Albany NanoTech and Critical Imaging announce partnership

March 1, 2005
MARCH 1--Albany NanoTech (Albany, NY) and Critical Imaging LLC (Utica, NY) have announced the establishment of a new program at Albany NanoTech's UAlbany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

MARCH 1--Albany NanoTech (Albany, NY), a global center for nanotechnology research and development, and Critical Imaging LLC, a Utica, NY-based developer and producer of high-performance thermal-imaging products, have announced the establishment of a new program at Albany NanoTech's UAlbany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering that will incorporate state-of-the-art MEMS research into sensors designed for Critical Imaging's next generation of infrared (IR) cameras. The new sensors will facilitate the production of precision IR imaging products at costs that will increase their potential market and usage.

"One of our key goals at Albany NanoTech is to serve as a center of innovation that enables small high-tech businesses in New York to take their research and product development--and therefore their companies--to the next level," said Alain Kaloyeros, president of Albany NanoTech and chief administrative officer at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany-SUNY. "Critical Imaging is well positioned in this hot market. Access to the expertise and facilities of Albany NanoTech and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering could serve as the critical boost they need to bring innovative new products to high growth commercial segments of the industry."

The collaboration resulted this September in the first ever production of microbolometer on 200-mm wafers, which dramatically increases the number of sensors that can be placed on a single wafer. The result was a dramatic drop in unit cost per sensor chip. With the prototype established, Critical imaging will move its demo manufacturing center to Albany in early 2005. Two additional new jobs become available immediately.

"Unlike many others on the market, Critical Imaging's IR cameras use amorphous silicon technology, which puts them in a great position to leverage the technology and processing capability already developed for the semiconductor industry," said professor Bai Xu. "Critical Imaging's sensor arrays are just one example of the great promise MEMS technology holds."

Due to its successful partnership with Xu and Albany NanoTech, Critical Imaging will be introducing IR imaging products incorporating their own sensor arrays by early 2005. This rollout date positions Critical Imaging to capitalize on a market whose commercial sector is expected to generate billions of dollars in product demand by 2008. In response to product demand, Critical Imaging plans to increase companywide headcount three-fold over the next year.

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