SPIE in the News

Links to press coverage of SPIE in science, business, and technology publications, online articles, blogs, and other news sources. (SPIE is not responsible for the content published on external sites.)

17 April 2015
SPIE Defense, Security + Sensing 2015: 'Seeing the Unseen' with thermal cameras

FLIR Systems, Inc. presents FLIR Center Stage, a high-profile presentation series focused on innovative and impactful uses of thermal technology, at SPIE DSS 2015 in Baltimore, MD. FLIR will be welcoming two notable speakers whose work epitomizes inventive applications of thermal imaging in the realms of environmental protection and entertainment: documentary film director Louie Psihoyos and National Geographic television host and producer, Casey Anderson. 

16 April 2015
Recognising imaging's fingerprints

Looking at commercially available reports, the general market for biometric technology is around $11bn in 2014, noted Stephen Anderson, industry and market strategist at SPIE. In order to further uptake, Emanuela Marasco, a post-doctoral associate researcher at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte's department of computer science, believes improving public confidence in biometric technology is crucial. Marasco will present research at SPIE DSS, the defence, security and sensing show to be held in Baltimore, USA from 20-24 April.

13 April 2015
Industry group urges support for photonics at U.S. Congressional offices

During the 20th Science-Engineering-Technology Working Group (SETWG) "STEM on the Hill" event in Washington, D.C, a group of volunteers from the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) was on hand to express support for key issues related to photonics technologies and research and development. Jim McNally, chair of the SPIE Engineering, Science, and Technology Policy committee and member of the SPIE Board of Directors said that the experience was quite positive, and that the combination of visits and leave-behind materials proved to be effective.

07 April 2015
More photonics projects get Europe's SME funding

More photonics companies and development projects have won backing for "Phase 2" innovation thanks to Europe's new Horizon 2020 funding instrument aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  This time around, the winners include France-based First Light Imaging, which is working on what it calls "the world's fastest low-noise infrared camera." The company, which exhibited at the SPIE Photonics West event earlier this year, reckons that the fast (more than 2000 frames per second) short-wave IR (SWIR) camera could revolutionize the infrared imaging market.

06 April 2015
DSA defects continue downward trend

As previously discussed, the majority of defects in early directed self-assembly (DSA) processes were due to particles and other contaminants, and could be attributed to the immaturity of the process and materials. As manufacturers consider whether to incorporate DSA into specific technology nodes, they need to assure themselves that production-worthy yields can be achieved. Recent research at IMEC, presented at the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference in February, offers reasons for both optimism and concern.

01 April 2015
Explosive potential

Commercial sensing solutions for detecting explosive materials are available, but as yet none that offer any significant standoff distance between the operator and the threat. In terms of scanning a package to determine whether or not it contains explosives, the further away this can be done the better. At SPIE DSS, the defence, sensing, and security show to be held in Baltimore in the U.S. in April, a number of groups will present work on developing Raman sensing for explosives detection.

01 April 2015
SPIE: Deconvolution allows recovery of full resolution in light field images

One of the most limiting hardware factors in light field photography is the loss of image resolution by use of microlens arrays. In a recent article on SPIE.org, the international society for optics and photonics, researchers José Manuel Rodriguez-Ramos and colleagues discuss a new deconvolution approach which allows recovery of full image resolution from a raw light field picture.

30 March 2015
It's EUV season again

I know, I know, you're all at the edge of your seats, wondering if it's ok to start designing assuming EUV lithography. Actually ... I suppose if it's critical to you, you've already got inside tracks and you attend all the update sessions, so you're probably already up to speed. But the rest of you are just dying to know, I'm sure. SPIE Advanced Litho happened recently, and there are three larger stories to tell here, although, at present, unless something changes, it seems like only two of them will have an impact. Each of these stories corresponds to one of the potential purveyors of EUV lithography sources.

29 March 2015
Life without EUV: SPIE Day 2

I previously published a summary of day 1 of SPIE and I wanted to follow up with observations from successive days.

26 March 2015
Google's search emphasis on mobile websites could be boon for Bellingham tech firm

A local technology startup could have a big opportunity on its hands as Google changes the way people find information on mobile phones. SPIE's Scott Ritchey was impressed how quickly WompMobile was able to make his organization's website mobile-friendly, completing the project in three weeks.

26 March 2015
Photonics to benefit from US export control reform?

The proposed reforms to US Munitions List Category XII are expected to be published soon, a change in regulation that could be controversial among the optics and photonics industry, writes Jennifer Douris, a lobbyist at SPIE.

