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24 - 29 January 2009
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   Thursday, 24 January
   Wednesday, 23 January
   Tuesday, 22 January
   Monday, 21 January
   Sunday, 20 January
   Saturday, 19 January




Thursday 24 January 2008

Photonics West 2008 drew to a close today. Over 17,500 attendees saw 1,100 vendors at the world's most important photonics event.
























China: Customer, Competitor, Conundrum?

Relationships are crucial when doing business in China, and companies in the modern economy need to be doing business in China and not try to avoid it, according to two speakers with extensive experience in the country. Adonis Mak, Publishing Director of Laser Focus World China, and Robert Huang, CEO of Singapore-based Wavelength Technology, spoke in a Marketplace Perspective session on Thursday.

Mak told the audience that scientific research universities and industry comprise the primary market sectors for lasers in China. Most of these organizations purchase optical and laser products from international companies. Most lasers and optical solutions are purchased for consumer electronics, automobiles, semiconductors, and optical communications.

Many opportunities al exist for lasers for materials processing applications such as welding, cutting, marking and drilling. In the emerging Chinese semiconductor field, lasers are used for wafer dicing, lithography and detecting.

In the context of guan-zi (relationship), Mak pointed out that because research institutes in China are controlled by the government, buying behavior is difficult to predict based on trends and data alone.

Mak said that many foreign companies are concerned about having the products copied. He suggested that this is an indicator that there is demand forthe product, and advised vendors to respond by making it easier for the potential customer to access them, not the copier.

Huang said that the shift that began in 1980 from a planned economy has generated high growth rates, ranging from 8-10 percent over the last 25 years. Yet, the growth has not been consistent across the country. For example, 2006 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person is US$1700 across China overall, but in Shenzhen GDP is US$8815.

While there is a great supply of unskilled labor and low-cost competition, this growth also has created a shortage of middle management. Huang said China's new labor law, effective 1 January, adds employee protections and a new tax system for foreign and local companies. With regulatory changes and privatization of state-owned companies, there is an opening up of banking and a decentralization of power.

Chinese people and companies are increasingly filing intellectual property (IP) protection in various forms, but piracy remains an issue, primarily due to problems enforcing the law at the local level.

A member of the audience pointed out that while problems with IP may occur on a local scale, the central government has written strong IP laws modeled after German regulations.

Huang told the audience this "Be there; do not avoid it!" perspective grows out of his experience at Wavelength Technology The company established manufacturing in China in 2003. Yet, in addition to low-cost manufacturing, China is also a customer. As such, Huang expanded his software and hardware distributorship (WaveLab Scientific) in 2006 to sell photonics products within China.

China is the fourth largest economy in the world, behind the USA, Japan and Germany, with annual growth rates recently surpassing 11.5 percent according to figures published in December 2007 by Business Week.



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Wednesday 23 January 2008

Executive Panel Session
Market Direction and Implications for the World of Photonics

A panel of influential photonics executives shared their insights and outlook for 2008 on market potential in the United States and overseas Wednesday at SPIE Photonics West. In a panel moderated by Steve Eglash of Cyrium Technologies, the participants gave a mixed outlook for the coming year.

Addressing the current volatility in the stock market, Robert Edmund, CEO of Edmund Optics, said that "anything we say today could be wrong in a week." Nevertheless, he expected that the United States market would be "a tough one" in 2008. "It's very difficult to imagine that you're going to get businessmen making big, critical decisions in the environment we're sitting in, so I don't see how we can possibly see a robust market for '08." He said he expected non-U.S. markets to be stronger in the coming year.

Mark Sobey, senior Vice president of specialty laser systems for Coherent, said that he expected packaging and interconnects to be strong in 2008, and he sounded an optimistic note for the laser processing market. For example, "there's almost no part of the iPhone that does not use laser processing," he said.

Randy Heyler, senior director of strategic marketing for Newport was optimistic about the booming solar energy market, saying that incentives from the Japanese and German governments had stimulated growth by creating the level of volume necessary to bring prices down as consumers become more interested in green energy.

"The development of the photovoltaic area has been probably the most exciting," Heyler said, adding that there are great opportunities in the semiconductor industry as well. The business leaders also disagreed on what role Asia will play in the optics and photonics marketplace.

Holger Schlueter, Vice president of laser production and development for TRUMPF, warned against the trend toward offshore manufacturing as a money-saving strategy, saying that the pressure to reduce costs can drive innovation and efficiency. "I think it's a good thing to have that pressure," he said.



