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SPIE Optics + Photonics 2014 news

 


SPIE Optics + Photonics

Thursday 21 August

Advocating for photonics

Wednesday 20 August

Synergy and energy in the exhibit hall

Matchmaking employers with potential candidates

Bioresorbable electronics

Point-of-care biosensing

Organic semiconductors

Job satisfaction insights, perspectives

Nano/Solar/Organics posters in the spotlight

Tuesday 19 August

It's bright, it's busy: the Optics + Photonics exhibition is open!

Congratulating new Fellows of the Society

Wearables: an emerging market

Data-adaptive filtering and image processing

Information content of a photon

Future of mobiles: ‘imagination into reality’

Flexibility key for optical designers

State of the society -- and election results

OSC celebration continues

Showcasing Student Chapters

Monday 18 August

Integrating carbon nanotubes for unique properties

Emissive properties of silicon

Nanoscale engineering optical nonlinearities and nanolasers

Shedding light on natural phenomena

Honors for a pioneer

Not just for students, or experts

International Year of Light: global inspiration

'Follow the water' for evidence of other life

Beyond silicon: the solar options

CdTe and efficiency improvement

Flexible formats

'Third-generation' cells: a 'hot carrier' primer

Rating system for PV modules

Light: 'a messenger from the universe'

OE posters draw a crowd

Welcome to Optics + Photonics 2014!

Sunday 17 August

'Spectacular advances' in work toward fusion energy

Other life in our solar system? Looking for water on Europa

Tomorrow's wearables: even smarter, and more unobtrusive

Conferences are on

'Nano-scalpels' for targeted treatment

Vision 2025: the knowledge-based economy

Optics Outreach Games!

Saturday 16 August

It starts with the students

New books ― and ties!

 


Thursday 21 August

 

Advocating for photonics

Exhibitor breakfast

SPIE Vice President Robert Lieberman (at the podium, above) has been an active volunteer on behalf of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) and gave a report on the success of the initiative's efforts to raise awareness or and drive funding to photonics R&D in the U.S.

Among those, he cited the recent first-ever inclusion of language on optics and photonics in legislation proposing reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act.

The bill from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation asserts that "optics and photonics research and technologies promote U.S. global competitiveness in industry sectors, including telecommunications and information technology, energy, healthcare and medicine, manufacturing, and defense."

The technology was specified by the Department of Defense in its request for information this summer on focus areas for new proposed Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation, and was identified by the National Science Foundation last month as a key area of interest for research and education.

A report titled "Building a Brighter Future with Optics and Photonics" providing recommendations for research and capability opportunities was issued this spring by the Fast-Track Action Committee on Optics and Photonics for the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council.

In other work to support the photonics industry, new data developed in a year-long effort by SPIE on the size of the global photonics market was announced by SPIE Industry and Market Strategist Steve Anderson.

The SPIE team recently completed a study on the core photonics components market, and found that 2,750 companies in 46 countries are generating US$156 billion in revenues, Anderson said. The companies provide 700,000 jobs, and produce materials, LEDs, lasers, detectors, image sensors, lenses, prisms, optical filters, gratings, solar cells, and fiber optics.

The team's next project is collecting data on enabled markets worldwide.

 


Wednesday 20 August

 

Synergy and energy in the exhibit hall

SPIE Optics + Photonics exhibition

Exhibitors and visitors alike continued to have good words to say about the exhibition in its second day, citing good energy and numerous leads (above, visitors at the Midwest Optical Systems, Inc., booth). Among the comments:

"Optics + Photonics 2014 is unbelievably good! Everyone is in a good mood and we have been very busy," said Birgit Heinz of Edmund Optics Inc. "The move to the Sails Pavilion with its natural light has really improved the amount of time attendees are spending with us. We normally have only three people in our booth but Tuesday morning we had seven and we were so busy that there was a line of people waiting to talk to us. The overall attitude is so much better in this new location."

First-time exhibitor Arnau Farre Flaquer of Impetux Optics S.L. remarked on the synergy between the technical program and the exhibition.

"We presented a paper in Optical Trapping, and decided to exhibit also," he said, which was very successful in drawing visitors to the company's booth. "The response has been really great! We like having an exhibition space where people can come talk to us as a follow up to our presentation. We've had a lot of interest in our optical tweezers."

See more photos in the event photo gallery.

 

Matchmaking employers with potential candidates

SPIE job fair

The two-day SPIE Job Fair was a busy place, with 13 companies on hand looking for qualified candidates -- and possible candidates lining up to talk with potential employees. Companies participating included Abrisa Technologies, Advanced Scientific Concepts, Apple, Compound Photonics, GoPro, L-3 Communications, Logos Technologies, Microsoft, Newport Corporation, Physical Optics Corporation, Skorpios Technologies, The Aerospace Corporation, and Thorlabs, Inc.

 

Bioresorbable electronics

John Rogers
John Rogers

John Rogers of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign began Wednesday's Organics Plenary session with a discussion of organically based integrated circuits in his presentation, "Materials and resources for bioresorbable electronics."

Rogers pointed out that while IC devices continue to get smaller, faster, and cheaper, inorganic components far outlast typical lifetime demands such as the 2-year period for an iPhone upgrade.

For devices such as post-operative monitoring implants used in medicine, long device lifetime and the need for removal pose complications.

Rogers' group has developed nanoscale silicon-based structures, which dissolve in water within days at such scales, using other bio-absorbable materials such that the circuits decompose after a desired lifetime. Rogers has successfully implanted small conductive heating devices and intracranial monitors in mice that dissolve safely within days.

 

Point-of-care biosensing

Luisa Torsi
Luisa Torsi

The second speaker, Luisa Torsi of the University of Bari "Aldo Moro," studies how organic electronics can be used to improve device capability directly for the purpose of point-of-care biosensing using label-free, highly sensitive, and disposable protein detectors.

In her presentation, "Organic electronic biodevices," Torsi described her research and development of biological FET devices that interface a biolayer with an organic semiconductor based design.

Changes in device characteristics, such as charge mobility, threshold voltage, or capacitance due to proteins binding to the biolayer, provide femto-to-picomolar detection sensitivity.

Read more in the article on optics.org.

 

Organic semiconductors

Henning Sirringhaus
Henning Sirringhaus

Organic semiconductors continue to gain attention for applications such as Torsi's, but the underlying physical mechanisms of some of these materials are still not understood. At Cavendish Lab, University of Cambridge, Henning Sirringhaus studies such semiconductors having a disordered structure, yet high carrier mobility.

During his talk, "Charge and spin transport physics of organic semiconductors," Sirringhaus explained the role of thermal dependencies on accessible charge states understood by temperature and voltage dependent measurements of the Seeback coefficient.

