Thorlabs announces acquisition of Cirtemo

  • May 02, 2019
  • Thorlabs
  • News
Thorlabs announces acquisition of Cirtemo
Thorlabs announces acquisition of Cirtemo

May 2, 2019 – Thorlabs announced that it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Columbia-based Cirtemo, LLC. The acquisition includes two technologies: Multivariate Optical Elements for spectroscopic chemical analysis and Nanopatterning Tools known as MagAssemble, which were originally developed by MagAssemble, LLC and are used to “3D print” photolithography masks using nanoparticles. MagAssemble, LLC was recently consolidated with Cirtemo, LLC.

Cirtemo’s multivariate optical elements (MOEs), are wide-band optical spectral filters capable of detecting chemical signatures using a simplified optical instrument. MOEs provide sensitivity and specificity for real- time chemical detection of powders, liquids, slurries, and gases with transmission signatures in the 250 nm to 14 µm range.

The MOE-enabled filter photometer configuration, achieved by combining multiple MOEs with a single system, is particularly useful for in-line process monitoring on the factory floor, point-of-care clinical use, and incorporation into field-based instruments. Using multiple MOEs, a focal plane array can be leveraged to create a real- time hyperspectral imager that can be employed to detect hazardous chemicals, explosive materials, and biological samples.

Cirtemo’s MagAssemble technology provides an alternative to the traditional microlithography techniques used to produce 2D patterned structures. Cirtemo’s patented Pattern Transfer Nanomanufacturing (PTNM) platform can be employed to create customized photolithographic masks with features as small as a few nanometers. The masks are “printed” by fusing ferrous nanoparticles (measuring ~30 nm in diameter) that are organized into various unique nanometer to micron scale patterns. These patterns vary from simple lines to complex mixtures of lines, dots, circles, and polygons that can be etched into a range of flat or curved substrates.

Among other things, the PTNM process is designed for producing custom diffractive optical elements for use in the UV to IR spectral range. It can be applied to numerous substrate materials, including polymers, silicon wafers, fused silica, sapphire, and optical fibers.

The Cirtemo team will remain in South Carolina, form a division called Thorlabs Spectral Works (TSW), and operate as an R&D facility reporting to Thorlabs’ Optics Business Unit in Newton, NJ.  

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