BOTHELL, Wash., March 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lumera Corporation (Nasdaq: LMRA), an emerging leader in the field of nanotechnology, was recently granted another patent protecting the company's growing intellectual property portfolio of polymer electro-optic materials and devices. This most recent patent covers a unique fabrication process used to develop electro-optic devices that, until recently, have been unachievable and offers greater design flexibility as well as the ability to scale for large volumes of production. "This novel process gives us the flexibility to fabricate devices that fit our customers' design needs," said Tom Mino, Lumera CEO. "It is a unique piece of our proprietary platform technology that addresses a large, growing market for electro-optic devices to optical interconnects." Lumera currently has 4 issued and 3 allowed patents and has over 30 patent applications pending that address markets such as fiber optic communications, biotechnology, and wireless communications. The most recently issued patent number is 6,852,563, which joins the related patents 6,822,384, 6,750,603 and 6,716,995. Technical Advantages Previous processes for fabricating electrodes on a surface used wet etching of thick metal layers. However, these processes offer limited dimensional control since the etching occurs in all directions. Other methods such as "lift off" procedures require metal deposition that is difficult to practically achieve or "scale-up" in large volumes. The new method developed by Lumera scientists and engineers avoids the use of wet etching of thick electrodes and challenging metal deposition techniques. Lumera's unique fabrication process uses metal deposition on a polymer micro-ridge to form an electrode on a substrate. The resulting polymer sustained microelectrodes can have a variety of dimensions and sizes of electrode gaps. The polymer micro-ridge can be formed in ways that allow smooth surfaces, dimensional control, and high volume processing. The process is completed when an electro-optic polymer is used to fill the gap between electrodes. The new fabrication technique enables devices with horizontally related electrodes, whereas most electro-optic polymer devices use vertically related electrodes. Utilizing the techniques of this patent, Lumera has developed flexible devices that can conform to curved surfaces, such as an aircraft body. Similarly, such devices could apply to large optically controlled phased-array antennas for use in space that are unrolled after the satellite is in orbit. The total optical components market is currently estimated to reach $1 billion by 2008. About Lumera Lumera is an emerging leader in the field of nanotechnology. The company designs proprietary molecular structures and polymer compounds for a broad range of electro-optic, bioscience, RF and specialty nanotechnology applications. The company also has developed proprietary processes for fabricating such devices. For more information, please visit http://www.lumera.com/. Certain statements contained in this release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the company's forward-looking statements include the following: market acceptance of our technologies and products; our ability to obtain financing; our financial and technical resources relative to those of our competitors; our ability to keep up with rapid technological change; government regulation of our technologies; our ability to enforce our intellectual property rights and protect our proprietary technologies; the ability to obtain additional contract awards and to develop partnership opportunities; the timing of commercial product launches; the ability to achieve key technical milestones in key products; and other risk factors identified from time to time in the company's SEC reports, including in its registrations statement on Form S-1, dated July 22, 2004 and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
SOURCE Lumera Corporation