Clusters are optimistic—and busy

Cluster networking activity was in high gear on Wednesday, starting with enthusiasm at a Global Advantage Business Opportunities Breakfast at a local restaurant and wrapping up late in the evening with an SPIE-sponsored summit of cluster leadership and other gatherings.

“Cluster members are seeing optimism everywhere,” said Consul General of Canada Marc LePage. “The industry is back.” Canada was Global Advantage’s partner in sponsoring the morning event.

A contingent of representatives from an optics and photonics cluster in the Netherlands enjoyed a social event Wednesday night.
More than a dozen national and U.S.-state cluster groups are exhibiting at SPIE Photonics West. Clusters enable partnerships that otherwise are difficult to arrange between companies and across national boundaries. SPIE Photonics West provides an ideal environment for making those connections.

“SPIE brought us together,” said E. Duco Jansen of Vanderbilt University. “We found our supplier, Aculight, three years ago at Photonics West and we’ve been collaborating ever since. They were able to build the laser we needed for our application: stimulating neural tissue—using light to talk to neurons.” The potential for such applications is in development of treatments to restore neural function.

Cluster leaders at the evening summit shared information on challenges and successes.

Among the challenges they listed are finding funding to help maintain cluster-leadership continuity, staying connected across geographical distance and political boundaries, and understanding and working with ITAR and intellectual-property export regulations.

Reported successes resulting from cluster connections were considerable, including an enhanced ability to learn about and obtain substantial new funding and visibility, having an impact on educational programs that increase knowledge about the field of optics and help recruit students and early-career professionals, finding the right technology and business partners, and increasing international cooperation.



LASE 2008 Plenary

Friedrich Bachmann began the 2008 LASE plenary presentations with guiding questions raised last year by Charles Townes. What does it take to get an invention to market? How far does development need to be carried at a university before development can move to industry? All three speakers discussed the path of a great idea through to its realization in the commercial setting.

Dieter Bäuerle addresses his colleagues in the LASE symposium plenary session on Wednesday morning.
Dieter Bäuerle began the morning with a menagerie of promising methods for etching and nanopatterning of surfaces. Manipulating silicon traditionally has been a wet lithography process, but can also be done using two lasers operating in an atmosphere of molecular chlorine. While one laser impinges directly on the wafer, another laser operates parallel to the surface, locally dissociating the chlorine and creating SiCl4 with the ablated silicon atoms. As a photochemical process, this method limits thermal damage to the silicon, while the near-field optics permit fabrication of 103 to 109 features/cm2 without a mask. Patterns of both holes and cones in the size range of 25-50nm can be created in a single exposure using a high intensity laser. In a similar way, precision control of laser pulse, position and intensity enable a wide range of applications, from pattern etching on GaPO4, a piezoelectric material, cleaning artwork with eximer lasers, and surface preparation for cell adherence and growth.

In the second session, Holger Schlueter gave an engaging talk on the true story of laser development at Trumpf. Following the course of the development of the diffusion-cooled coax CO2 laser from its initial patent in 1992 through final release in 2002, Schlueter offered his advice on how to manage the development of complex systems. No matter how much expertise can be brought to bear, there are no short cuts to solving the range of problems needed just to get to an operation point for a new product. In Schlueter’s experience, even after a system has been brought to full function, an additional 2 years for final product fit & finish, control software, and documentation, then 2 more years in limited testing often elapses before a product is released for open sales. Trumpf’s latest developments in disk lasers have linked four disks in series to create a 12-kW beam, a leap forward from the first prototype disk laser that produced 2W in 1994. The good cooling and reasonable pump brightness requirements of this emitter geometry have helped disks lasers make strong gains in the industrial welding, shipbuilding and auto manufacturing markets.

Fred Dylla, CEO of the AIP and former Director of Jefferson Lab, spoke on the partnership building needed to make the free electron laser facility a reality. In the late ‘80s, the electron laser was considered a dying technology, despite the fact that they naturally have great characteristics such as rapid tunability (1-10 μm in 5 s), very high power, and femtosecond pulse generation. Unfortunately, electron lasers require a large electron accelerator to operate. Dylla organized a consortium of 10 companies, 10 universities, 2 cities and one state government to bring enough initial funding to the table to build the first 1-kW demo in 1996. Now, the free electron laser facility is a reality, and enables a number of experiments that could not be achieved in other ways. For example, Rox Anderson’s group at the Wellman center used the tunability of the laser to test the differential heating of skin vs. fat cells. One quick experiment showed the optimal wavelengths and power output needed to preferentially destroy fat cells in vivo. Other applications abound. The free electron laser is able to generate 100 W of THz radiation and can be used to produce grams per hour of carbon nanotubes. The group is now looking to build a 100-kW electron laser that can be palletized and shipped. If it can be produced for $35 million, it would hit the $0.01/kJ price point needed to be economically feasible for medium volume manufacturing.