His work also focuses on spin transport in these systems and developing layered devices that preserve spin information over long, tunable distances and times, demonstrating the wide potential for these organic devices beyond even the medical field.

 

Job satisfaction insights, perspectives

Salary Survey Panel

Three highly successful, well-established photonics professionals from each of the three field's major sectors had some frank comments on attendees at a panel discussion on the latest results from the latest SPIE Optics and Photonics Salary Survey.

Panelists were (from left above) SPIE Director Maryellen Giger, A.N. Pritzker Professor of Radiology, the Committee on Medical Physics, and the College Vice-Chair for Basic Science Research, Department of Radiology, University of Chicago, representing the perspective of academia; SPIE Director James Grote, Principal Electronics Research Engineer, Air Force Research Laboratory, with the government-lab perspective; and SPIE Technology Strategist Bob Hainsey, a former researcher and manger for Intel and ESI, offering an industry perspective.

While in general, the three represented survey findings on job satisfaction for each of their areas, all three cited team success and the ability to serve as a mentor among their top personal satisfactions. And all three cited a trend toward constrained or shrinking budgets as a major challenge.

Grote said that for him, freedom in pursuing his research as well as the opportunity to teach part-time was more important than high pay. He said that working in research rather than in program management will support development of marketable skills and mobility. He urged the audience to do work they enjoy -- a message echoed by Giger and Hainsey as well.

Asked by facilitator Adam Resnick, SPIE Marketing Analyst, about the survey's finding that women earn 40% less than men overall, Giger said that she had long thought this wasn't an issue -- until she some data several years ago that proved the bias. It surfaces in many ways, she said, citing such examples as better letters of recommendation written for men than for women with comparable skills and background, and a miniscule percentage of women CEOs.

Hainsey said that he had found in industry that he really enjoyed management, particularly for the opportunity to build an outstanding team that worked well within the organization, created high-quality products, and met with success. His experience in collaboration with academia was analogous to Giger's, whose university's business development office actively supports translation of technology to products.

More detail is provided in an online report on the salary survey.

 

Nano/Solar/Organics posters in the spotlight

Nano/Solar/Organics poster reception

Poster papers from conferences in Nanoscience and Engineering, Solar Energy, and Organic Photonics and Electronics were presented in a well-attended evening reception. See more photos in the event photo gallery.



A gala evening: The SPIE Awards Banquet

SPIE Awards Banquet

SPIE 2014 award winners were honored at the 59th Annual Awards Banquet. 

SPIE Gold Medal of the Society

James Harrington (Rutgers State University of New Jersey), above right, was awarded the Gold Medal of the Society, the highest honor the Society bestows, for his seminal contributions to the field of specialty fiber optics and his pioneering work in the development of infrared transmissive fiber optics and their applications in laser power delivery, chemical and thermal sensing, and spectroscopy.

SPIE Directors' Award

Harry Levinson (GLOBALFOUNDRIES Inc.), above right, was presented the SPIE Directors' Award in appreciation for service to SPIE and the greater optics and photonics community through outstanding and enduring contributions to lithography and process control for semiconductor fabrication. 

John Dudley, (Univ. de Franche-Comté) was presented the SPIE President's Award in absentia for vision and determination in driving the United Nations designation of 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, potentially the singular most important event of the past year for the optics and photonics community.

Other awards announced at the banquet were the A. E. Conrady Award to Matthew (Chuck) Rimmer (retired), Harold E. Edgerton Award to Jeffrey Squier (Colorado School of Mines), G. G. Stokes Award to J. Scott Tyo, (University of Arizona), SPIE Technology Achievement Award to to Rajendra Singh (Clemson University), SPIE Educator Award to Cristina Solano (Ctr de Investigaciones en Optica AC), the SPIE Early Career Achievement Award to Jeremy Nathan Munday (University of Maryland), and the Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award to Wenshan Cai (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Vladimir Shalaev (Purdue Univ.).

 


Tuesday 19 August

 

It's bright, it's busy: the Optics + Photonics exhibition is open!

SPIE Optics + Photonics exhibition

Tuesday morning brought the opening of the three-day Optics + Photonics exhibition in the bright and airy Sails Pavilion. Exhibitors reported having plenty of traffic on the busy opening day, and satisfaction with the quality and quantity of leads. Because the audience is so diverse, visitors are looking for a wide variety of products, pointed out one exhibitor -- just the sort of traffic he is happy to see. This year's exhibition is slightly larger than last year's, with 183 companies, and continues through Thursday, closing at 2 p.m

 

Congratulating new Fellows of the Society

Fellows luncheon

Several of this year's new 76 Fellows of SPIE were introduced at a well-attended luncheon, receiving congratulations from SPIE President Philip Stahl and President-Elect Toyohiko Yatagai.

Luncheon speaker Beth Inadomi updated the gathering on progress in efforts by the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) to raise awareness of the field and drive funding to photonics in the U.S. The NPI, co-founded by SPIE, is working with Inadomi and others with the Podesta Group, through activities such as organizing visits to Congressional office by members of the community and writing letters and background materials to inform policy makers about what optics and photonics have to offer society and the economy.

The effort sprang out of a recommendation in a report by the National Academies in 2012, and seeks to strengthen the U.S. position in the global marketplace and ensure national security in the face of shrinking federal funding R&D budgets.

More photos are in the event gallery.

 

Wearables: an emerging market

Bernard Kress of Google chaired an exciting wearable displays session in the conference on Photonic Applications for Aviation, Aerospace, Commercial, and Harsh Environments. He began with at presentation (9202-11) outlining the segmentation of the HMD industry market, including optics for smart glasses as well as headsets for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Kress is the author of the upcoming SPIE Field Guide to Digital Micro Optics.

This emerging market is fragmented, he said, into a number of different segments: occlusion-display smart glasses, see-through smart glasses like Google Glass, connected lenses, and HMDs for defense, gaming, and professional applications like firefighting and healthcare. He gave a thorough comparison of the FOVs of all such displays currently in this space, from the 15-degree FOV of Google Glass to the 115 degrees of the VR application Oculus Rift.

He showed that the many optical architectures can actually be categorized into two distinct camps: pupil-forming and non-pupil-forming, and he showed the basic architecture of all of the major commercial wearable displays.

He concluded, however, that the perfect see-through optical eyewear for the consumer market has yet to be discovered, because it should satisfy a number of requirements. This holy grail would have a large eye box at conventional eyewear vertex distances, have high pixel count and large, rescalable FOV, and would allow seamless integration of meniscus prescription lenses as well as sensors for eye, gesture, and perhaps brain sensors.

