Wasatch Photonics, founded in 2002, perfected the manufacturing art and optical design of their materials and delivered gratings with diffraction efficiencies and optical resolutions that are nothing short of remarkable. Jerry Heidt, CEO of Wasatch Photonics had an idea of a better way to make a diffraction grating, which is a piece of glass etched with a set of many tiny grooves that splits white light into a rainbow. Instead of etching the glass, he would record a holographic image of the grating in a slab of gelatin with a laser. In the photonics industry, performance is everything, so Jerry assembled the best minds in the business and they set out to make the “Ultimate Diffraction Grating”.
More photons are always better and Mike Sullivan needed more! Mike started a new company, Kiara Biosystems, based on his idea for how to make a spectrometer that was more efficient — that captured more photons. Mike liked the exciting new applications of Raman spectroscopy and optical tomography that were beginning to be used in medicine. But these techniques rely on capturing optical signals that are very weak, often only a few photons. Mike set out to make the world’s most sensitive spectrometer, to capture all these photons.
Mike gained a reputation for designing efficient spectrometer systems but he was still losing too many photons with his old fashioned ruled diffraction grating. Mike had many years of experience designing optical systems, but he had no idea how to make a better grating.
Then Mike met Jerry.
The synergy was exciting! Jerry designed and built a volume phase diffraction grating ideally suited for Mike’s revolutionary design. Their result – the Ultimate Spectrometer. Jerry liked the spectrometer so much he bought the company (well actually they merged). Now, together, Mike and Jerry are making the world’s most sensitive spectrometers and systems with the Ultimate goal of “Getting ALL the Photons”.
Mr. Sullivan, General Manager of Wasatch Photonics Systems Division was previously Co-Founder and CEO of Centice Corporation. Prior to that, he was Manager of Duke's Fitzpatrick Center and a Research Associate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In addition, his experience includes Principal roles in product strategy and development for early stage companies such as OptXCon, Retinapharma Technologies, Animas Corporation, Cytometrics and Karl Storz Imaging. Mr. Sullivan has received numerous industry and academic awards including the Hughes Fellowship, R&D 100, and Photonics Circle of Excellence Awards. He received his B.S. in Physics from UCLA and an M.S. in Acoustics from Pennsylvania State University.