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Crystal IS to merge with Asahi Kasei

The Japanese global manufacturer of compound semiconductor devices acquires the germicidal LED technology development company

As a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Kasei, the merger will enable Crystal IS to accelerate commercialisation of its UVC LEDs grown on AlN substrates.



Germicidal LED made by Crystal IS

The effective date of the merger was December 28, 2011. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to welcome Crystal IS into the Asahi Kasei family,” commented Masafumi Nakao, General Manager of Asahi Kasei’s Advanced Devices and Sensor Systems Development Centre and responsible for this agreement. “Asahi Kasei Group is committed to bringing to the global marketplace a family of products that contribute to life and living for people around the world. The advances in solid state UVC technology accomplished by Crystal IS will allow for clean and safe disinfection to be introduced into water, air and surface applications in multiple markets”.

Crystal IS will focus on R&D fundamentals and entrepreneurial business development management, while Asahi Kasei will concentrate on the product engineering and manufacturing side.

“This is a major milestone for our company,” commented Steven Berger, CEO and President of Crystal IS. “Our record LED performance in development has brought interest from global customers and we are eager to create a high-quality product to meet their needs. We recognise Asahi Kasei Group’s strength as a successful developer and manufacturer of compound semiconductor devices and are confident that their support will ensure a timely and quality launch of our UVC LED business in the global marketplace.”

Crystal IS has been working in a development mode for over ten years, with a history of early support from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, as well as continued support over the years from both regional and US government.

Venture funding in 2004 and 2006 from ARCH Venture Partners, Lux Capital, the Credit Suisse/New York State Common Retirement Fund and Harris & Harris Group, helped the company scale its development, and recent collaborative and strategic support from Asahi Kasei Group and San’an Optoelectronics propelled the company to its current operation.

“I am pleased that this ground-breaking technology platform is moving forward into the next phase of growth,” said Leo Schowalter, co-founder and CTO at Crystal IS. “I couldn’t be more proud of the scientists here in Green Island, New York for their commitment to success. We are pleased to be part of a growing high-tech area focused on advanced materials, life science, cleantech and energy. We are confident that we will continue our tradition of innovation and excellence, while also accelerating global business growth with our new owner.”

Crystal IS will continue to be based in New York State.
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