Khaled Sarayeddline, the CTO and co-founder of OPTINVENT S.A., then gave a compelling presentation (9202-12) about their work on their wearable display platform called ORA-1, comparing its performance and benchmarking its specifications against Google Glass and all other competitors in the space. He then presented his opinion of the remaining challenges in AR glasses development: that there needs to improvement in the ergonomics, a reduction in the display unit size, a reduction in the embedded electronics size, an optimization of the CPU/GPU platform, improvements in power efficiency, and the creation of a true ecosystem around the glasses through apps and software solutions.

Kress completed the session, presenting for primary author Mykola Kulishov of HTA Enterprises (9202-14), where he showed that they have investigated several waveguide and free-space-based parity time symmetry grating architectures to implement switchable optics for a number of applications.

 

Data-adaptive filtering and image processing

Peyman Milanfar
Peyman Milanfar

Peyman Milanfar (University of California, Santa Cruz) delivered an in-depth review of algorithm development methods used for image processing during Tuesday afternoon's Signal, Image, and Data Processing Plenary session. The intricacy involved to treat a standard few megapixel image is often taken for granted by those who might click a simple auto-contrast option for a digital image. Milanfar gave the audience a step-by-step appreciation of many processing challenges and their creative solutions in his presentation, "Data-adaptive filtering and the state of the art in image processing" (9217-300).

At its essence, image processing is a pixel-by-pixel adjustment of parameters, such as color or intensity, to alter the image as a whole. If we think of a particular parameter adjustment simply as a mathematical function, each pixel of the image's array is acted upon to varying degrees, each having its own weighting of the function. Milanfar highlighted these two fundamental components, common to all image processing kernels: the choice of function and the way in which the weighting of each pixel is determined. Together these form the matrix operation defining a given filter.

Common filters today involve an image-independent function, determining weights by comparing each pixel to its close neighbors, giving more focus to those that stand out, for example, in brightness. With his generalized view of filtering, Milanfar's group takes a more global approach to developing algorithms, using information from the image data as a whole to determine the full matrix. For even reasonably sized images, clever use of matrix properties and approximations are exploited to avoid unreasonable processing times global comparisons can require. For example, once an image's matrix is built, filtering can be applied by manipulation of just the matrix eigenvectors.

By simply removing the highest value eigenvectors, Milanfar impressed the audience with the level of noise reduction demonstrated. With more application specific methods also described, attendees to the plenary session enjoyed a broad and informative review of image processing and just how much lies behind clicking that auto-contrast feature.

 

Information content of a photon

Kyle Myers and Harrison Barrett
Kyle Myers and Harrison Barrett

Opening Optical Engineering plenary speaker Harrison Barrett, Regents Professor at the College of Optical Sciences, the Univ. of Arizona, described work co-authored by Kyle Myers, Director of the Division of Imaging and Applied Mathematics in the Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories at the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in “Information content of a photon in optical imaging, quantum imaging, and radiology.”

A fundamental way of describing a quantum-limited imaging system is in terms of a Poisson random process in spatial, angular and wavelength variables, Bennett said. The mean of this random process is the spectral radiance. The principle of conservation of radiance then allows a full characterization of the noise in the image (conditional on viewing a specified object).

Radiance can be defined in terms of geometrical optics, physical optics, or quantum optics as well as for x-rays or gamma-rays, so a unified treatment of noise in imaging can be developed. Combined with well-established theories for task-based assessment of image quality, these concepts allow a rigorous definition of the information content of a photon.

Barrett discussed four classes of detectors -- integrating, such as those used in cell phones and DSLR cameras; pixelated photon counting; photon sensing and photon counting; and photon processing -- noting that the latter two store image data in lists of measured attributes. This provides new capability for image quality and offers unique ability to extract useful information for specific tasks.

 

Future of mobiles: ‘imagination into reality’

Michael (Kwang Lim) Yoo
Michael (Kwang Lim) Yoo

The evolution and future of cameras for mobile devices was the topic of Tuesday's second plenary talk of the Optical Engineering symposium. Delivered by Michael (Kwang Lim) Yoo, Chief Research Engineer at the LG Innotek San Jose office who was standing in for LG Innotek President and CEO Ung-Beom Lee, the talk was entitled "Recent trends in optical components in the mobile industry' and began with an overview of the functions provided by cameras in mobile applications including detection, recognition and identification.

Cameras are now ubiquitous, found throughout the mobile community in a number of fields. In the automotive industry they are finding increasing use as sensors for such purposes as rear-view cameras as well as increasing use as side-view cameras as automotive manufacturers seek to maintain functionality in more cost-effective fashions. The onset of autonomous vehicles will further the need and use for cameras.

Yoo pointed out that cameras are finding ever-increasing use in wearable devices and can be found in glasses, watches and shoes. The focus of the presentation highlighted the development of cameras for smartphones and discussed some of the requirements and challenges for the evolving use of cameras in this area.

Camera modules and actuators must have slim form factors to be compatible with the trends in the field. Optical elements such as diffractive optical element (DOE) lenses, designs utilizing freeform optics, and the use of new materials in photopolymer lenses are the enabling technologies allowing camera modules to keep pace with manufacturer needs.

Actuators are making use of fast feedback, high speed voice coil modules (VCMs) and shape changing lens technology. Continued improvements in CMOS image sensor technology will be needed as will intelligent software solutions to enable image optimization and improved resolution for motion sensing and bio recognition.

Naturally to bring all of this together improvements in packaging allowing for molded, interconnected devices will be needed. Looking forward, capability such as hybrid autofocus, optical zoom, and enhancements to the optical image stabilization function are on the horizon. Overall, the talk highlighted the wide range of use of these miniature devices in mobile applications, the amazing technology and engineering work that enables the functionality that consumers expect today and the challenges and opportunities for cameras in this field in the future. There is no doubt that the use of these devices will only increase as engineering and material improvements enable additional functionality in the future.

 

Flexibility key for optical designers

Anurag Gupta
Anurag Gupta

Don't just implement arbitrary specifications laid down by company bosses, ex-Google Glass lead engineer Anurag Gupta told the Optical Engineering plenary audience: invest the time to properly discover specifications throughout the R&D chain and from consumers. Otherwise, the end product may be inferior or more costly due to multiple design iterations. Initial specifications may be based on guesswork, and the people who are going to buy the products may not be sure what they want, Gupta said.

He is applying the process to his new work on sensors for home automation products. As well as Nest’s smart thermostats, those include motion detectors and smoke detectors that can be switched off by simply waving an arm.

Each product possesses a different hierarchy of values, like comfort, price, performance, field of view, or resolution.

Perhaps the assigned product cannot even be made, he said, or if it can be, it may violate what the people at the top of the chain have set as the market requirement.

