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  • Dow Corning Sets Sights on Optoelectronics Market
Sep 2005
MIDLAND, Mich., Sept. 16 -- Dow Corning Corp. announced this week that its photonics business development program will become part of its mainstream electronics business to address the needs of customers in the optoelectronics market.

The company said it will increase its sales, marketing and product development activities to support creation of light-management applications for a wide variety markets, including automotive, displays and telecommunications. Its new Light Management Group will focus on helping customers develop and commercialize applications that rely on the emission, transmission, amplification, detection, modulation and switching of light.

The Light Management Group offers photonics products, services and technology solutions to meet optoelectronics customer needs. The initial focus of the group includes commercializing encapsulants and lenses for light-emitting diodes (LED) as well as materials for optical assemblies, fiber optics and light pipe/guidance applications. The group also provides optical waveguide prototyping, R&D contracting and supply-chain management services.

The group expands Dow Corning's electronics business in the areas of thermal management, semiconductor fabrication, semiconductor packaging and board and module protection and assembly. For optoelectronics applications, silicon-based materials have very high optical transmission in the ultraviolet-visible spectrum, making them good candidates for optical applications across multiple market sectors, Dow Corning said. Silicon-based materials also have very good transmittance in the near-infrared spectrum and offer the ability to control and design a wide range of refractive indices. In addition, silicon-based materials typically have no or very low birefringence, due to their mechanical compliance.

"The high optical transmission, good transmittance and design flexibility of silicon-based materials make them a key enabling technology for light-based applications," the company said in a statement.

Dow Corning said its intensified focus on light-based applications comes as device manufacturers require performance improvements such as faster data transmission rates and more efficient light throughput than what conventional electronic devices can deliver. It said it also expects to develop optical interconnect and holographic material technologies, which it has been exploring through collaborations with optical integrated chip maker Gemfire Corp. and Aprilis Inc., a holographic media and data storage system developer.

Tom Cook, global industry executive director, said, "Our photonics R&D innovations have allowed our customers to develop unprecedented light-based applications. We're now building on these successes by supporting customers with the full breadth of our capabilities -- from technology innovation and product formulation to applications development, supply chain management and other business-enhancing services that help our customers reach their business goals."

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A sub-field of photonics that pertains to an electronic device that responds to optical power, emits or modifies optical radiation, or utilizes optical radiation for its internal operation. Any device that functions as an electrical-to-optical or optical-to-electrical transducer. Electro-optic often is used erroneously as a synonym.
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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