Recently, GZ Photonics completed its Series A+ financing round of tens of millions of dollars. This round is led by Sinovation Ventures and followed by Chengwei Capital. Professor MA Xiuquan, Founder and Chief Scientist of GZ Photonics said that the newly added capital will be used for product R&D, technology iteration, and marketing.
Mr. Richard YANG, the partner of Sinovation Ventures, said that “the laser is an efficient transmission form of energy and information, and is the underlying technology for countless industrial and civilian industries. The R&D chain of laser devices is complicated, involving physics, materials, and optoelectronics. Few companies can break through the different technical routes and applications. GZ Photonics team has the world’s leading academic background and industrial experience. GZ Photonics has complete knowledge and ability from theory to product application and has in-depth thinking and a strong sense of responsibility for the development of the industry. We are convinced that under the leadership of Professor Ma, the company will continue to make breakthroughs and progress, and realize the platformization and localization of cutting-edge laser technology. We are very much looking forward to its performance in the next ten years!”
Founded in 2017, GZ Photonics is a tech company focusing on high-end lasers and intelligent manufacturing and mainly engaging in the R&D, production, and sales of high-end lasers and their core devices, covering the main high-power laser bands ranging from short to deep UV wavelengths and long to the mid-infrared wavelengths. It provides high-reliability products and technical application solutions for advanced manufacturing enterprises, consumer-goods enterprises, medical and health institutions, etc.
Professor Ma obtained his Ph.D. from the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is an expert in the National Overseas High-level Talents Introduction Program, a member of the Expert Group for the 14th Five-Year Plan under the Ministry of Science and Technology, a professor/doctoral supervisor at the School of Mechanical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and the professor of the School of Optoelectronics and Hubei Optics Valley Laboratory, and has many years of work experience at JDSU (Lumentum) in the USA, with rich experience in laser technology and basic physics research capabilities.
The full range of industrial-grade high-end lasers developed by GZ Photonics can be used in almost every harsh working environment, that is, it has a high tolerance for dust, oscillation, shock, humidity, and extreme temperature, so it enjoys a large market in the manufacturing, healthcare, and consumer goods industries. At the same time, the power and price acceptance of high-end lasers in the market is also rapidly increasing. Professor Ma once expressed his opinion at an international conference in 2019 that the development of industrial-grade lasers accords with the “Moore’s Law of Laser”, that is, their power output capacity will be doubled every 18 months and their price will be reduced by half, which will further promote the industrial application of industrial-grade high-end lasers.
Professor Ma said: “The high-power industrial-grade lasers based on all-fiber laser technology and end-pumped solid-state laser technology were born relatively late, and the market-oriented application of related cutting-edge equipment was first led by the corporates of Germany, the US, and other countries that imposed strict restrictions on China, so for a long time, the domestic cutting-edge laser light source technology has been controlled by others. This is why GZ Photonics focuses its business on high-power cutting-edge lasers.”
At present, GZ Photonics has launched several series of high-end industrial-grade lasers to the market, covering Yb-doped/Nd-doped fiber and solid-state lasers in the 1-micron waveband, Er-doped/Tm-doped lasers in the longer waveband, green light/ultraviolet lasers in the shorter waveband, ultrafast lasers in multiple bands and other high-power laser light sources. 3,000 units of relevant products have been sold to more than 150 customers.
In the R&D of high-power lasers, GZ Photonics takes full use of its advantages in basic physics research to support the innovative research and development through the digital twin analysis of the physical world of light-force-heat acoustic and other physical information in the space-time domains.
Professor Ma said that GZ Photonics has the underlying physics technology and has mastered the product know-how. Through its deep understanding of the laser dynamics process and quantitative mathematical analysis and engineering calculations, it can carry out product development iterations faster and effectively reduce the impact of physical factors such as photon darkening, and mode instability on the performance of high-power fiber lasers. By so doing, it can achieve product performance stability and optimization of indicators and can more quickly discover new structures and new parameter spaces of laser light sources.
In addition to the innovative R&D capabilities, GZ Photonics has also realized independent design, R&D, and production of various types of optical-mechanical-electrical core devices such as beam combiners, seed sources, amplifiers, variable-frequency drives, gratings, beam outputs, and current sources in the manufacturing of high-power industrial lasers and has mastered the related core manufacturing equipment and manufacturing processes.
In terms of application, the current application fields of GZ Photonics are mainly in the industrial market. Taking the newly launched “Super Mode Beam” laser cutting technology as an example, the oxygen lancing thickness of ultra-thick plates can be effectively increased by 100%, which is an original technological breakthrough with international influence made by China.
At the same time, the business scope of GZ Photonics is also expanding rapidly to medical, civil, and other fields. Professor Ma said that with the development of related technologies, laser technology, and its application scenarios will gradually penetrate all aspects of our daily life and become basic. For example, laser technology can be used for minimally invasive medical procedures such as interventional intravascular plaque ablation and interventional laser lithotripsy, and related treatment methods have been adopted by the medical community. GZ Photonics is also actively exploring the field of health and medical care, 3C, and even commercial field, and strives to develop highly innovative and cost-effective lasers.
At present, the production base of GZ Photonics is located in Dongguan Songshan Lake Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone, Guangdong Province, and has 200 staff which there is a high-level R&D team of more than 50 people whose core executives are all industry elites in the field of laser and advanced manufacturing.