“Nobody knows what the specific issues will be,” he said. “People need to feel it, live with it, and decide what they like about it. The end of the journey may be something that someone would never have thought of in a million years.”

The discovery step requires strong negotiation skills to work closely with the suppliers and achieve trade-offs. An engineer may have to invent the metrology tools by which each component is going to be qualified, or to perform a failure mode and effects analysis, he added, to identify the failure mechanisms, their probability and severity of effects.

Read more in the article on optics.org.

 

State of the society -- and election results

Annual General Meeting of the SPIE Corporation

With SPIE President Philip Stahl presiding over the Annual General Meeting of the SPIE Corporation, Secretary/Treasurer Brian Lula and Executive Director Eugene Arthurs reported on the robust state of the society. (From left above, Arthurs, Vice President Robert Lieberman, Stahl, President-Elect Toyohiko Yatagai, Immediate Past President William Arnold, and Lula.)

Stahl announced the election of Glenn Boreman, professor and chairman at the Department of Physics and Optical Science and Director of the Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and co-founder and chairman of the board, Plasmonics, Inc., as 2015 Vice President.

With the election, Boreman joins the SPIE presidential chain and will serve as President-Elect in 2016 and President in 2017. In 2015, Yatagai, Director of the Center for Optical Research and Education and Distinguished Professor, at Utsunomiya University, will serve as President; Stahl, Senior Optical Physicist and James Webb Space Telescope Optical Components Lead at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, will serve as Immediate Past President of the Society; and Lieberman, President of Lumoptix LLC, will serve as President-Elect.

Gary Spiegel, recently retired as Senior Vice President at Newport Corp., was elected by SPIE members to serve as the 2015 Secretary/Treasurer. Newly elected Society Directors, who will serve three-year terms for 2015-2017, are:

  • Julie Bentley, University of Rochester
  • Brian Lula, PI Physik Instrumente LP
  • Kristen Maitland, Texas A&M University
  • Wolfgang Osten, Universität Stuttgart.


An evening for the Members

SPIE Member Reception

SPIE Members gathered on the Coronado Terrace at the Marriott Marquis Hotel and Marina after the Annual General Meeting of the Society to socialize, have a delicious dinner, and relax after a long day attending conferences at the convention center. See more Member Reception photos in the photo gallery.

OSC celebration continues

James Wyant

The year-long 50th anniversary celebration of the University of Arizona's College of Optical Sciences (OSC) included major events this week at SPIE Optics + Photonics.

A two-day conference titled Fifty Years of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona opened with a talk by SPIE Past President James Wyant (above), who was Director, and became Dean, when the Optical Sciences Center became the College of Optical Sciences in 2005.

Outlining milestones and achievements throughout the tenures of each of OSC's directors and deans, Wyant noted that Aden Meinel, founding director, did some important things right. Wyant cited the establishment of the college in a central location on campus, the arrangement whereby the director reported directly to the provost, hiring faculty with a broad range of expertise including industry experience, emphases on writing papers and on making hardware, and cultivating interdisciplinary research approaches with other departments at the university. It has also been an asset to have been underfunded by the state, Wyant said: "We were forced to get contracts to grow the program."

Wyant's talk and others covering OSC research areas will be published in a special hardcover proceeding conference proceedings.

At an evening reception in the Bayside Room, current Dean Thomas Koch announced that the number of scholarships funded by the Principals of Opticks 4-to-1 matching program enabled by a grant from Wyant has reached 24. The latest scholarship was announced during the reception, and honors Wyant for his commitment to the education of students in optical science.

 

Showcasing Student Chapters

Student Chapter Mixer

A special disply of exhibits from SPIE Student Chapters augmented the exhibition and highlighted the work of SPIE's more than 260 student chapters around the world. Abdou Diba, above, represented City College of New York, one of the newest chapters, which was chartered in February.

See more photos in the event photo gallery.

 


Monday 18 August

 

Integrating carbon nanotubes for unique properties

Eva Campo
Eva Campo

The incorporation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into polymer matrices provides a pathway to material systems demonstrating unique physical and chemical properties which are useful in applications such as artificial muscles and display technologies. Understanding the impact of process methodologies on the integration of CNTs into composites and characterizing the resulting structures was the topic of Monday's first presentation in the Nanoscience and Engineering plenary session.

In "Non-covalent interactions of carbon nanotubes in polymer composites," Eva Campo of Bangor University and the University of Texas at San Antonio discussed how processes integrating CNTs into polymer composites naturally result in defects in the CNT matrix. Her work seeks to understand the underlying interplay between the CNTs and the polymers with the expectation that such understanding will point the direction to improved strategies for material integration.

Electrospinning processes with PDMS and utilizing a PMMA carrier provide a way to fabricate the structures and align polymer fibers. Study of the resulting CNT matrix utilizes several methodologies. Focused ion beam (FIB) studies coupled with tomographic reconstruction techniques enables viewing of the larger multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs). Helium ion microscopy provides enhanced resolution and surface sensitivity resulting from a smaller interaction volume of the probe.

This technique, amenable to repeated sample exposure without deleterious effects, enables the viewing of ripple structures around the CNTs embedded in the matrix, perhaps due to shear effects during electrospinning. Near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) microscopy allows for high energy resolution studies of the bonding of chemical species and enables a deeper understanding of mechanisms such as hydrogen bonding in matrix formation.

Campo gave examples of how this learning can be applied to shape memory polymer materials, biological samples, and guanine-graphene field-effect transistors.

The work highlights the value of advanced characterization techniques and a multidisciplinary approach in deepening our understanding of this evolving field integrating CNTs and polymers. This understanding will prove key to enabling advancement and eventual deployment in real applications of these composite materials.

 

Emissive properties of silicon

Philippe Fauchet
Philippe Fauchet

Silicon, the second most abundant mineral in the earth's crust, was the subject of Philippe Fauchet's plenary talk on Monday morning.

Long dismissed as a poor emitter, in the 1990s it was shown that even bulk silicon can emit light efficiently if non-radiative processes are suppressed. Since then, researchers have made efforts to increase the emissive properties of Si through advances in the manufacture of nanometer-size objects such as quantum dots. Fauchet is dean of the school of engineering at Vanderbilt Univ. and a Fellow of SPIE.

Biosensing is another area beyond its traditional domains of microelectronics and photovoltaics where silicon is showing promise, yet many hurdles remain, Fauchet said. Photonic crystals and other devices with submicron features have also enabled researchers to exploit the unusual optical properties of nanoscale silicon structures. Porous silicon presents challenges for biological sensing, he said, but developments such as the slot waveguide have helped to enhance sensitivity. The potential for Si biosensors to detect diseases even if only one particle is present in a sample is an exciting prospect.