26 March 2015
A review of model development for 10nm lithography

The development of new manufacturing nodes is always full of adventure and discovery. While we usually see the challenges of a new node looming on the horizon like a storm at sea, it is not until active development is well underway that we get a good look at the waters. Right now for 10nm lithography, we are still looking into the storm, although it's getting closer. The good news is that we are discovering ways that will help us chart a safe passage. As you might expect, 14nm is the pathfinder but we are developing strategies for the process beyond in its own right. You can go deeper into our work on EMF effects by reading this paper recently presented at SPIE Advanced Lithography.

25 March 2015
DARPA developing gimbal-mounted radar to lock target through cloud coverage

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing radar that locks onto a target through cloud coverage. Dubbed Video Synthetic Aperture Radar (ViSAR) system, it enables aircraft to offer close-air support to ground troops despite unclear weather conditions. "Our radar system can be used to image the ground, even through clouds and dust, at a sufficiently high resolution and frame rate to support the engagement of maneuvering targets," DARPA's Bruce Wallace wrote in an article for SPIE.

25 March 2015
Bertagne takes second place in SPIE/ASME Student Paper Competition

Christopher Bertagne, a graduate student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, working under the advise of Dr. Darren Hartl with co-chair Dr. John Whitcomb, was awarded second place in the SPIE/ASME 2015 Student Paper Competition.

25 March 2015
Pentagon's DARPA develops radar for air attacks through the clouds

The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is developing radar that can lock onto targets through cloud coverage, enabling aircraft to offer close-air support to ground troops despite unclear weather conditions. "Our radar system can be used to image the ground, even through clouds and dust, at a sufficiently high resolution and frame rate to support the engagement of maneuvering targets," DARPA's Bruce Wallace wrote in an article for SPIE.

24 March 2015
Manufacturing Bits: Mouse brains to multi-beam

At the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, Sematech provided an update on its multi-beam, e-beam inspection program. The goal is to develop a next-generation inspection tool, which could be faster than traditional e-beam inspection and could one day displace brightfield inspection.

24 March 2015
BiOS/Photonics West 2015: Translational Research award winners tackle clinical need

At the Translational Research Lunchtime Forum during Photonics West 2015's Biomedical Optics symposium (BiOS), four research projects were recognized as having particularly high clinical potential. According to symposium co-chairs Bruce Tromberg of the University of California Irvine and Gabriela Apiou from the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston), the winners were selected from nearly 270 submissions for their focus on such issues as addressing unmet medical needs and showing definitive outcomes. "We want to ensure that young scientists can design and perform clinically relevant studies," said Apiou.

24 March 2015
Synopsys and leading-edge litho

While wandering the halls of SPIE Advanced Litho, I had a conversation wiht Synopsys's Tom Ferry about their focus for the leading edge of lithography. He addressed several areas, many of which reflect progress on existing notions. Compact models are getting less ... well, compact as compared to so-called "rigorous" models.

24 March 2015
Diffuse optics detects spinal cord ischemia

Disruption to the spinal cord's blood flow can have devastating consequences for patients, whether caused by accidental trauma or during elective surgical procedures. A prototype probe developed at Stony Brook Medicine could be a significant step forward, offering a means to directly measure both blood flow and oxygenation close to the site of interest, and potentially providing early indications of ischemia before it takes hold. The fiber-optic device designed at Stony Brook in a project backed by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation offers some significant improvements. Its potential was recognized at this year's SPIE Photonics West event, when it was among the technologies selected as having the highest clinical potential during the Translational Research Symposium.

23 March 2015
Think fast!

Can you control objects with your brain? Visitors to the Hamamatsu Photonics booth during SPIE Photonics West 2015 could -- and did, with a little help from a system based on near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).

23 March 2015
BiOS/Photonics West 2015: Fascination and celebration at BiOS 2015

The Biomedical Optics symposium (BiOS) at SPIE Photonics West 2015 served both to acknowledge significant achievement and anticipate excitement yet to come. In addition to technology developments presented in the exhibit hall and research progress presented in the conferences, each BiOS exhibit day concluded with celebration.

20 March 2015
Laser World of Photonics -- don't miss it

Every two years, Munich hosts an inspiring international trade fair and technical conferences that together draw over 1100 exhibitors and 25,000 researchers and professionals in lasers and optics - -the LASER World of Photonics exhibition and the World of Photonics Congress. From fundamental and application-based scientific topics to the latest laser and photonics applications in industry and medicine, all sides of photonics are presented in five large halls and in the Congress center at Messe München. Optical Metrology is organized by SPIE Europe, and the 2015 European Conferences on Biomedical Optics is being organized by SPIE.

