Optics Industry Report

March 1, 2005
Corning (Corning, NY) expects the liquid-crystal-display (LCD) glass market to grow between 40% and 60% this year and continue to grow at a compound annual rate of 40% through 2007, according to Peter Volanakis, president of Corning Technologies.

Corning anticipates strong growth in LCD glass business

Corning (Corning, NY) expects the liquid-crystal-display (LCD) glass market to grow between 40% and 60% this year and continue to grow at a compound annual rate of 40% through 2007, according to Peter Volanakis, president of Corning Technologies. Speaking at the company’s annual investors’ meeting in early February, Volanakis noted that while the majority of the recent growth in LCD glass has been in the areas of desktop monitors and notebook computers, LCD television is expected to be a key driver of a “third wave” of glass demand, hitting with more impact this year.

“With Corning’s proprietary fusion-draw process bringing larger-sized panels to market, we are confident that Corning will continue to play an important role in helping LCD-TV panel manufacturers enjoy greater economies of scale, thereby helping to reduce retail prices for consumers,” Volanakis said.

ARO expands staff to support catalog optics business

Alpine Research Optics (ARO, Boulder, CO) has expanded and reorganized its staff to support the introduction of a new series of off-the-shelf, high-performance laser optics. Chris Rosauer has joined Alpine Research Optics as manager of operations, while Wane Stoner has taken the position of inside sales manager. Rosauer will direct all manufacturing activities for the company’s high performance laser optics, and will oversee the engineering, quality, materials and production departments. Stoner will be responsible for management of the off-the-shelf optics product line, and will direct efforts in sales administration and customer service. According to ARO president David Collier, the company is in the process of transitioning from purely a custom optics manufacturer to also providing a full line of off-the-shelf components.

British firm to supply optics for DIAL project

Optical Surfaces (Surrey, England) has been selected to supply key optics for an advanced differential absorption lidar (DIAL) instrument that is being developed for the U.K. National Physical Laboratory. The DIAL instrument will be set up to provide an aircraft measurement platform for use by all the U.K. atmospheric research community. The new downward facing DIAL instrument is intended to allow measurement of vertical profiles of ozone, water vapor, and particulates above and below the aircraft. Based upon a Dall-Kirkham Cassegrain telescope design, Optical Surfaces has been contracted to produce the principal light-collecting optics for the return beam of the lidar system. The compact f/2 optics will be of 410-mm diameter and have cone-shaped backs to reduce weight.

Report forecasts healthy market for thin films

According to a new report from Business Communications Company (Norwalk, CT), RGB-300 Thin Films: Raw Materials, Technologies and Applications, the worldwide market for thin-film raw materials is estimated at $7.1 billion in 2004 and is projected to reach $13.5 billion by 2009, rising at a healthy average annual growth rate of 13.7%.

According to BCC, thin-film technologies continue to evolve and their use is broadening. In fact, with the growing need for component and assembly miniaturization, well-established thick-film processes are rapidly approaching their technological limits. As a result, more and more manufacturers of electronic, mechanical, chemical, optical, and energy-supply devices are now considering replacing conventional thick-film processes with thin-film technologies to manufacture smaller components and parts. In addition, thin-film technology allows the creation of new families of products, modifying and enhancing the properties of bulk material by the deposition of a top thin layer having different composition and morphology.
Kathy Kincade

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at [email protected].

Also in the news . . .

Avecia (Manchester, England) sold its OLED materials and polymer electronics businesses to Merck (Darmstadt, Germany) for €50 million (US$64 million) in cash. The acquisition includes Avecia's displays business, Covion Organic Semiconductors (Frankfurt, Germany) and Avecia’s polymer electronics research and development activities based in Manchester. Merck purchased the OLED R&D activities of Schott (Mainz, Germany) last December. Adaptive Optics Associates (Blackwood, NJ) was awarded a multimillion-dollar contract from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA) for the production of 42 input sensor packages (ISPs) to be used on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) project. The ISPs comprise several optomechanical subassemblies designed to provide an alignment reference laser and diagnostics for the main laser power, energy, and beam quality for the 192 NIF beam lines.

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