 

Nanoscale engineering optical nonlinearities and nanolasers

Shaya Fainman
Shaya Fainman

In his plenary talk, Shaya Fainman, Cymer and Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Univ. of California, San Diego, provided an overview of passive and active devices designed for the miniaturization of materials, devices, and subsystems required to enable dense photonic integration.

The lab is working with passive components such as engineered composite metamaterials and filters, and active components such as lasers, modulators, detectors.

Fainman's group has recently demonstrated devices including a monolithically integrated short-pulse compressor utilized with silicon on insulator material platform and design, fabrication, and testing of nanolasers constructed using metal-dielectric-semiconductor resonators confined in all three dimensions.

 

Shedding light on natural phenomena

Attendees to Monday morning's Nature of Light: Light in Nature conference enthusiastically participated in presentations focused on the direct investigations of optical phenomena found in nature.

Louis Dellieu, University of Namur, presented his findings on the hydrophobic and antireflective wing structure of the grey cicada (9187-2). These wings, comprised of an array of nanometer-sized dome-topped, truncated cones separated by ~200 nanometers, exhibit almost 100% transmission of the entire visible spectrum.

Dellieu focused on the composite shape of the structures making up the array, interested in the role the truncated cone plays versus the dome-shaped top. He discovered that the conical shape solely, unaffected by the addition of a rounded top, determined transmission of light, while the anti-wetting properties were dictated by the contact angle of the top structure to the underlying shape. It seems that each part plays its own role. Audience discussion revealed a keen common interest about the origins of each which, unlike the wings themselves, are still unclear.

Enrique Galvez of Colgate University, in "Polarimetry of nacre in iridescent shells" (9187-3), discussed the polarization effects of the self-assembled calcium carbonate structures, better known as nacre, or mother of pearl. The brick-and-mortar like structure of these beautiful shells comprises layer upon layer of ~5 x 0.5 micron CaCO3 bricks held together by ~30 nm thick layers of organic chitin acting as the mortar. Light reflects and interferes from this structure to produce the familiar array of colors, while also producing less familiar changes in polarization.

With as many as 30,000 layers in each sample, and no two samples alike, full and general characterization is a daunting task. Nonetheless, Galvez has been able to map thickness-dependent polarization rotations of a laser beam as it passes through polished samples of the shell. This phenomena, he also discovered, does not exists once the chitin mortar is removed and simply scatters polarization at random. The "why" behind this is still under investigation, but along with the rest of the morning's session, it served as a beautiful and illuminating reminder of how much of nature is still yet to be understood.

Honors for a pioneer

SPIE Fellow Sylvia Shen, longtime chair of the conference on Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery, left a legacy of ground-breaking work in dual-use energy, including a project completed before her death last year to determine whether greenhouse gases can be accurately monitored at satellite-level.

Dr. Shen, a Distinguished Scientist at the Aerospace Corporation, died in September 2013.

Cochair, longtime colleague at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and close friend Paul Lewis led a special tribute session to honor Shen during the Imaging Spectrometry conference. Lewis highlighted Shen's pioneering efforts in the application of mathematics to the field of spectral remote sensing that led to many important developments in the field, and commended her commitment to the community.

The tribute included an update on the Collaborative Atmospheric Measurement Program (CAMP) to assess accuracy of greenhouse gas measurements taken from an altitude of 3,000 by current CAMP lead Christy Crosiar. The report found that CO2 measurements at ground level do correlate well with measurements taken from Environmental Protection Agency satellites, Crosiar said.

Crosiar referred to Shen as one of "the giants," and said she would have been delighted with the message printed on a bookmark promoting the SPIE Digital Library included among SPIE Optics + Photonics conference materials:

  • Be found.
  • Be cited.
  • Be remembered.

 

Not just for students, or experts

OP14 Student lunch with the experts!

Students gathered for the SPIE Lunch with the Experts and Newport Research Excellence Travel Awards. The event featured experts willing to share their experience and wisdom on career paths in optics and photonics. SPIE Scholarship recipients were acknowledged, including the Price Scholarship. The Newport Research Excellence Travel Awards Program provides financial support for university students to attend the two largest SPIE meetings in order to present their research.

As always, it was a well-attended event. Not only was a delicious lunch served, but Jim Fisher, Vice President of the Newport Corporation, served some fun. Fisher invited scholarship winners to choose their own accolades, including "golf clap, standing ovation, the wave, table knock," and other fun ways to acknowledge the winners.

OP14 student lunch with the experts

Newport Scholarship winners included:

Nikolay Balbekin, ITMO University; Stephen Bauman, University of Arkansas; Edson Belido Sosa, McMaster University; Sheng-chieh, Chen National Chiao Tung Univ.; Xinru Cheng, Colgate University; Yun Feng, Beijing Institute of Technology; Curtis Firby, University of Alberta; Jack Fitzsimons, Trinity College, Univ. of Dublin; Pinhas Girshovitz, Tel-Aviv University; Manjin Liu, Beijing Institute of Technology; Juan Martinez-Carranza, Warsaw Univ. of Technology; Jonathan Mishler, University of Arkansas; Rafae Páez, Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica, Óptica y Elecrónica; Michael Soskind, Rutgers, The State Univ. of New Jersey; François Thierry, Aix-Marseille University.

SPIE scholarship winners included:

Neil Banjeree, Centerville High School; Vira Besaga, Chernivtsi National University; Alireza Bonakdar, Northwestern University; Natalie Coy, University of Utah; Alaudi Denisultanov, National Research Univ. of ITMO; Tomonori Hu, University of Sydney, CUDOS; Shyamala Devi Malagari, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Benjamín de Jesús Pérez García, ITESM; Chenggong Wang, University of Rochester; Liang Zhao, University College Dublin; Shuo Zhao; Pennsylvania State University; Arseny Zhdanov, St. Petersburg State Univ. of Aerospace Instrumentation; Suehyun Cho, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder; Soumya Sunder Dash, Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie; Jeremy Dunklin, University of Arkansas; Gregory Forcherio, University of Arkansas; Taras Hanulia Taras, Shevchenko National Univ. of Kyiv; Maxim Melnik, National Research Univ. of ITMO; Tatiana Nikolaeva, National Research Univ. of ITMO; Marina Samoylova, University of Milan; Alexey Slobozhanyuk, National Research Univ. of ITMO; Lijuan Xie, Capital Normal University.

View more photos in the event photo gallery.

 

International Year of Light: global inspiration

IYL 2015 panelists

Panelists (from left) Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Rajib Chakraborty, Cristina Solana, and Ching-Cherng Sun left their audience energized and enthusiastic about celebrating the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies in 2015.