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Tuesday 22 January 2008

Photonics West Exhibition Opened Today

View images from the show floor

The exhibition hall had a busy first day as attendees checked out the offerings of over 1,000 exhibitors in three different halls. Lynn Melton of Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL) said their booth had seen "very good traffic" on opening day.

Exhibit visitor and faculty advisor to the University of Alberta student chapter of SPIE, Abdulhakem Elezzabi, was enthusiastic about Photonics West as a whole and the exhibition in particular. "I love the exhibit," he said. "I get most of my problems solved here by talking to exhibitors and researchers."

Rob Afzal from Aculight (Bothell, WA) said "I think it's been a good show—things are really picking up this afternoon. We've had some good conversations with customers, and hopefully new ones coming by."

One of the main draws for exhibition attendees to SPIE Photonics West is the attraction of seeing the newest innovations and technologies as they are entering the marketplace. Each year companies come from around the world to Photonics West to launch new products.

Walking the floor on the first day of Photonics West is a great opportunity to experience excitement around the latest technological innovations. The German company INGENERIC is displaying its new generation of fiber coupling modules for high-power laser diode bars. The V-Step module of INGENERIC permits an emitter array to be coupled efficiently to multi-mode fibers. It transforms the asymmetrical radiation of the emitters in fast- and slow-axis into a symmetrical profile with the same diameter and divergence in both directions of propagation. The advantages for the customer’s application is the outstanding efficiency of the module, variability with regard to the number and size of the emitters which can be coupled in and the ease with which it can be mounted.

After much talk during the Photonics West conferences about solar cell manufacturing technology as well as ultrafast applications, it was exciting for attendees to see this research applied and in action. Trumpf attracted much attention to their booth in South Hall with the launch of several new products. According to Dr. Holger Schlueter, Vice President Laser, “Trumpf was truly excited to showcase innovative tools for the industrial manufacturing environment in the fields of cold ablation in silicon, metals, and edge deletion for solar cells.”

Ocean Optics drew attention with the launch of a host of new products at Photonics West. Rob Randelman, President, shared that they are launching “Jaz, a new remote, handheld, self-contained instrument, sure to be ‘music to the ears’ of researchers and fellow innovators in photonics.” Combined with their newest UV enhanced spectrometers, Maya, and RedEye, their oxygen-sensing solutions, in the words of Rob Randelman, “The tide is high at Ocean.”



OPTO 2008 Plenary Session

The OPTO plenaries began today with a talk by Dr. Eli Yablonovitch of UC Berkeley entitled, "Nanophotonics: From Photonic Crystals to Plasmonics."

Dr. Yablonovitch described photonic crystals in simple terms—looking at when the electron and photon bandgaps overlap. With a simple 2D structure created by a triangular lattice of holes that mimic the waveguide formed by a simple Si/SiO2 sandwich, one finds that enormous Qs (of over one million) are possible. This structure lends itself to a number of applications, being that Qs higher than 1000 lead to optical modulators, cavity-enhanced photodetectors, and WDM channel filtering.

He then declared plasmonics as the bridge from the micro world to the nano world, again using a simple example to illustrate his point. Since electricity (such as a wall plug) operates at subwavelength, there is no reason that optics should be surprising at subwavelength. One can think in terms of circuits operating at optical frequencies. From the standpoint of circuit theory, optics will work similarly, with the exception that one must employ kinetic inductance rather than ordinary conductance.

Jim Grote then introduced the second speaker, Dr. Niyazi Serdar Sariciftci (Johannes Kepler Univ. Linz), who gave a plenary talk on Organic, "Plastic" Optoelectronic devices.

Dr. Sariciftci discussed three of the most interesting organic devices: organic LEDS (OLEDs), organic photovoltaics (OPVs), and organic field-effect transistors (OFETs).

The true benefit of organics over inorganics is that a small manipulation of chemical structure can radically change the electronic structure. OLEDs, for example, can be created by treating semiconductors as inks and printing a large-area OLED. This lends itself to large-area lighting or displays, essential devices for addressing the impending energy crisis.

