Trumpf acquires majority stake in Access Laser

Machine tool and laser systems developer Trumpf has acquired an 85 per cent stake in CO2 laser developer Access Laser Co.

Access Laser Company (ALC) and Trumpf GmbH have announced that they have entered into an agreement where Trumpf will acquire an 85% share of ALC. Trumpf is a global technology leader in lasers, with a reputation for delivering world class manufacturing solutions. By acquiring a majority stake in ALC, Trumpf has secured a key player in Extreme UltraViolet (EUV) photolithography. Founder of ALC, Dr. Yong Zhang, will retain a minority stake in the company while remaining as CEO.

“Access Laser is a core partner in our EUV business and a highly innovative laser company,” said Peter Leibinger, Managing Partner and CTO of Trumpf.

“Together, we will be working even closer to further improve EUV performance, as well as serving more applications and customers looking for innovative, low-power CO2 lasers.”

“Joining Trumpf enables us to expand our reach as a truly global organisation, without compromising our core values of scientific curiosity and cultural diversity. This partnership’s made even more attractive due to the synergy between our market focuses; Trumpf’s strength in the industrial market complementing our strength in the scientific,” said Dr Zhang.

Founded in 1999, ALC grew from a handful of laser scientists and optical engineers to over 60 employees in the US and China. Originally focused on lasers for scientific research, ALC built a strong core of expertise in custom lasers. In 2012, ALC drew upon this strength in developing highly specialised lasers to become a key supplier for the EUV market. This innovative product is joined by recent ventures into the autonomous vehicle (AV), medical, and dental markets.

When asked for a proud memory, Dr. Zhang replied, “Our decade long collaboration with LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), and VIRGO, its European counterpart, designing lasers to remove optical distortion from their systems. These measurements confirmed the existence of gravity waves, validating key aspects of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.”

Trumpf and Access Laser Co. have agreed to not disclose the purchase price.

With this acquisition, Trumpf aims to integrate a part of the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology supply chain. Access’ lasers are used to fabricate microchips in EUV lithography, where the light generated by the low-power CO2 lasers serves as a beam source deployed together with Trumpf laser amplifiers in EUV systems.

Access Laser’s product portfolio includes precision lasers with low-output powers between 100mW and 50W, as well as lasers with peak powers as high at 1kW. Trumpf is a provider of machine tools and lasers for industrial production.

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