Left to right: Toptica founder Wilhelm Kaenders; Azurlight Systems founder Nicholas Traynor; and Juergen Stuhler, vice president of quantum technologies at Toptica Photonics AG. [Image: Toptica Photonics AG]
On 30 January, Toptica Photonics AG, a Germany-based supplier of high-end laser systems for science and industry, announced that it had reached a “definitive purchase agreement” for the majority of the shares of Azurlight Systems SAS, a France-based manufacturer of continuous-wave fiber lasers and amplifiers. The firms didn’t disclose a purchase price on the deal, which, as a foreign direct investment, is subject to approval by French authorities.
Toptica hopes that the combination of its own tunable diode lasers and Azurlight’s high-power fiber amplifiers will open up new possibilities for providing “complete solutions,” in several growth markets, particularly quantum technology.
Based in Pessac, France, Azurlight got its start in 2010, when it introduced a blue-light-emitting fiber laser—a product that also suggested the company’s name. Today, the firm’s offerings extend across other wavelengths in the infrared and visible, and focus in particular on low-noise, high-performance fiber lasers and amplifiers geared to physics research and manufacturing. Its product line, according to Azurlight, is particularly suited for “quantum technologies, high-power Argon gas laser replacement, laser Doppler velocimetry, high-brightness laser pumping, laser holography, metrology and interferometry.”
Toptica hopes that putting those strengths of Azurlight together with its own in tunable diode lasers will open up the possibility for products at a wide range of power levels and at wavelengths from IR to UV. In a press release accompanying the announcement, Toptica founder and executive-board member Wilhelm Kaenders envisioned “strong common product development” between the France-based Azurlight and Toptica’s operations in Germany and the United States. “This,” he said, “will grow our offering for industry and scientific research, especially in the growing markets of quantum computing and biophotonics and industrial metrology.”
Under the acquisition plan, Azurlight will operate under the name Toptica Photonics SAS and will form “the French hub of the Toptica brand.” Nicholas Traynor, Azurlight’s founder and president, will stay on as president of the new Toptica Photonics SAS, and Juergen Stuhler, currently vice president of quantum technologies at Toptica Photonics AG, will become general manager of TOPTICA Photonics SAS.