Also important for staving off the impending energy crisis (and nearly the reverse component to OLEDs) is the OPV, which Dr. Sariciftci called extremely underestimated. With the screen printing of thin film devices and the replacement of ITO by nanotube electrodes in the substrate, OPVs can be mass-produced more cheaply.

However, the most fascinating part of Sariciftci's talk came when he discussed the work of Jim Grote. Using the raw materials of fish waste, Grote's team has taken fish DNA and created DNA-based OFETs from those optical biopolymer materials. Research such as this holds promise for biocompatible, implantable devices that can be mass produced from cheap raw materials, be disposable, and have great chemical flexibility.



Conference presentations of interest:

Reliable operation of high-efficiency (>70%) 8xx- and 9xx-nm diode lasers (paper 6876-27)
Paul O. Leisher et al., nLight Corp.
nLight indicated their lasers are found in medical, defense and consumer products. The industry applications include heat treating and applications in the solar and silicon industries. For their Bar array lasers, efficiency and reliability go hand-in-hand; an efficient device will run cooler and thermal effects are the main accelerant of aging and failure. While the Bar array provides increased power, they require beam combination optics and typically result in lower beam quality than single emitters.

Surface functionalization using ultrafast pulses for industrial applications (paper 6879A-15)
Eric Audouard, Univ. Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne (France)
This talk presented a study of the effect of laser written microstructures on the surface of metals and their effect on the flow of lubricant across the surface. It was found that the adherence of the lubricant to the surface is enhanced by the presence of microcavities. However, if the depth of the cavities is too large, bubbles will form in the lubricant and it will separate from the surface under flow conditions. The talk also indicated the advantage of using microstructures for the marking of metal tools, in this case surgical tools. This technique is found to produce less corrosion around the marked area than normal scribing.

High-temperature and high-power operation of terahertz quantum-cascade lasers (paper 6909-17)
Sushil Kumar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, et al.
Kumar presented this talk on high-power and high-temperature operation of a terahertz quantum cascade laser. Terahertz lasers in the 1.5- to 5-THz range are used for imaging and security applications. However, to achieve the necessary powers the devices need to be cryo-operated at temperatures near that of liquid nitrogen. A lot of the research on these devices concerns how to both raise the temperature of operation and get higher usable power from the device. The talk discussed several laser designs that offer trade-offs in operation between these two parameters. In addition, external optics can offer better beam quality which leads to more usable power and allows for some compromise in the design choice.

Progress in quantum cascade lasers (paper 6909-18)
Jerome Faist, ETH Zürich
Faist spoke about the efforts in quantum cascade lasers to expand the wavelength range they covered as well as raising the operating temperature. Again, the laser design comes into play in expanding the wavelength range. It is shown how an applied external magnetic field can help in extending this range by increasing the upper level lifetime. His research in improved temperature operation is to consider using different materials for the device. He showed improved temperature operation over different wavelength regions by using a different material basis for the device. Next, he considered the potential of using microcavity designs for the lasers. At optical wavelengths a microcavity design operates at grazing incidence angles in the cavity, but at these longer wavelengths the modes of the cavity are confined even at large angles to the surface. This leads to high fields in the center of the device as compared with operation at shorter wavelengths, and this can be used as an advantage in the operation. Finally, he considered laser cavity designs that use photonic crystal structures in the active region. Their findings indicate that a TILE QCL, one that has a tile-like structure from arrangements of active material pillars throughout the cavity, can have lower waveguide loss and thus improved operation.



Newport and Spectra-Physics Research Excellence Travel Awards

SPIE Student Services hosted the Student Lunch with the Experts, to give students a chance to network and gain advice from industry and academic leaders. The Newport and Spectra-Physics Research Excellence Travel Awards presentations were made during the lunch. Randy Heyler, senior director of Strategic Marketing for Newport, (second from right, in front of podium) presented $15,000 in travel awards to student researchers at a luncheon at SPIE Photonics West.

Students who attended to accept the awards were as follows: Taeyoung Choi, University of Arizona; Eric Diebold, Harvard University; Juejun Hu, MIT; Toufic Jabbour, University of Central Florida; Chih-wen “Wendy” Kan, University of Texas at Austin; Matthew Lew, Calif.l Institute of Tech; Yutin Lin, UCalif, Irvine; Suprahja Murali, Univ. of Central Florida; Jaesook Park, University of Texas at Austin; Leo Siiman, U. Central Florida; Mingzhen Tang, U NC at Charlotte; Nitin Uppal, U Texas, Arlington; Hongying Zhu, U Missouri, Columbia; Narasimhan Rajaram, U Texas, Austin. Also winning an award, but not pictured: Tina Shih, Harvard Univ.