Plans everywhere include creative and wide-ranging outreach activities for young children through adults, competitions to help engage both technical and nontechnical audiences, hands-on activitites, media story placements, educational presentations, and much more.

In Taiwan, said Sun, the Taiwan Photonics Society and other groups will shine the spotlight on the IYL 2015 with activities including a major entry in the Lantern Festival in early March. Sun showed a video representation of the lantern, with a stack of books representing knowledge towering over the heads of onlookers and topped by a representation of Albert Einstein.

Solano described a wide range of plans in Mexico, noting that numerous not-for-profit organizations, institutions, and companies that are getting involved. Workshops and outreach activities will include a telescope-building workshop, laser graffiti competition, exhibitions, and much more.

Chakraborty said that next year is also the golden jubilee for the Optical Society of India, which will complement and amplify the IYL 2015 observance. In addition to raising awareness and encouraging careers in optics and photonics, the many societies involved will provide hands-on activities such as building solar cookers and a solar vehicle contest, produce an animated film, offer vision exams, and give presentations on the eye and eye safety.

International Year of Light 2015
Do you have an IYL 2015
lapel pin yet?

In Australia, the IYL year literally will start out with a bang: Rubinsztein-Dunlop said that New Year's fireworks celebration in Sydney -- the first of the year due to its time zone -- will be dedicated to the IYL 2015. Numerous organizations in Australia and New Zealand are working together and "going global" in their apporach, she said, working with the public and government as well as academia and industry, and speaking to light in art and architecture as well as in science and technology. They are seeking to speak to "a new audience to achieve lasting results."

Audience members shared ideas as well; among them:

  • Bob Breault of Tucson, Arizona, USA, told of a plan to send a beam of light to the moon and back, and then around the world, offering possibilities for student experiments along the way.
  • Vengu Lakshminarayanan outlined plans in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, for an art festival, and collaboration with a hands-on museum and the Michigan economic development office. He stressed the value in getting involved with the medical community in particular, as applications of photonics in medicine have resonance with the public.
  • Dan Curticapean of Offenburg, Germany, suggested that upcoming lunar eclipses are opportunities to engage many people through live streaming of the astronomical event around the world

For more ideas or information, stop by the IYL 2015 booth at the exhibition entrance in the Sails Pavilion, or visit www.light2015.org online.

 

'Follow the water' for evidence of other life

SPIE Past President Richard Hoover, an astrobiologist with Athens (Alabama, USA) State University in and Dubna Astrobiology Institute, gave a keynote talk presenting evidence that he believes provides a definitive answer to the question of whether we are alone in the cosmos.

Covering research that began in the 1960s and has advanced even very recently, Hoover showed how if one "follows the water," one can reasonably determine that there is evidence of life in meteorites, asteroids, and other celestial bodies outside of Earth.

Water, which is necessary for all known life, is present not only on Earth, he showed, but is evidenced as being on most other planets in our solar system, in asteroids like Ceres and Vesta, in Saturn's and Jupiter's icy moons, in comets, and in carbonaceous meteorites, which are 3-20% water.

It was on these meteorites that he concentrated. Hoover showed that these black, extraterrestrial stones contained carbon, water, organic material, and minerals cemented together by salts, and many contain microfossils and biomolecules.

Hoover defined biomolecules as molecules produced by metabolic pathways in living organisms. Because they are not produced by abiotic processes, and due to the absence of protein amino acids, nucleobases, and nitrogen, clearly the samples haven't been contaminated and must provide evidence of life.

Hoover will be discussing his research on an upcoming broadcast on BBC.

 

Beyond silicon: the solar options

Adam Plesniak
Adam Plesniak

Talk of rapid progress in CdTe conversion efficiency, and hopes for new organic materials, next-generation "hot-carrier" devices and even the embattled concentrating PV (CPV) sector dominated a plenary session on the future of solar energy.

In the world of CPV, the past couple of years have been painful, but for Adam Plesniak, Vice President of engineering at ArzonSolar, the future for CPV is still bright. He said that the technology has so far been installed in about 200 MW worth of sites worldwide (for comparison, various estimates put the figure for total cumulative global installed PV north of 150 GW presently). "We expect about 100 MW a year in the years ahead," he predicted. "We're getting there."

"CPV is essentially the high-performance, high-efficiency alternative. It's the Ferrari of solar," said Plesniak.

"It is about high energy output; but it's not that much more expensive. You may pay more up front, but for very sunny, hot places, like Las Vegas or Tucson, CPV is essentially the way to get the most bang for your buck."

Plesniak admitted that CPV is essentially 20 years of development behind silicon and CdTe, but remains hopeful that it is emerging as the way to maximize output for input cost. In the years ahead, he predicted: "You are going to see a lot of CPV product going in the ground. New markets will emerge where CPV is the right choice."

ArzonSolar is adapting its strategy, he said, so that CPV can become more widely accessible. "You don't have to be a power company to be interested."

 

CdTe and efficiency improvement

William Huber
William Huber

Batting for CdTe was William Huber from the GE Global Research effort that was acquired by First Solar almost exactly a year ago. Huber leads the "efficiency improvement program" at the company, and recent results have given him great confidence in CdTe's future prospects.

"It's far more efficient than was thought possible," he said, indicating that the recent laboratory benchmark of 21% held much promise for scaling up to production sizes and volume manufacturing.

In the 12 months during which GE and First Solar have been working together, there has been more rapid progress in cell efficiencies (albeit at the laboratory scale) than had been witnessed over much of the prior decade.

Although it was eventually forced to abort plans to build its own volume manufacturing facility near Denver, GE decided to enter the business at a time when the best CdTe cell effciencies were way lower than silicon. Since then, it has improved cell performance in all of its major parameters, Huber said, helping create what he described as the current "reawakening" of CdTe.

"It has exploded in a few years," Huber said, "and the story is by no means over at this point." He added that First Solar expects to be manufacturing CdTe modules with a conversion efficiency of 19.5% by 2017 -- compared to the company's latest production average of 14% during the second quarter of 2014.

"Cadmium telluride has not run its course," Huber said.

 

Flexible formats

Karl Leo
Karl Leo

Karl Leo, a faculty member at the Technische Universitat Dresden, showed off a notebook-sized sheet of 1 mm-thick transparent green plastic during his plenary talk, explaining that the flexible solar material could take the form of various architectural features, elements in auto design or other futuristic applications.

While commercial products are not yet available, Leo said the efficiency of the best organic PV materials has leapt from 3% to 12% in just 5 years.

Products from Heliatek, the Germany-based company that was spun out of Leo's Dresden research group and the University of Ulm in 2006, should be available next year, he said.

