22 Jul 2005
Including news from Picarro, Carl Zeiss SMT, Micronic, QPC, Wahl optoparts and more.
General company news:
• Cymer and Carl Zeiss SMT have formed a joint venture called Team Cymer Zeiss (TCZ) to develop production equipment for making flat panel displays. The firms say that by combining their expertise in ultraviolet lasers and optics respectively they have made a thin-beam crystallization tool for processing low temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) -- a critical ingredient of thin-film transistors (TFTs). TCZ has its headquarters in San Diego, US with Cymer owning 60% of the venture and Zeiss owning the remaining 40%.
• Oxsensis, a spin-off from the UK's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, has secured £890,000 in funding to develop optical sensors for use in harsh environments. The optical pressure and temperature sensors, which suit combustion systems, feature micromachined sapphire components.
• Northrop Grumman's Space Technology division has successfully tested software for aligning 18 mirror segments that will form part of the James Webb Space Telescope, a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The tests were performed on actively controlled, hexagonal mirrors based at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, US.
• Wahl optoparts, a subsidiary of Jenoptik, and Weidmann Plastics Technology have signed an agreement to jointly develop modular microfluidic containing micro-optics. Potential applications include bio-photonics, where the systems combine reagent transport with optical analysis.
• Plastic Logic, the Cambridge-based pioneer of plastic electronics for flexible displays, is building a new 30,000 sq ft technology centre at NetPark in Sedgefield, UK. The new centre is expected to be open by the first half of 2007 and will feature a pilot production line.
• Toray Saehan, a Japanese-Korean venture, is setting up a new facility in Korea to increase its production capacity for optical polyester films for use in flat panel LCD and plasma displays. Parent Toray Industries is investing about $44.3 million in the new line, which will have an annual capacity of 13,200 tons and be operational by July 2007. On Target Mediareports that Toray is also building another plant for photosensitive pastes for plasma display panels with a capacity of 100 tons per month and also expanding capacity for color filters for small and medium-sized LCDs.
• EXALOS, a manufacturer of superluminescent LEDs with its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, has opened a sales office in California, US.
• Quintessence Photonics Corporation (QPC), the Californian provider of high-power semiconductor lasers, has won a multi-year contract with an unnamed medical laser manufacturer.
• Micronic Laser Systems of Sweden, a supplier to the semiconductor and flat panel display industries, has received an order for its LRS series pattern generation tool from an undisclosed customer in Asia. The product will enable next generation TFT-LCD photomask production.
• DALSA has received contracts valued at CDN $1.7 million to provide electronic cameras and related components to a leading supplier to the flat panel display industry. The orders are expected to be delivered to the unnamed customer throughout 2005.
Licensing and patents:
• Picarro, the US developer of cavity ring-down spectroscopy technology, has signed a licensing agreement with Stanford University, US. The deal gives Picarro exclusive access to Stanford's eight issued and five pending patents on the topic for the next five years.
• VNUS Medical Technologies is seeking an injunction prohibiting Diomed from marketing endovenous laser ablation products. VNUS feels that Diomed has infringed several of its patents and is claiming monetary damages.