June 1, 2008
Scientists and engineers across Europe have joined forces in a unique collaborative effort to develop a new generation of high-brightness lasers that will transform the fields of health care, communications, and entertainment.

European collaboration seeks BRIGHTER lasers

Scientists and engineers across Europe have joined forces in a unique collaborative effort to develop a new generation of high-brightness lasers that will transform the fields of health care, communications, and entertainment. The $25.7 million (with $15.4 million of European Commission funding) project named (the project Web site is, which runs until September 2009, has brought 22 of Europe’s top research teams together from industry, internationally recognized research laboratories, and leading academic institutions to make lasers smaller, brighter, more efficient, and cheaper.

Coherent enters fiber-laser market

Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) launched its first fiber-based laser called Talisker with more than 18 W of average power at a pulse repetition rate of 200 kHz. Talisker targets precision micromachining applications and comes with a choice of infrared (1064 nm), visible (532 nm) or ultraviolet (355 nm) wavelengths. It is also configured to facilitate integration through an internal web server that simplifies remote diagnostics and preventative maintenance.

Army awards contract for laser-guided energy

Applied Energetics (Tucson, AZ) was awarded a $4.5 million sole-source contract from the U.S. Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command (ARDEC; Picatinny, NJ) for the development of laser-guided energy (LGE) technology. According to Applied Energetics, LGE is a transformational weapon technology by which a controllable high-voltage electric charge can be precisely guided by a laser through the atmosphere to induce a range of controllable effects against a variety of potential military and security targets. The company has been awarded four patents and has 29 patent applications in process.

Acquisition improves HBLED manufacture

Oxford Instruments (Oxfordshire, England), which supplies plasma technology (etch and deposition tools) to high-brightness light-emitting-diode (HBLED) manufacturers, acquired Technologies and Devices International (TDI), a provider of hydride vapor-phase epitaxy (HVPE) technology and processes. According to the company, HVPE offers lower manufacturing costs and improved output over conventional metal-organic chemical-vapor deposition. TDI will remain at its present U.S. facility in Silver Spring, MD, to ensure continuity of supply to existing customers of HVPE grown III-nitride materials.

Zumtobel acquires Italian LED company

The Zumtobel Group (Dornbirn, Austria) strengthened its position in its LED operations through the acquisition of SpaceCannon (Fubine, Italy). SpaceCannon specializes in LED-based lighting scenarios for outdoor, façade, and event lighting. The company made a name for itself in the industry through such major projects as the Petronas Tower in Malaysia or the Sydney and Turin Olympics where it was responsible for creating lighting scenarios. Zumtobel Group CEO Andreas Ludwig said, “SpaceCannon provides us with access to sales channels and expertise in new market segments, such as event and show lighting.”

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Also in the news . . .

Novaled (Dresden, Germany), a major know-how and service provider for highly efficient long-lifetime organic LEDs (OLEDs), is a winner of the Red Herring 100 Europe 2008, an award given to the top 100 private technology companies each year. . . . OSRAM Opto Semiconductors (Santa Clara, CA) selected Hong Kong for its regional headquarters to be nearer to customers and partners in Asia. . . . The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) franchise in Northern Virginia adopted Cree (Durham, NC) LED lighting products as the preferred lighting for all existing and future restaurants. . . . BeamExpress (Lausanne, Switzerland), a company specializing in long-wavelength vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), secured a first round investment of $1.3 million with I-Source (France) to move from prototype to series production. . . . The Boeing Company delivered the first Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (LJDAM) kits to the U.S. Air Force as part of a $28 million LJDAM contract awarded in May 2007; the laser-guided kits engage and destroy targets moving at up to 70 miles per hour. . . . Bridgelux (Sunnyvale, CA), a supplier of LED technology, completed its latest round of financing totaling approximately $40 million for R&D and market expansion. . . . LightMachinery (Ottawa, ON, Canada) purchased the CO2 Impact and LaserMark product lines from GSI Group (Rugby, England). . . . European scientists and engineers have joined forces in the E.U. project entitled “Photonic sensing of hydrocarbons based on innovative mid-infrared lasers,” supported by $3.63 million in funding from the European Commission as part of the 7th Framework Programme.

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