SPIE President Kevin Harding and representatives from Newport are also in the photo with the award winners.


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Monday 21 January 2008

The LASE 2008 program started off with several industry talks on the applications of fiber and disk lasers.

Penetration of fiber lasers into industrial market (paper 6873-1)
Valentin P. Gapontsev, IPG Photonics Corp.
Gapontsev discussed the latest developments in fiber lasers for cutting, welding and drilling applications. Fiber lasers that reach 10–20 kW of power are now available with demonstrated over half a million pulse lifetimes. IPG also introduced their robotic system for the manufacturing floor as well as a 1-kW laser for fast cutting.

High-power disk laser (paper 6871-14)
Rüdiger Brockmann, Kurt Mann, TRUMPF Laser GmbH & Co. KG; Holger Schlueter, David Havrilla, TRUMPF Inc.
Trumpf announced their multipass disk laser system that can achieve up to 3 kW per disk. The laser head operates with high optical efficiency (around 60%) as the pump beam is passed through the amplifier disk 20 times in the parabolic mirror configuration. The system can be configured with up to four disks to operate at 12 kW total output power. They anticipate scaling this to 4 kW per disk and 16 kW total in the near future. The applications they are targeting are welding and cutting. Trumpf also announced a standoff scanning system with a working distance of around 50 cm for these operations. This allows for high-speed alignment and scanning of the workpiece.

The impact of fiber lasers in industrial marking and micro-fabrication applications (paper 6873-2)
Stephen Norman, SPI Lasers plc
SPI Lasers highlighted applications in marking and micro-fabrication areas. They indicated that the laser market for the solar cell industry is poised for growth from a €80M business today to €650M in 2015. They have introduced a silicon cutting system where they found that by using the appropriate gas along with the laser produces a plasma that greatly facilitates the cutting of the silicon. They believe the fiber laser is the laser of choice for the marking and micro-application areas because of excellent performance, economics, versatility and operability.

Applications of fiber lasers beyond materials processing (paper 6873-3)
Andrew J. W. Brown, Aculight Corp.
Brown talked about fiber laser applications beyond material processing. They see many applications in directed energy because power from fiber lasers can be scaled up through beam combining techniques. There are spectral and coherent beam combining methods that take advantage of the fiber laser’s excellent spectral and beam characteristics. They also see applications in LIDAR imaging where fiber lasers are eye safe and powerful enough to cover large distances.


Presentations also continued Monday in the BiOS symposium.

Prosthetic systems for therapeutic optical activation and silencing of genetically targeted neurons (paper 6854-16)
Jacob Bernstein, et al., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ed Boyden of MIT presented work on genetically targeted neurons using blue and yellow light Treatments for Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, pain, and other afflictions are being explored using what Boyden called “high-throughput functional circuit breaking.” He said many disorders are due to impairments in specific cell types. By targeting all cells of one type within an area of tissue using an implant layered with blue and yellow LEDs, it becomes possible to turn off specific neurons with better efficacy than drugs or other types of implants.



MOEMS-MEMS 2008 Plenary Session

Michael Douglas of Texas Instruments (pictured at right, during his presentation) made a strong case that MEMS have come of age and that reliability concerns are minimal when the proper design, testing and characterization methods are employed. Rigorous modeling, testing and characterization have led to a series of products from DLP chips to accelerometers that appear in items of everyday use, such as TV’s and iPods. He believes that when you no longer know or care that MEMS are being used in a device, it means they have reached a stage of maturity that makes them ready for products.

Prof. Harold Craighead, Cornell University, spoke about developments in Nano-Electrical-Mechanical Systems (NEMS) and their use as sensors in biological applications. He highlighted the use of optical techniques for both the excitation and the interrogation of these devices. By providing a hands-off means to access these very small devices, optical methods really enable their use in many sensor applications.

Randy Craig of Microvision, Inc., the final speaker of the MOEMS-MEMS 2008 plenary session, presented a miniaturized image projection system based on a 2D MEMS scanning mirror. The mirror is driven by electromagnetic signals to raster scan an output beam. The collimated output from three internal lasers systems (red, green and blue) are coupled to the mirror and synchronized with the mirror scanning to provide a color output image. The MEMS mirror contains several unique design elements to realize the 2D raster scan capability in such a small format.