Target applications include elements for building-integrated PV, for example sandwiching the organic films between two plates of glass in skyscraper windows. The flexible film might work as a roof in a new stadium, or even for tents, creating flexible solar panels.

While the panels can be made very cheaply, Leo said that some technical problems remain to be solved. "Much more complex research is needed," he said. Like CPV, it seems, organic solar remains for now a technology still in search of a market.

 

'Third-generation' cells: a 'hot carrier' primer

Gary Conibeer
Gary Conibeer

While the so-called "third generation" of devices remain largely a matter of theory, Gavin Conibeer from the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics at the University of New South Wales gave a quick tour of the emerging scientific landscape.

Explaining "third generation" as technology going beyond the "first generation" of mostly silicon wafers and the second wave of thin-film technologies (like CdTe), Conibeer said that it will combine first- and second-wave ideas using multiple stacked materials.

The resulting "hot carrier" cell sees those materials acting in tandem to deliver more efficient energy conversion, with the multi-junction cells already used in CPV systems one example of the approach.

"We are now trying to prove the concepts that will be the core of next-generation thinking," he said. "When that happens depends on how much effort is put into it. The new technology can take off with enough investment."

In a hot carrier, photons from the Sun arrive, heat up and then cool on a timescale of just picoseconds. "It is an incredibly short time," Conibeer said. "It's crucial because you can lose a lot of energy."

The goal is to extract the energy before it turns into that extra heat, he explained. "Ideally it should all operate at room temperature, turning the sunlight into electricity. Electricity would come from, say, 85% of it, as the other 15% gets reflected. I am optimistic about it."

Such thinking is the key to all third-generation approaches, but Conibeer admitted that the cutting edge of solar cell research remains a very tough nut to crack: "We have some very promising approaches and very promising materials," he said. "The problem is, it is difficult to optimize all the variables at the same time."

 

Rating system for PV modules

John Wohlgemuth
John Wohlgemuth

John Wohlgemuth, Principal Scientist in PV Reliability at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), reported in a paper co-authored by NREL colleague Sarah Kurtz about a rating system being developed by the International PV Quality Assurance Task Force to provide comparative information about the relative durability of PV modules.

Development of accelerated stress tests that can provide such comparative information is seen as a major step toward being able to predict PV module service life, Wohlgemuth said in outlining the ongoing effort to determine the format of such an overall module rating system.

The latest proposal is based on using three distinct climate zones as defined in International Standard IEC 60721-2-1 for two different mounting systems. Specific stresses beyond those used in the qualification tests are being developed for each of the selected climate zones.

Read more about the Solar Energy plenary session in the article in optics.org.

 

Light: 'a messenger from the universe'

Ana Maria Cetto and Philip Stahl

Ana María Cetto of the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), pictured above with SPIE President Philip Stahl, was the featured speaker at the Women in Optics meeting. One of the committee members who worked to get the International Year approved by the United Nations, Cetto described the intricacies of the approval process for the audience.

Her organizational skills have been honed as the director of the Museum of Light in historical center of Mexico City. Founded in 1994, the museum is currently in the pre-construction phase of moving to a brand-new facility at UNAM. The Ciudad Universitaria campus of UNAM in Mexico City is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

More than just a science museum, the Museum of Light aims to entertain and educate people from all backgrounds about the central role light plays in all aspects of our lives, from nature to health to art. Cetto also reminded her audience that light is a "messenger from the universe" as it arrives at earth after a journey of billions of years since the Big Bang.

After her talk, Cetto said that people are clearly excited by both the Year of Light in 2015 and the prospects for a revitalized Museum of Light. She encouraged those in attendance to get involved, to contribute their ideas and energy to both efforts, and most importantly, to share the message of the importance of light to people in all walks of life.

 

OE posters draw a crowd

OE poster reception

Hundreds of authors were on hand to discuss their work via poster papers in the first of the week's two poster receptions. Above, Maksym Ivanov of Taurida National V.I. Vernadsky Univ. talks about his team's work in "Beam propagation in a uniaxial crystal under small angle to the optical axis and arrays of bottle beams."

More photos are in the event photo gallery.

 

Welcome to Optics + Photonics 2014!

all-symposium welcome reception

Flashing LED clip-on pins, a look through telescopes at the night sky, and a typically lovely San Diego evening helped welcome attendees to SPIE Optics + Photonics 2014. See more photos in the event photo gallery.

 


Sunday 17 August

 

'Spectacular advances' in work toward fusion energy

Mike Dunne
Mike Dunne

The hopes of using laser inertial confinement fusion to produce clean, practical nuclear energy from a pea-sized fuel pellet have improved sharply, according to Mike Dunne, director of laser fusion energy at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

"We have made truly spectacular advances in last 12 months," Dunne said during the opening plenary talk Sunday evening. "We are learning how to use the world's largest laser system to induce fusion in the lab. We are now at a point for the first time where every time, more energy comes out than is absorbed by the fuel."

But, he added, there is still a long way to go.

For the past year, the energy coming out of the giant laser system has been more than twice the energy absorbed, Dunne said. "We are a factor of 2 away from the ratio we need," he added. "Consider that we were a factor of 100 away just a few years ago and, you can see, this is just incredible."

How long might it take to make the next step? "That can't be answered," he told the standing-room-only crowd.

But when that breakthrough comes, Dunne said it will be a relatively short time before power plants based on the NIF technique could be put into operation. "It could be as short as eight years," he said. Critical to making that happen will be finding a reliable way to deliver the colossal laser pulses to the pellet at a rate of 10 Hz or more to maintain the fusion reaction and its production of useful energy.

Read more in the article on optics.org.

 

Other life in our solar system? Looking for water on Europa

Robert Pappalardo
Robert Pappalardo

Data from a proposed mission to determine the existence of subsurface water on Jupiter's moon Europa has the potential to provide information that would confirm Europa's ability to support life.

And such a discovery would have a world-changing impact on our view of who we are in the universe, said plenary speaker Robert Pappalardo, a senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Lab and Pre-Project Scientist for the Europa Clipper mission.

Confirmation of a suspected subsurface ocean on Europa would be akin to Galileo's description in 1610 of Jupiter and four of its moons as evidence that Earth is not the only center of motion in space, suggesting that planets move around the Sun.

He said he hopes that "in the next decade or so" exploration of Europa would be under way, with a focus on its giant hidden sea, an ocean with twice the volume of the Earth's oceans.

"On Earth, where there's water, there's life," Pappalardo said. "On Europa, maybe we can find evidence of life beyond us."

What makes Europa one of the most promising places to look for extraterrestrial life is that it seems to have the right chemistry and energy sources for life.

If the project moves ahead, a launch could take place as soon as 2022 with arrival at Jupiter by 2025.

"In our lifetimes, we could be exploring Europa," Pappalardo said.

