26 January 2010


IPG Photonics acquires Photonics Innovations

High-power fiber laser and amplifier manufacturer IPG Photonics Corp of Oxford, MA, USA has acquired the outstanding shares of privately held Photonics Innovations Inc (PII) of Birmingham, AL, which makes active and passive laser materials and tunable lasers for scientific, biomedical, technological, and eye-safe range-finding applications.

The acquisition — which is expected to have no material effect on IPG’s financial results for the remainder of the year — allows IPG to expand its product range to the mid-infrared (wavelengths of 2–5 microns ). PII’s core capabilities include optical and laser materials fabrication, solid-state and tunable laser design, and optical and sensing systems development.

PII was established in 2007 by researchers at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to apply proprietary and patented optical materials, lasers, and spectroscopic technologies to the development and commercialization of optical sensing instruments in rapid sensing, identification, and quantification of agents and materials. In addition to active and passive laser materials and tunable lasers, PII develops mid-IR microchip and external-cavity broadly tunable light sources for scientific, sensing, medical and defense-related applications.

“With the acquisition of Photonics Innovations, we plan to enhance IPG’s product portfolio in middle-infrared spectral range — an exciting emerging market,” says IPG's chairman & CEO Dr Valentin Gapontsev. Combining IPG’s fiber laser technology with PII's proprietary transition-metal-doped zinc sulfide (ZnS) and zinc selenide (ZnSe)-based crystal laser materials has opened up opportunities to build new hybrid laser sources in the 2–5 micron wavelength range, he adds. “Both companies have complementary expertise... We look forward to integrating our similar entrepreneurial cultures.”

“The combined company now has significantly more resources and the ability to target many new applications in biomedical, sensing, instrumentations, advanced systems, and material processing,” says PII’s president Dr Sergey Mirov. “IPG is a natural strategic fit for PII, and we believe this will benefit both companies’ customers.”

IPG Photonics and Photonics Innovations are exhibiting at this week’s SPIE Photonics West 2010 event in San Francisco (26–28 January).

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