Nitto Denko of Japan and St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M announced that they have jointly developed a new high-durability, ultrathin LCD polarizing film that is approximately half the thickness of existing products. According to the companies, the new film provides higher brightness with no loss in viewing angle, as well as lower power consumption, than displays with no reflective polarizer. It has applications in cell phones, MP3 players and automotive displays and is expected to be commercially available in April 2006. . . . Cosmetic and medical laser maker Candela Corp. of Wayland, Mass., has received FDA clearance of a new "flexible" intense pulsed light (IPL) system developed with skin researchers and dermatologists to treat cosmetic skin conditions. The company says its Ellipse Flex IPL system has a programmable pulse mode that clinicians can use to control the output pulse, allowing for customized treatment options. . . . Photonic Products Group Inc. (PPGI) of Northvale, N.J., has received a Best Workplace for Commuters National Standard of Excellence Award. The selection was done by the New Jersey Best Workplace for Commuters Coalition, an organization whose members include the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US and New Jersey departments of transportation, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority. Recipients are chosen for their commitment to reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality while improving the quality of life for their commuting employees. PPGI president and CEO Dan Lehrfield says the company uses van pools to facilitate the commute for employees who joined the company through its acquisition of Bethel, Conn.-based Laser Optics Inc. in 2004.