MEMS Optical, Inc., was founded in 1997 in Huntsville.
Many technologies, processes, computer codes, and intellectual properties were originated at Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE). In 1984 TBE started an R&D program concerned with optical computing. Spatial light modulators, diffractive optics and micro-optics were recognized as necessary component technology required in fabricating optical computers. As a result a diffractive optics research program was initiated.
In 1996 SY Technology, Inc. recognized the commercial potential of the micro-machine technologies that it developed and decided to spin out a commercial venture, MEMS Optical, LLC, to pursue commercial markets.
Also in 1996 Allegheny Steel Corporation acquired TBE and TBE’s interest waned in the optical computing R&D effort. SY Technology was leasing TBE cleanroom foundry facilities and reached an agreement with TBE to obtain the fabrication cleanroom foundry and intellectual property, in exchange for partial interest in MEMS Optical, LLC.
MEMS Optical, LLC, began operation in 1997, inheriting an existing market in diffractive and refractive micro-optics obtained from TBE and immediately began to service this market using the TBE clean room foundry and intellectual property received from SY Technology, Inc. Between 1998 and 1999, MEMS Optical, LLC, added a second clean room facility and an additional $3 million in capital equipment.
In 2001 MEMS Optical, LLC added a third cleanroom facility, primarily designed for micro-machine fabrication, in particular, wafer bonding and deep silicon etch technologies.
In March 2001, MEMS Optical, LLC, received a first round of venture funding and was incorporated as MEMS Optical, Inc., registered as a Delaware corporation.
In 2006 MEMS Optical was wholly acquired by JENOPTIK Laser, Optik, Systeme GmbH.
In conjunction with JENOPTIK, MEMS Optical is now in a position to develop and manufacture even more complex microoptical components and systems that combines refractive and diffractive microoptics.
In 2010, MEMS Optical, Inc. merged with JENOPTIK Optical Systems, Inc. forming a US based manufacturing operations. JENOPTIK Optical Systems, Inc. has a unique breadth of manufacturing and design capabilities including optical lens assemblies, optical components, refractive and diffractive microoptics manufactured with wafer scale techniques, and molded polymer optics.