of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) in a soldier's interstitial fluid (ISF; the clear fluid in the body through which nutrients pass from the blood stream to the cells) and to monitor changes during physical combat training exercises.

A metabolic hormone, IGF-1 regulates the growth and repair of muscle tissue, among other things. The goal of monitoring IGF-1 is for soldiers to maintain peak combat readiness and reduce physical stress and injury. Low levels of IGF-1 may indicate that a soldier's body may be overly stressed.

The SpectRx technology uses a small, hand-held erbium laser to reach the ISF by creating microscopic holes, or micropores, in the outer layer of dead skin. This technology allows for the ISF to be tested with a small sensor patch worn over the micropores. If the program is successful, SpectRx plans to commercialize the technology for both military and general healthcare purposes.

Also in the news . . .

Schott Lithotec (Jena, Germany) and Veeco Instruments (Woodbury, NY) signed a joint development agreement for advanced photomask technology and particle reduction for next-generation photomask blanks. The research will take place in New York, where both parties maintain production and R&D facilities, and in Germany. . . . Infrared image sensor specialist XenICs (Leuven, Belgium) raised ¤1.5 million (US$1.7 million) in its second round of funding. The company was spun out of the Interuniversity Micro Electronics Centre, an independent research center specializing in microelectronics and nanotechnology. . . . Sony (Tokyo, Japan) plans to move into mass production of its active-matrix full-color organic light-emitting diode display panels next Spring, initially for display panels for mobile devices. Sony will make a capital investment of ×9 billion (US$75 million) to establish an OLED mass-production line in ST-LCD Corporation.

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