Scottish Startup Shrinks
Scottish components startup Terahertz Photonics Ltd. is trying to sell off its optical coatings business in an effort to keep afloat.
The company is still hoping to close a second round of funding within the next six weeks, but now reckons that it’s unrealistic to expect the £10 million (US$14.5M) it originally aimed for.
As a result, it’s laid off 13 workers, reducing its staff to 23, and it’s halted work in two of its three divisions. It’s focusing all its efforts on manufacturing planar lightwave circuits (PLCs), and it's halted work on coatings and devices (which include semiconductor optical amplifiers, interleavers, and tunable filters).
A spokesperson for Terahertz says that the coatings division is up for sale and may become the subject of a management buyout. Alternatively, it might be sold to a third party.
Terahertz is preserving its PLC business because it shows the most promise, according to the spokesperson. The company has developed some polymer-on-silicon and sol-gel silica-on-silicon technologies that promise significant advantages over conventional chemical vapor and flame hydrolysis deposition methods of making PLCs, according to the company. In particular, they reduce production costs and result in waveguides whose properties don’t vary with temperature. As a result, they eliminate the need for cooling systems.
Other companies using polymers to make athermal PLCs include Lumenon Innovative Lightwave Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: LUMM) and possibly Sparkolor Corp. (see Sparkolor Secrets Surface).
— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading