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Clean-energy research and nanotechnologies in the spotlight at SPIE Optics and Photonics

22 June 2010

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- Optics and photonics research and initiatives with the potential for profound improvements in everyday life and a greener future will be advanced at SPIE Optics and Photonics. The event will be held 1-5 August at the San Diego (California) Marriott Marina Hotel and Convention Center.

The event’s four symposia, on NanoScience and NanoEngineering, Solar Energy, Photonic Devices, and Optical Engineering, are expected to draw nearly 4,500 attendees to hear approximately 2,775 technical presentations, attend professional development courses, tour a three-day exhibition, and network at receptions, luncheons, and technical-interest events.

Long a core optical engineering meeting, Optics and Photonics is also the largest R&D conference on nanotechnology, with around 800 papers on the topic this year. The program has 18 conferences on topics such as metamaterials, plasmonics, spintronics, optical trapping, nanostructured thin films, and nanophotonics and macrophotonics for space environments.More than 22 plenary sessions will be held at Optics + Photonics

Optics and Photonics includes 12 conferences on green photonics, including Solid State Lighting, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Sustainable energy advances will take center stage in talks by symposium plenary speakers Edward Moses (National Ignition Facility) and Jeffrey Tsao (Sandia National Lab). Moses will talk about laser-induced fusion as an energy source, and Tsao will present scientific, technological, and economic perspectives on light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and other solid-state lighting (SSL).

Technical programs will be highlighted by 20 plenary talks. A sampling includes:

  • Ian Ferguson (Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte) on recent advances in SSL and hurdles that need to be addressed for broader adoption
  • Niyazi Serdar Sariciftci ( Johannes Kepler Univ. Linz) on technology for organic and hybrid nanostructures for solar energy conversion yielding CO2-neutral fuels
  • John Wager (Oregon State Univ.) on uses for transparent electronics in solar energy and in displays
  • Marco DiCapua (National Nuclear Security Administration) on radiation-detector applications to address threats posed by improvised nuclear devices, radiation-dispersal devices, and other forms of nuclear terrorism.

Among notable papers in the technical program are:

  • "Semiconductor plasmon laser," by Xiang Zhang, Univ. California, Berkeley, on the world's smallest semiconductor laser, able to focus light to the diameter of a single protein
  • "Active control of near-IR metamaterials utilizing stretchable elastomeric polymers and phase-transition materials," by a group led by Harry Atwater at California Institute of Technology working on a new flexible solar cell that more efficiently enhances the absorption of sunlight for conversion to electricity
  • "Printed flexible solar cells," by John Rogers at the Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, on technology his group has invented for more cheaply building devices including solar cells and infrared cameras
  • "Advances in integrated quantum photonics," by authors including Yaron Silberberg, Weizmann Institute of Science, on research in silica-on-silicon waveguide chips.

Nobel Laureate Charles Townes (Univ. of California, Berkeley) will join Richard Hoover (NASA) and Paul Davies (Univ. of Arizona) in a "Life in the Cosmos" panel discussion, held this year in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the SETI project. Townes will also give the keynote talk at the annual awards banquet, where he will receive the 2010 SPIE Gold Medal of the Society.

A panel discussion on "Commercialization of Emerging Photovoltaics Technologies"" will be moderated by Loucas Tsakalakos (GE Global Research) and Sean Shaheen (Univ. of Denver).

A sample of offerings in a program of dozens of professional and career development courses includes "Thin Film Optical Coatings" by Angus Macleod (Univ. of Arizona), "Non-Imaging Optics" by Roland Winston (Univ. of California, Merced), and "Digital Camera and Sensor Evaluation using Photon Transfer" by Jim Janesick (Sarnoff Corp.).

Among new courses this year are several on optical metrology topics:

  • "Optical Scatter Metrology for Industry" by John Stover (Scatter Works)
  • "Ellipsometry for Thin Film Metrology" by Rahman Zaghloul (ITR Technologies
  • "Nanoscale Dimensionable Metrology" by Vladimir Ukraintsev (Nanometrology International).

A hands-on workshop on "3D Optical Metrology" will be taught by Kevin Harding (GE Global Research).

Products and prototypes

The 200-company exhibition is the largest optics and photonics exhibition in Southern California, and will run Tuesday through Thursday. Product launch information from companies such as Gulf Photonics, Molecular Technology, ZEMAX, Fiberguide Industries, Aerotech, Goodrich ISR Systems, Semiconductor Tapes and Materials, Hamamatsu, and Newport/Spectra-Physics is posted on the event website.

The SPIE Pavilion: Lighting for a Better World in the exhibition hall will showcase experimental and leading-edge applications with displays including cars from makers such as BMW, Audi, and others; information on government policies around efficient lighting; and booths of not-for-profit organizations such as One Million Lights that use LEDs, solar, and other sustainable technologies in their programs for developing countries.

Risø National Lab, Friedrich-Alexander-Univ. Erlangen-Nürnberg, Konarka, and other groups will demonstrate prototype devices in a poster and demonstration technical session.

Vintage lasers

The largest collection of vintage lasers including more than 100 pieces gathered by SPIE in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the laser will be shown during the exhibition. Tribute photo panels depicting the work of Townes and many other laser pioneers and luminaries are also part of the exhibit. See video interviews and more on the Advancing the Laser website.

New green journal option

For the first time this year, papers from conferences on Organic Photovoltaics and Organic Light-Emitting Materials and Devices are being submitted for review for publication in the new SPIE Journal of Photonics for Energy. Zakya Kafafi (National Science Foundation), Photonics Devices and Applications Symposium Chair, is Editor of the journal. Other authors may submit papers to the journal as well.

Conference proceedings papers will be published individually in the SPIE Digital Library as soon as approved after the meeting, and also in collected print and digital volumes and collections

Photo caption: More than 22 plenary sessions are scheduled at SPIE Optics and Photonics.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 180,000 constituents from 168 countries, the Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, and supports scholarships, grants, and other education programs around the world.

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