From 1989 to 1999, RPC developed new precision optical surface-relief technology using government funding largely through the SBIR program and DARPA’s Technology Reinvestment (TRP) Program, and through industrial development contracts in conjunction with a number of large commercial and defense-related companies.
By 1999, the technology that RPC had developed was ready for commercial applications. During the emerging optical telecommunications boom, RPC was acquired by Corning Incorporated in February 1999, renamed Corning Rochester Photonics Corporation (CRPC) and was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corning. CRPC focused primarily on the development of new micro-optics components and systems for optical telecommunication systems. CRPC also worked closely with other Corning divisions to design and develop novel screen technology for rear projection displays employing the new emerging micro-display devices.
Unfortunately, despite the success of its technology and process development, with the bursting of the optical telecom bubble in late 2001, CRPC was closed by Corning Incorporated on December 31, 2002.
In an effort to preserve the unique and world-class technology, capabilities and engineering team created through RPC and CRPC, Dr. Morris successfully negotiated management buy-out agreements with Corning, and was able to spin-off two companies from CRPC: Apollo Optical Systems and RPC Photonics.
The buy-out agreement for Apollo Optical Systems (AOS) was signed on December 31, 2002, and the buy-out agreement for RPC Photonics, Inc. was completed on May 8, 2003.
AOS presently leases approximately 21,000 square feet of space. It consists of in-house optical and mechanical design facilities, single-point diamond turning facilities, polymer injection molding facilities, an extensive optical metrology laboratory, optical system assembly areas, a well-equipped machine shop, and office space.