SPIE Fellows Luncheon
SPIE Fellows were honored at a luncheon Monday in the San Jose Fairmont Hotel for making a difference in the advance of science. SPIE announced 18 new Fellows at the luncheon. The honorees are among a total of 72 new SPIE Fellows being announced in 2008, and chose to be recognized at SPIE Photonics West because of their involvement with technologies presented at the event.

Attendees were urged by Engineers Without Borders (EWB) technical advisor John Shinn to help make a direct difference in the lives of people in developing countries as well. Optical engineers and others who have a desire to share their ideas and know-how have been working with EWB on projects to improve sanitation, fight hunger and disease and bring clean water to developing countries.

SPIE President Kevin Harding and CEO Eugene Arthurs presented Shinn with a $5,000 donation from SPIE to EWB at the luncheon, to support EWB’s mission.

SPIE is encouraging its Members to consider volunteering for this organization and will match financial contributions from Members and attendees at Photonics West, up to $10,000.



Early Career Professionals Reception
A reception for Early Career Professionals on Monday in the San Jose Fairmont Hotel helped celebrate SPIE’s newest membership status. The goal of the program is to provide strong support, networking, and professional development opportunities for early career professionals working in optics and photonics. See the Early Career Professionals page for more information on this new option, launched earlier this month.

SPIE Board member James Grote of the Air Force Research Lab was one of several SPIE leaders attending the Early Career Professional social to encourage students and recent graduates to take advantage of leadership opportunities with SPIE, especially at events like Photonics West.

Grote said that students and recent graduates were especially welcome in planning programs and conference sessions at future symposia.

Pictured above are Margarita Rusakova of Samara State University and SPIE 2008 President-Elect Maria Yzuel of the Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona.



SPIE Receptions

SPIE Members were honored at a Members-Only Reception at the California Theatre Monday evening, where they were entertained by a jazz trio and treated to a chocolate fountain and other refreshments.







The All-Symposium Welcome Reception gathered attendees to the Fairmont Hotel for refreshments and camaraderie.



See images from the SPIE Student "No Ties" Social held on Monday evening.






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Sunday, 20 January 2008

View images from the biomedical optics exhibition

BiOS conferences continued today, with full rooms. Some conferences, such as Conf. 6862 Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Imaging were moved to larger rooms and still generated standing room only attendance.

Some highlights from Sunday presentations:

Pathology for endoscopic microscopists (paper 6851-1)
Guillermo J. Tearney, Massachusetts General Hospital
G. Tearney presented a tutorial on the pathology of cancer. The purpose of the lecture was to compare and contrast the histopathology for laboratory microscopy versus endoscopic microscopy where the samples are live tissue and not prepared samples. This very well received presentation was given to a completely full room and generated a lot of questions and interaction with the speaker.

How phototherapy affects the immune system (paper 6846-4)
Mary Dyson, King's College London (United Kingdom) and Longport Inc.
Prof. Dyson spoke on the effect of low level light on the human immune system. There is a growing body of evidence that light can affect the system directly, but there is also indication of indirect effects through the transportation of cells and molecules that are carried through our system by the blood.

Far-field fluorescence microscopy with nanoscale resolution: from the basics to applications (paper 6862-23)
Christian Eggeling, Stefan W. Hell, Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie (Germany)
Eggeling introduced the advantages of STED (Stimulated Emission Depletion) microscopy for far-field imaging at super resolution. The technique involves using an annular laser spot to photobleach fluorescent material under observation so that only the small central portion is imaged. The technique can be used in determining diffusion coefficient of particles passing through the localized spot so individual particles can be discriminated.


BiOS Sunday Poster SessionA poster session for the BiOS conference on Multiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences filled the second-floor hallway of the Marriott Hotel Sunday evening.







Ocean Optics Young Investigator Award PresentationAllison Dennis of Georgia Institute of Technology was awarded the Ocean Optics Young Investigator Award Sunday during the conference on Colloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications for the paper "Quantum dot-fluorescent protein FRET probes for protease activity assays," coauthored by Gang Bao of Georgia Tech.
The award was announced by Rob Randelman, president of Ocean Optics, with $1,000 going to Dennis and $1,000 to her program at Georgia Tech. The award selection was made by conference chairs Marek Osinski of the University of New Mexico, Thomas Jovin of the Max-Planck-Institut fur biophysikalische Chemie, and Kenji Yamamoto of the International Medical Center of Japan.

