TeraDiode, Laser Spinout from MIT Lincoln Lab, Beams Up New CEO

Some big changes are afoot at an interesting Boston-area laser startup. TeraDiode, a Littleton, MA-based maker of laser systems for cutting, welding, and defense applications, said today it has named Parviz Tayebati the company’s new CEO and board member.

Tayebati, the former chief executive of telecom laser company Azna and photonics firm CoreTek, succeeds TeraDiode’s founding CEO and investor, David Sossen. Sossen is no longer listed on the company’s website as a member of the leadership team, and the firm isn’t taking interview requests today, according to a spokesperson.

Earlier this summer, Sossen told me about TeraDiode’s history and some of its technology’s far-out applications, such as laser weapons that could be deployed on a tank or ship to disable UAVs or blow up incoming rockets. That’s still years away, though. TeraDiode’s present applications include industrial welding, military target illumination, and heat-seeking-missile deterrents.

The company’s technology, based on a technique called wavelength beam combining, was developed at MIT Lincoln Lab to make direct-diode lasers brighter, more powerful, and more focused. In 2009, TeraDiode raised $4 million in Series A financing led by Stata Venture Partners. Last month, the startup said it had secured $3.2 million in new defense-related contracts.

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