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LightPath Technologies Partners with Universities to Revolutionize Infrared Glass Recycling

Monday, 06 May 2024 12:00 PM

LightPath Technologies, Inc.

ORLANDO, FL / ACCESSWIRE / May 6, 2024 / LightPath Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LPTH) ("LightPath," the "Company," or "we"), a leading vertically integrated global manufacturer and integrator of proprietary optical and infrared technologies, announced research in partnership with the University of Central Florida ("UCF") and Ursinus College. This research, initially funded by the Company, has now been funded by the US Department of Defense ("DoD") via the American Center for Optics Manufacturing ("Americom").

Ursinus and UCF recently received a $1.2 million grant from Americom to further research a revolutionary process for recycling chalcogenide glasses such as BlackDiamond™ ("BD") glass produced by LightPath. The study builds on an initial proof of concept funded and executed by LightPath, UCF, and Ursinus College in 2022.

The recycling of scrap and leftover material is a key element in the economics of critical minerals and materials. A stable supply chain and process for recycling Germanium, for example, has existed for years and plays a major role in the economics of the material. Developing a similar process for BlackDiamond™ materials, as we are doing with our research, is an important step in establishing a robust and scalable supply chain in the US, with far-reaching implications for the market.

In recent months, the importance of BlackDiamond™ materials as alternatives to the use of Germanium has grown significantly due to the restrictions on exports of Germanium out of China. Germanium is a mineral primarily sourced from Russia and China that has historically been the preferred crystalline glass used in thermal imaging. Last July, the Chinese government began requiring export licenses for Germanium going to the US and Europe, and shipments of Germanium went from 5 tons per month to approximately 700 kilos per month in one year. LightPath management estimates that the wholesale price of Geranium has increased 50-100% in the last six months due to known supply constraints and represents a market worth $600 million annually. LightPath's BD glasses substitute germanium in many infrared imaging devices. In addition to the existing materials, LightPath has begun commercializing new, cutting-edge materials from NRL, which provide significant performance advantages vs Germanium. The lack of a recycling process has inflated the lifetime cost of BD glasses relative to Germanium and provided a hurdle to adoption by many OEMs.

Sam Rubin, President and Chief Executive Officer of LightPath, commented on the announcement, "LightPath is thrilled to have our proposal funded by Americom and researched by UCF and Ursinus. Developing a recycling process will reduce the cost of our proprietary BD glasses and encourage broader adoption by additional OEMs, reducing the reliance on critically constrained germanium."

About LightPath Technologies

LightPath Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LPTH) is a leading global, vertically integrated provider of optics, photonics and infrared solutions for the industrial, commercial, defense, telecommunications, and medical industries. LightPath designs and manufactures proprietary optical and infrared components including molded glass aspheric lenses and assemblies, custom molded glass freeform lenses, infrared lenses and thermal imaging assemblies, fused fiber collimators, and proprietary Black Diamond™ ("BD6") chalcogenide-based glass lenses. LightPath also offers custom optical assemblies, including full engineering design support. The Company is headquartered in Orlando, Florida, with manufacturing and sales offices in Dallas Texas, Latvia and China.

LightPath's wholly-owned subsidiary, Visimid Technologies, was acquired in July 2023, and specializes in the design and development of customized infrared cameras, for the industrial and defense industries. Such customized cameras are often sold together with customized optical assemblies from LightPath.

LightPath's wholly-owned subsidiary, ISP Optics Corporation, manufactures a full range of infrared products from high-performance MWIR and LWIR lenses and lens assemblies. ISP's infrared lens assembly product line includes athermal lens systems used in cooled and un-cooled thermal imaging cameras. Manufacturing is performed in-house to provide precision optical components including spherical, aspherical and diffractive coated infrared lenses.

For more information on LightPath and its businesses, please visit www.lightpath.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes statements that constitute forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as "forecast," "guidance," "plan," "estimate," "will," "would," "project," "maintain," "intend," "expect," "anticipate," "prospect," "strategy," "future," "likely," "may," "should," "believe," "continue," "opportunity," "potential," and other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time the statements are made and/or management's good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, the impact of varying demand for the Company products; the ability of the Company to obtain needed raw materials and components from its suppliers; actions governments, businesses, and individuals take in response to the pandemic, including restrictions on onsite commercial interactions; general economic uncertainty in key global markets and a worsening of global economic conditions or low levels of economic growth; geopolitical tensions, the Russian-Ukraine conflict, and the Hamas/Israel war; the effects of steps that the Company could take to reduce operating costs; the inability of the Company to sustain profitable sales growth, convert inventory to cash, or reduce its costs to maintain competitive prices for its products; circumstances or developments that may make the Company unable to implement or realize the anticipated benefits, or that may increase the costs, of its current and planned business initiatives; and those factors detailed by LightPath Technologies, Inc. in its public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on 10-Q. Should one or more of these risks, uncertainties, or facts materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by the forward-looking statements contained herein. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. Except as required under the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, we do not have any intention or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Sales Contact:

Jason Messerschmidt
VP Global Sales & Marketing
[email protected]
+570 449 5555

Contact:

Brian M. Prenoveau, CFA
MZ Group - MZ North America
[email protected]
+561 489 5315

SOURCE: LightPath Technologies, Inc.

Topic:
Partnerships
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