BOLINGBROOK, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently visited the infrared (IR) material foundry of EPIR Technologies, Inc. (EPIR) in Bolingbrook, IL. The Governor was a keynote speaker at the International Symposium on Optoelectronic Materials and Devices held in Chicago in July and co-sponsored by EPIR. EPIR is a leader in the manufacture of advanced II-VI semiconductor materials such as mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) and in the research and development of advanced IR devices using these materials. These materials are vital to electro-optical systems such as the IR cameras used for environmental monitoring, missile and chem-bio defense, and space research as well as for the night-vision cameras used by the United States armed forces and civilian first responders. EPIR is the one of only two U.S. independent suppliers of MCT wafers and devices, and is able to design, synthesize and manufacture these advanced products to the specifications of its customers.
Governor Quinn applauded EPIR’s continued commitment to fostering leading-edge technology in Illinois. Guests attending the Governor’s visit included Jennifer Woodard, Associate Vice Chancellor of External Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Chairman of the Board of the Illinois Medical District, Astrida Orle Tantillo, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UIC, and Nancy Sullivan, Director of the Office of Technology Management at UIC.
EPIR was founded in 1997 by Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan, Distinguished Professor of Physics at UIC and the Director of UIC’s Microphysics Laboratory. The continuing UIC-EPIR collaboration provides a high degree of synergy between the two institutions that not only benefits each, but also is of great value to Illinois. The Governor took note of the great value of that collaboration through federally funded joint research projects and the training and hiring of UIC students and graduates.
The leading-edge projects being carried out at EPIR have been fostered by the vision of technology leaders at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), the Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD), and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The innovative developments being made at EPIR and led by these agencies will produce breakthroughs in short-wavelength IR (SWIR) technology that will allow U.S. troops and civilian first responders to possess advanced, very small, easy-to-carry cameras that will provide them with vital information in the field. EPIR’s innovative approach has led not only to exceptionally high-quality products and services, but also to low-cost processes that will make these products much more widely available.
Mike Scholten, Vice President, Sensors DRS RSTA stated that, “EPIR has extensive experience, and is well known in the IR industry and research communities. DRS is collaborating with EPIR, qualifying EPIR as a material supplier for DRS IR-product needs.”
BAE Systems has licensed to EPIR its liquid phase epitaxy (LPE) MCT detector array technology. The agreement enables EPIR to manufacture and supply this world-leading technology that is used in demanding IR system applications, including imaging and remote sensing for tactical, ground, air, and space platforms, such as weather satellites and atmospheric observation instruments.
“These two, other major developments and the formation of an IR foundry at EPIR will be a very significant step towards horizontal integration providing an on shore, trusted material foundry vital to U.S. national security, helping reduce the cost of IR systems to the Department of Defense,” said Dr. Chelva Kumar, President, EPIR.
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Paul Boieriu, 630-771-0203
Source: EPIR Technologies, Inc.