Pictured, from left: Randelman, Dennis, Osinski, and Yamamoto.



OPTO 2008: Integrated Optoelectronic Devices began today. Research addressing the latest advances in a broad range of optoelectronic technologies and their integration for a variety of applications will be presented in the almost 1,000 papers that are part of this symposium.

Chairs Ali Adibi, Georgia Institute of Technology (USA), and James G. Grote, Air Force Research Lab. (USA), have assembled a program that strives to answer the demand for more bandwidth, be it for communication, computation, instrumentation, or storage.

Some highlights from Sunday presentations:

Robust single-mode emission from mid-IR interband cascade lasers (paper 6900-2)
Chulsoo Kim, et al., Naval Research Lab.
The main application for quantum cascade lasers is chemical sensing. This talk presented the results of improved room temperature threshold currents and higher slope efficiencies for these lasers.

Conf. 6900 Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices V
The start of the OPTO program began with a full room of people interested in quantum cascade lasers.

Conf. 6856 Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2008: The Ninth Conference on Biomedical Thermoacoustics, Optoacoustics, and Acousto-optics conference was standing room only. Roger J. Zemp, Washington Univ. in St. Louis, presented on Realtime photoacoustic imaging of cardiac and respiratory dynamics in mice (paper 6856-15) and described a new multielement ultrasound receiver array that reduced the scan time for photo acoustic imaging from several minutes to 50 frames per second.



Sunday Night Hot Topics Workshop
This discussion on nanotechnology and medicine touched on a wide variety of topics, from how to make tattoos safe using nontoxic nanoparticle inks or at least inks that could be later removed through laser radiation, to what is the definition of nanotechnology from the perspective of NIH and from that of the community at large. While there is general concern about the safety issues of nanotechnology, it is understood that the current practice of medicine contains many procedures which have potentially harmful side effects, and the limitation of the field is really our understanding of biology. Said one panelist: “We still don’t understand how aspirin works!” Sunday Night Hot Topics

Photo: Panelists at the standing-room-only BiOS hot topic session on Sunday evening led a discussion on Nanotechnology and Medicine.

Pictured, from left: Moderator Rebekah Drezek of Rice University was joined by Adam Wax and Tuan Vo-Dinh of Duke University and R. Rox Anderson of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard School of Medicine.


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Saturday, 19 January 2008

Biomedical optics took center stage at Photonics West, as the BiOS 2008 conferences kicked off in full force. Researchers from around the globe joined together in San Jose to listen to the first day of findings on the latest clinical and technical advances in this important and fast-growing field.
BiOS is the preeminent conference on biomedical optics
BiOS 2008 Symposium Chairs James Fujimoto, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), and R. Rox Anderson, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard School of Medicine (USA), have assembled a program that is 1,300 papers strong.

Some highlights from the first day of presentations:

Brillouin confocal microscope (paper 6864-02)
Giuliano Scarcelli, Seok-Hyun Yun, Harvard Medical School
Brillouin scattering is a process where photons are scattered in a material by acoustic vibrations (sound waves)(phonons). The light is scattered into directions that are dependent on the wavelength of the phonon vibration. Because the sound waves are part of the physical medium they are dependent on the physical properties of the medium (density and elasticity). The most direct method to collect information on the physical properties of the material (in this case biological) is to apply a stress (push on it) and measure its response. The advantage of the optical approach is that it is noninvasive. To extract the material's properties from the scattered light, you need to apply spectroscopic techniques. For this paper’s approach the standard Fabrey-Perot spectrometer is not fast enough for dynamical measurements, so the authors used a virtual image phased array (VIPA) to produce interference fringes that contain the required scattered light information. The VIPA consists of an antireflection-coated plate so that all the light is scattered in the forward direction and the fringes are measured by a camera system. With this approach they can monitor the density (for example) of a material as its properties change. They used a UV curing epoxy as a sample material and monitored the density and elasticity changes during the cure process. They have extended this technique to biological samples where they look at the changes in the lens of a mouse eye (in situ) as a function of the age of the mouse to see density changes that correlate with age.

