SUNNVALE, Calif., June 21 -- Picarro Inc., a provider of photonic technology for life sciences, environmental monitoring and industrial process control markets, said it has reached an agreement with Stanford University to extend an exclusive licensing agreement covering several Stanford patents on a sensing technology used in Picarro's trace chemical detection products.
The Stanford patents cover the basic technology behind a method for detecting and quantifying trace amounts of chemicals. The technique, known as cavity ringdown spectroscopy (CRDS), was pioneered at Stanford and developed commercially by Picarro for a variety of applications. CRDS involves the use of precision lasers to measure miniscule amounts of specific chemicals in gas or liquid form. The technique is being used to identify trace chemicals in industrial processes and to study critical changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases.
Picarro has incorporated CRDS technology into a product line of trace gas detectors known as the ESP-1000 series. These sensors are being field tested for monitoring and controlling contaminants in semiconductor manufacturing cleanrooms and petrochemical production plants. They are also being used to develop cleaner diesel engines and their exhaust systems. Research using CRDS is underway to determine if subtle changes in breath chemistry can be used for early diagnosis of certain diseases.
The licensing agreement is an extension of one originally established when Picarro was founded. The new agreement extends exclusivity on the Stanford patents for a minimum of five more years and as many as eight. It covers eight issued patents and five pending ones.
Picarro is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., with development and production facilities in Ottawa, Ontario. Its engineering and production staff is comprised of veterans of companies such as JDS Uniphase, Nortel and Cisco. The company has worked closely with Stanford scientists -- many of whom now work at Picarro -- to bring CRDS technology from the laboratory into production by using technologies and manufacturing processes developed in the fiber optic telecommunications industry.
The first commercial CRDS sensors using the Stanford technology began undergoing customer evaluation late last year.
For more information, visit: www.picarro.com