Co-inventor Chris Hessenius in the lab. (Photo: Paul Tumarkin/Tech Launch Arizona)
Co-inventor Chris Hessenius in the lab. (Photo: Paul Tumarkin/Tech Launch Arizona)

UA Laser Technology Startups Receive Funding

Three companies formed to commercialize inventions developed in the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences have received funding from UAVenture Capital.
Oct. 1, 2019

Faculty researchers in the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona have developed a number of high-power laser technologies that are making the leap from the research lab to the marketplace.

Inventors and laser application experts Professor Mahmoud Fallahi and Assistant Research Professor Chris Hessenius invented the technologies, which include: a deep-ultraviolet, short-wavelength technology; a low-cost multicolor, multiwavelength laser; and a near-to-far laser to “see inside” substances.

The inventions being developed for the marketplace have been licensed respectively to three startups: DeUVe Photonics Inc., CThru Lasers Inc. and Wavelength Unlimited Technologies Inc.

  • DeUVe Photonics Inc., whose deep-ultraviolet, short-wavelength technology will address an unmet need in the 230-400nm wavelength range, will enable the company to become a major player in the deep-UV laser field. Significant commercial opportunities for this technology exist in various technology sectors including defense, mining and semiconductors.
  • CThru Lasers Inc. is developing multiple laser technologies including multicolor, multiwavelength lasers, visible lasers and near-infrared lasers – all of which offer greater capabilities, increased efficiencies and lower costs than currently available technologies. The inventions will target multiple tunable-laser market opportunities such as extremely large light displays in sports venues, underwater and space communications, and medical 3D imaging.
  • Wavelength Unlimited Technologies Inc. is bringing to market a technology that utilizes a near-to-far laser to see the interiors of substances. The invention has commercial applications in the medical industry to detect the purity of drugs and in the security industry as an alternative to today’s infrared vision technologies.

All three companies have received funding from UAVenture Capital, or UAVC, a Tucson-based venture capital fund dedicated to the commercialization of University of Arizona discoveries, products, technologies and services. These latest three represent UAVC’s 10th, 11th and 12th investments.

“We are pleased that UAVenture Capital continues to engage with our faculty to help create an ecosystem of research, innovation, invention and commercialization,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “The Wyant College of Optical Sciences leads the world in the creation of new technology at the frontiers of optics and photonics. With the help of UAVC we will bring these technologies to the world.”

Doug Hockstad, assistant vice president of Tech Launch Arizona, the commercialization arm of the university, said, “TLA has been working with Chris and Mahmoud for several years on their technologies. The launch of these new ventures is the culmination of that work, and a testament to the world-class, impact-focused research being conducted at the University of Arizona.”