17 Jun 2002
A new medium for electromagnetic waveguiding that offers a route to all-optical systems has spawned a start-up in Denmark.
A group of researchers at the Technical University of Denmark together with Danish venture capitalists Wise Venture and CAT Seed (Center for Advanced Technology Seed) have established a new Danish company called Micro Managed Photons (MMP).
MMP plans to commercialize a new technology that, it claims, will facilitate the production of "extremely small integrated optical components at an extremely competitive price". The technology, described in optics.org in April (see "Photonic crystals meet their match"), offers an alternative medium to photonic crystals and has now been patented by the company.
Photonic crystals bring the promise of photonic circuits that could facilitate all-optical systems; however, they are difficult and expensive to make. Sergey Bozhevolnyi from Ålborg University, Denmark, and John Erland and colleagues from the Technical University of Denmark, showed that a gold surface can be made to propagate electromagnetic signals in a fashion that is similar to the way that photonic crystals use the photonic-bandgap principle to propagate light at specific wavelengths.
MMP says that its technology can reduce the size of optical components by a factor of 100 or more and can revolutionize the efficiency, production and development of optical systems. Bonni Kryger, managing director of Wise Venture said: "Based on the results from a highly-qualified research team we are convinced that the MMP technology constitutes a quantum leap within optical communications that can be compared with the invention of the microprocessor and that MMP has the leading edge on competitive companies and technologies".
A capital injection of DKK 32 million (nearly USD 4 million) will enable MMP to finance the development of its technology over the next three years. Bozhevolnyi will lead the project.