Donation to UB Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics to Fund New Design Concept

Release Date: November 28, 2000 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Television and computer screens that would be lighter, brighter and thinner -- that's the goal behind a $100,000 donation to the University at Buffalo's Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics from AKT, Inc., the world's leading supplier of CVD systems, processes and services to the flat-panel-display manufacturing industry.

The company has earmarked the money for research in the area of electroluminescence displays using nanophosphors, for a new design concept that would provide higher resolution and a more efficient display mechanism.

Kam Law, president of AKT and corporate vice president of applied materials, believes UB's cutting-edge research is critical for the multi-billion-dollar industry as it searches for more cost-effective ways of producing the flat-panel displays that are used in notebook computers, cameras, car navigation panels, desktop monitors and TVs.

"With the expansive resources and innovations of UB and AKT's direct involvement in the value chain of the display market, fruitful results can be anticipated from this partnership," said Law.

Paras Prasad, Ph.D., SUNY Distinguished Professor in the departments of Chemistry and Physics in UB's College of Arts and Sciences and executive director of the Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics, praised both AKT and Law for their foresight in funding innovative research.

Prasad noted: "This gift is symbolic for two reasons. It provides support for an entirely new direction of research for this industry, an investment that could pay off handsomely in this multi-billion-dollar industry. It also may serve to catalyze other industrial collaborations of philanthropic support for the institute.

A motivating force behind the donation to UB, Law earned his doctorate in physical chemistry from UB in 1981 with a thesis that dealt wit excitation dynamics in non-linear optical and multi-molecular organic crystals. He holds more than 30 patents in the field of the semiconductor process technology and is the author of more than 30 technical publications.

Before joining Applied Materials in 1984, he was a research fellow at the Condensed Matter Laboratory, Colorado State University at Fort Collins. At Applied Materials, Law served as a process engineering director and manager, general manager of the Global Product Organization at AKT, and senior vice president of AKT responsible for all business and product operations before becoming president in late 1999.

Established in 1999, the UB Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics is a multidisciplinary institute that conducts research and development of new products that harness the power of light. Applications range from telecommunications to cancer therapy.

Prasad feels basic research alone is not enough and is actively developing collaborations with various businesses and industries. Together, the joint efforts are taking the product and technology from fundamental research through prototype fabrication and into the marketplace.

In addition to the research on high-resolution flat display panels, the institute is moving several other technologies to market. One is a plastic infiltration technology that allows for colored dyes and coatings to be infused into many kinds of plastic products after they have been manufactured, a potentially enormous cost-savings to manufacturers who currently must dye the plastic during the manufacturing process.

Another technology has to do with a new generation of highly secure identification cards with high-density information storage. A tamper-proof card, it could have applications ranging from government and military uses to medical ID cards for patients.

Other promising technologies include the optical storage of data on high-capacity CDs in layers less than one-tenth of the thickness of a human hair, optical amplifiers for telecommunications and tracking of selectively targeted chemotherapeutic agents through new fluorescent dyes that when attached to biological carriers, such as drugs, can provide high-resolution, real-time imaging of living cells and tissues.

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