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Oerlikon Acquires Assets of UK Laser Maker Exitech

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PFÄFFIKON, Switzerland, Dec. 8, 2006 -- OC Oerlikon Corp. Ltd. announced it has acquired the laser technology, staff and equipment of nano- and microlaser systems maker Exitech Ltd. of Oxford, England, in an asset deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Oerlikon said its Optics, Solar and Wafer Processing business units will benefit from the acquisition. Exitech will be integrated in the Optics business unit, Oerlikon said, which has its headquarters in Balzers, Liechtenstein, and makes optical thin-film products.

Exitech supplies pulsed-laser processing systems used for production and research and development in areas such as photolithography, microdrilling and micromachining in industries such as semiconductor, microelectronics, telecom, aerospace, automotive and biomedicine. Exitech also makes deep-UV and extreme-UV microstepper tools used by the semiconductor industry to make future generations of silicon chips.

Oerlikon has had to buy laser technology, important in the manufacturing of its products, from other companies until now, the company said. In the production of thin-film solar modules, for instance, the coated glass surface is divided into solar cells by laser scribing. The cutting properties of lasers allow the solar cells to form into functioning modules without having to be specially assembled.

"With Exitech's expertise, which we will now integrate in Oerlikon, we will be able to control the full value-adding process in the solar segment," said Oerlikon CEO Thomas Limberger.

Other Oerlikon business units will use Exitech's laser technology in the manufacturing and structuring of color filters and optic sensors or the production of semiconductors, the company said.

"We are happy that we are not only taking Exitech's technology on board, but also their staff. They will play an important part in the growth of Oerlikon's solar business," Limberger said.

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Dec 2006
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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