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Chromacity, Heriot-Watt Collaborate on Research, Commercialization Initiatives

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Ultrafast laser manufacturer Chromacity and Heriot-Watt University have formalized a five-year partnership, enhancing the collaborators’ existing relationship. The agreement positions Chromacity to commercialize Heriot-Watt-led academic research in laser-related photonics, according to a shared press release.

Joint funding applications, research projects, and technology licensing agreements are among the areas the partnership will help to explore and develop. Heriot-Watt will provide Chromacity access to its laboratory facilities, workshops, and photonics research staff. Per the agreement, Chromacity will also second at least one Ph.D. or Eng.D student per year.

“The technology that Chromacity has developed is all about accuracy and control of light, and this skill supports a wide range of applications within spectroscopy and microscopy techniques,” said Patrik Öhberg, who leads the Heriot-Watt’s Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPAQS).

A Chromacity R&D engineer works with an ultrafast laser system. Courtesy of Chromacity.
A Chromacity R&D engineer works with an ultrafast laser system. Courtesy of Chromacity.
“This agreement aims to facilitate the transformation of Heriot-Watt’s fundamental research into commercial opportunities by leveraging Chromacity’s expertise in developing ultrafast lasers for academic and industrial markets.”

Shahida Imani, Chromacity CEO, told Photonics Media that the relationship between the company and university will specifically address commercial opportunities in the detection of unplanned hydrocarbon emissions, using optical parametric oscillator (OPO) and Fourier Transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy technology. To date, the release said, the partnership has produced innovative laser solutions to global challenges by focusing on the development of next generation OPOs, critical for applications such as detection of gases.

“Our collaboration with Heriot-Watt also pushes the boundaries of life science imaging,” Imani said. “Together, we are developing an affordable laser capable of obtaining tissue data at a depth more than double what is presently available on the market, and at around a third of the cost. This emerging class of laser, which is required for three-photon microscopy, means individual cells can be analyzed in high-resolution, without damaging surrounding tissue, and in a noninvasive manner.”

The agreement supports engineering talent in quantum optics, semiconductor physics, materials science, and nonlinear photonics research, Imani said. “In turn, Heriot-Watt can benefit from an established route to commercialize their photonics-related research,” she said.

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2021
optical parametric oscillator
Optical Parametric Oscillator (OPO): A laser-pumped crystal with nonlinear optical properties inside of an optical resonator in which the output generates coherent light whose output can be tuned continuously over a variety of infrared and visible wavelengths. The OPO generates a short wavelength component called the signal and a longer wavelength component called the idler. Conservation of energy dictates that the sum of the photon energy of the signal and that of the idler equals the original...
BusinessResearch & Technologyresearch & developmenteducationEuropepartnershipslasersHeriot-Watt UniversityOPOoptical parametric oscillatorFTIR spectroscopyBiophotonicsimagingImaging & Sensinggas sensingGas Sensing Solutionslight speed

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