Latest applications for 2-focus fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (paper 6862-01)
Thomas Dertinger, Univ. of California/Los Angeles, et al.
The motivation for this paper is to measure the diffusion coefficient of molecules (in this case in an isotropic liquid) and its dependence on the state of the molecules. The molecules could be proteins whose diffusion depends on whether the proteins are folded or unfolded, and by measuring the diffusion rate one can determine what state the proteins are in. The standard fluorescence microscopy techniques suffer from potential errors introduced by aberrations of the optical system, and the size and shape of the optical focal spot, which is critical in measuring the diffusion, depends on the index of the material which varies with temperature. The technique employed by the authors is to use a laser confocal microscope arrangement with dual laser source of orthogonal polarization, combine the source beams with a polarization beam splitter and separate them with a polarization wedge at the sample. The two spots are then separated by a known amount (in this case, approximately 400 nm) that provides a known size calibration of the sampled area. In addition, they implemented both auto- and cross-correlation algorithms to successfully and accurately extract the diffusion coefficient from the measured data.
Students meeting between conference sessions
Ultra-high resolution adaptive optics: optical coherence tomography for in vivo imaging of healthy and diseased retinal structures (paper 6844A-07)
Robert J. Zawadzki, Univ. of California/Davis Medical Ctr., et al.
The application of adaptive optics to optical coherence tomography is improving the resolution of the instrument to see 3-micron structures in the retina of the eye. A dual adaptive optics system is employed in the sample arm of the OCT instrument. One AO mirror system addresses low-order aberrations, while the 2nd AO mirror corrects for the higher-order aberrations of the optical train (including the lens of the eye). The description of the adaptive optics system will be covered in a talk during the MEMS conference on adaptive optics.

Tomographic phase microscopy (paper 6855-25)
Wonshik Choi, Michael S. Feld, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Biological cell material is very hard to see because the index of refraction of the material is all very similar (no contrast) and close to that of water. Using phase contrast enhances the optical phase difference as light travels through the material; however, the phase contrast microscope does not give quantitative results, it only improves the image. The purpose here is to build a quantitative phase microscope that can produce a 3D map of the index of the material in a living cell with enough resolution to differentiate the different materials in the cell and do this in real time to be able to see changes in the cell under varying conditions. If you look directly through the sample you get the integrated phase of all the material the light passes through. But if you look through the sample at numerous different angles the light passes through different material for each different angle. You can mathematically extract the index of the internal material from the complete set of data taken at many angle settings. This is essentially what is done for x-ray computed tomography, where the x-ray imaging system is rotated around the patient. They apply this technique in the optical regime by analyzing the interference fringes at multiple angles using rotating mirrors to tilt the beam before it passes through the sample. They have been able to extend their technique to high speed so that they are performing video rate optical tomography for cellular samples. They show they can monitor the changes in a living cell as it is exposed to different chemical environments.




BiOS Hot Topics, Saturday Evening
A full-house crowd heard a series of expert reports on Saturday evening that moderator Sergio Fantini of Tufts University characterized as “important advancements in medical treatments and diagnostics being made by the field of biomedical optics.” BiOS Hot Topics

Among the highlights:

R. Rox Anderson, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard School of Medicine, said that a deeper version of laser-guided fractional micro beam surgery methods now used in ophthalmology and dermatology provides a new paradigm for treatment of more deadly cancers; he also described the potential of low-light laser therapy in treating and preventing stroke damage.

Bruce Tromberg, Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic, University of California Irvine, and Lihong Wang, Washington University in St. Louis, showed impressive positive impacts on the success of therapy as a result of enhanced data gathered during treatment by diffuse optical imaging at Beckman and by photoacoustic tomography and microscopy at Washington University.

David Piston, Vanderbilt University, described real-time quantitative microscopy at the nanometer scale that enables more focused therapies, and Mary-Ann Mycek, University of Michigan, showed how tissue optical spectroscopy is used in earlier, more accurate diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic disease.

Paul French, Imperial College, talked about work in fluorescence lifetime imaging that has been revolutionized by the supercontinuum source technology.

W. E. Moerner, Stanford University, described single-molecule super-resolution imaging and trapping to control molecular activity, and Stefan Andersson-Engels, Lund University, reported on fiber-optic treatments for prostate and other cancers with considerably greater tissue penetration than current photodynamic therapies.



BiOS Exhibition showcases latest technologiesExhibition

See more images from the exhibition

A total of 150 companies displayed their latest products, components, and systems in the Biomedical Optics Exhibition held Saturday and Sunday. This sister exhibition to the main Photonics West show running Tuesday through Thursday gave the BiOS conference attendees a focused look at the technologies aligned with their work.

Pictured, above: Luminetx Director of Clinical Operations David Pennington demonstrates the VeinViewer. This tool enables technicians to find veins for easier IV insertion.


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