He said the goal is not to look for actual life but "just for potential habitability. It is the first step in understanding the potential of the outer solar system as an abode for life."

 

Tomorrow's wearables: even smarter, and more unobtrusive

Babak Parviz
Babak Parviz

One of the creators of Google Glass thinks that the next generation of wearable computers may change the way humans live and interact as much as anything in the last 50 years.

Babak Parviz, now a vice president at Amazon, told the plenary audience that the era of wearable technologies may see computing power suddenly become more mobile and versatile than many would have predicted.

Stressing that his remarks had no particular connection with Amazon, Parviz said that the smart phone was merely the leading edge of a revolutionary and more personalized form of global communication.

What's next is something even more compact, miniature and personal, he said. "Eventually the technology should disappear."

Google Glass, Parviz said, is "strange, different from what we've seen before". But the basic notion of a head-up display dates back at least 100 years ago, when soldiers fighting in World War I wore helmets with an optical component.

In the future, a user could immediately access highly connected computing power by simply glancing at a display. Such a system would also allow access to a world seen through the eyes of the wearer.

New devices, Parviz said, could shorten the time needed to access information from the internet down to just a few milliseconds, even bypassing the need for a browser. "You would just ask," he said.

Parviz told the audience that optics and photonics technologies, already widely employed in the manufacture and operation of today's devices, will provide the major tools for future wearable technology, via miniaturization, transducers, increased computing power, and ultralow-power displays.

Read more in the article on optics.org.

 

Conferences are on

Vladimir Shalaev

In one of the week's first talks (above), Vladimir Shalaev of Purdue University gives a keynote presentation, "Bringing metamaterials to real applications" (9160-1), Sunday morning to a large crowd in the Plasmonics: Metallic Nanostructures and Their Optical Properties conference. The latest research on metamaterials, plasmonics, carbon nanotubes, spintronics, nanoimaging, nano thin films, nanomaterials, nanobiosensing, will be presented throughout the week.

 

'Nano-scalpels' for targeted treatment

In the morning session of Day 1, the Biosensing and Nanomedicine audience learned how Michel Meunier of L'ecole Polytechnique de Montréal uses gold nanoparticles as "nano-scalpels" in his presentation, "Plasmonic enhanced pulsed laser induced optoporation and transfection of cells" (9166-9). Meunier described the various mechanisms by which plasmonic enhancement of these nano-scalpels can be used for targeted treatment.

Meunier's group first approaches the need for targeting specific cells by using functionalized particles, co-cultured with BT-474, for example, for breast cancer cell treatment. By exciting with ultrafast laser pulses of less than 100 femtoseconds, they take advantage of the various confined field interactions with local environment that can take place at timescales from the femtosecond to the nanosecond. Different interactions provide different methods of treating the target cells.

At shorter time scales, the direct heating at the particle surface from plasmonic dephasing can puncture and destroy the cell. A shock wave-like vapor bubble created in the surrounding water can also penetrate membranes, commonly seen at the longer pico- and nanosecond regimes. These bubbles grow to approximately 1 micron in diameter and could be used for optoporation, virus-free transfection, and laser induced drug delivery.

Demonstrating understanding and control of the nanoparticles damage thresholds and limits of cell dynamics within the laser pulse times, Meunier showed the audience many ways nano-surgery of individual and targeted cells may soon be used to fight illness.

 

Vision 2025: the knowledge-based economy

Vision 2025

A distinguished panel moderated by Akhlesh Lakhtakia and Judith Todd of the Pennsylvania State University led discussion on what is ahead in the trajectory toward a knowledge-based global economy. Panelists, from left, were François Flory, Ecole Centrale Marseille; Robert Breault, Breault Research Organization; Zakya Kafafi, Lehigh University and National Science Foundation; Jason McClure, Princeton Instruments; and Thomas Furness, Visualant.

 

Optics Outreach Games!

Vidya Jyothi Institute of Technology

Students and Early Career Professionals gathered for the popular Optics Outreach Games on Sunday night. Seventeen student groups showcased the best optics and photonics demonstrations from student chapters worldwide. Four established judges had a difficult challenge choosing the winner.

The 2014 winner of the games was "Fun with Optics," demonstrated above by Vidya Jyothi Institute of Technology. Second place was a tie between "Optical Communications and the Index of Refraction," Univ. Privada Boliviana, Cochabamba Chapter, and Demonstration of Simple Hand-Made Optical Devices," SPIE DCE Chapter at Delhi Technological University.

More photos are in the event photo gallery.

 

Life-changing choices

OP14 Career Choices Panel

The Career Choices Panel Discussion tackled the critical career choices and decisions that face new graduates in optics and photonics, including strategies for navigating the transition from student to professional. Penelists left to right, Yi-Hsin Lin, National Chiao Tung Univ., Anna-Britt Mahler, Aerospace Corp., Volker Sorger, George Washington Univ., and Clement Fallet, Bioaxial.

 


Saturday 16 August

 

It starts with the students

SPIE Student Leadership Workshop attendees

Approximately 200 leaders from SPIE Student Chapters around the world are participating in a weekend workshop as the SPIE Optics + Photonics week begins in San Diego. Above, the group gathered for a pre-launch photo on the Coronado Terrace at the San Diego Marriot Marquis Hotel and Marina.

Philip Stahl
Phillip Stahl

Focus on the similiarities in perspectives for effective communication, presenter Jean-luc Doumont (Principiae) told students in a presentation Saturday morning. Doumont's presentation was part of Saturday's workshop including professional development mentoring and interactive best-practices sessions among participants.

SPIE membership provides a powerful network, and giving conference presentations is vital to one's career, SPIE President NASA scientist Philip Stahl (at right) told students. Stahl and SPIE Community Services Director Krisinda Plenkovich urged students to participate in the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies in 2015, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to raise awareness.

SPIE Student Leadership Workshop attendees

More than 3,100 presentations await attendees in the coming week; above, student leaders check out the program.

More photos are in the event photo gallery.

 

New books ― and ties!

SPIE Marketplace

Optical Glass, Peter Hartmann (SCHOTT AG), and Field Guide to Digital Micro-Optics, Bernard Kress (USI Photonics Inc.), are two of the new publications for sale this week at the SPIE Marketplace in the Sails Pavilion.

International Year of Light tie

Ties, including a new design commemorating the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015), are among other items for sale as well; above SPIE President Philip Stahl shows off the new IYL 2015 tie during the all-symposium plenary session.

 


SPIE Optics + Photonics

17-21 August 2014
San Diego Convention Center

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On Twitter: #OpticsPhotonics

 


International Year of Light 2015
International Year of
Light 2015

 

Celebrate the photon!