19 March 2015
Challenges mount for patterning and masks

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss lithography and photomask trends with Uday Mitra, vice president and chief technology officer for the Etch Business Unit at Applied Materials; Pawitter Mangat, senior manager and deputy director for EUV lithography at GlobalFoundries; Aki Fujimura, chief executive at D2S; Naoya Hayashi, a fellow at Dai Nippon Printing; and Mike Rieger, senior director of engineering at Synopsys. What follows are excerpts of that discussion. Per Fujimura: Cost is one issue. But we've also proven over the years that magically, somehow and some way, the collection of the SPIE community comes up with answers.

19 March 2015
Five issues under the SPIE radar

As usual, the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography conference was a busy, if not an overwhelming, event. At the event, there were endless presentations on the usual subjects, such as design, patterning, metrology and photoresists. And as in past years, one left the event with more questions than answers. At this year's event, the most obvious question was (and still is) clear: Will extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography happen at 7nm-or at all?

19 March 2015
Collaboration is dead, long live collaboration!

Following moderating a discussion at SPIE Photonics West in February on biophotonics funding, Mark Hutchinson, director of the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics, argues that a more integrated, transdisciplinary research environment is needed in biophotonics.

16 March 2015
PicoQuant celebrates 2014 Chemistry Nobel Prize winners

Rainer Erdmann, Managing Director at PicoQuant co-chaired a special plenary session to celebrate Nobel Prize winners Eric Betzig, Stefan Hell, and W.E. Moerner, who received the coveted Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year for their revolutionary work in super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. Approximately 1500 Photonics West attendees came along to the event.

12 March 2015
Edmund Optics and LUXeXceL deliver 3D-printed optics

The potential of LUXeXceL's 3D-printed plastic optics technology is good enough that it's attracted the attention of Edmund Optics. The two companies have formed a working relationship to bring this technology to the photonics industry. At the SPIE Photonics West show in February, both companies displayed examples of lenses made with LUXeXceL's Printopical process and optically transparent polymer material. The technology won the 2015 Prism Award for Photonics Innovation in the Additive Manufacturing category, given by the SPIE and Photonics Media.

09 March 2015
SPIE Advanced Lithography: Next-gen semiconductor processing

Reports on advances in EUVL, DSA and other next-generation semiconductor technologies for faster, more accurate production of smaller, more capable computer chips and devices were among many high notes heard during SPIE Advanced Lithography in San Jose, California last week. 

09 March 2015
NM emerging as a hotbed for optics startup firms

The explosion in optics and photonics technology in everything from superfast laser communications to medical devices is creating huge opportunities to launch new business entures, and New Mexico is well-positioned to tap that growing market. Photonics has revolutionized the field of telecomunnications ... the global market for photonics and optics tools reached $780 billion in 2014 according to SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

06 March 2015
350 years of scientific journals

On 6 March 1665 something quite special happened. It probably didn't seem that special at the time, but the publication of the first issue of the Philosophical Transactions in London created a vital communication tool in science: the scientific journal. 350 years later that journal is still being published, joined by 10s of 1,000s of other scientific journals that chronicle and transmit that vital currency of science: knowledge. I recently wrote a short article on the history of scientific journals; find it in the Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS (JM3).

06 March 2015
Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics celebrates IYL 2015

The 2015 Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics (FIP) Annual Meeting will recognize the celebration of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015), which this year will feature the celebration of the World Photonics Forum. The event will also comprise contributed papers and posters by investigators from Duke and other academic and industrial institutions as well as Industry Booths and exhibitions such as IYL 2015's LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb exhibit.

05 March 2015
SPIE Advanced Lithography 2015 epilogue

I gave three talks at last week's SPIE Advanced Lithography Symposium, and I've spent a fair part of this week finishing up the papers. I've done something different this year. I have, after the fact, recorded my presentations and uploaded them to YouTube.

04 March 2015
Laser-based aircraft defense system approved for global sale

British multinational defence, security and aerospace company BAE Systems has announced that its Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures system has been approved for export by the U.S. Department of Defense. The company commented, "This approval paves the way for sales to allied nations around the world, giving them access to this life-saving technology."  The topic of potential changes to U.S. export restrictions on military or defence-related photonics technologies was considered last month.at a roundtable discussion at SPIE's Photonics West. The U.S. Government requires all manufacturers, exporters, and brokers of defense articles, defense services or related technical data to be ITAR-compliant (International Traffic in Arms Regulations).

03 March 2015
Liquid bandage reveals hidden details of skin healing

Methods to monitor the oxygen levels in ulcers have tended to be unsubtle, often involving the use of an invasive probe to yield polarographic information. A more effective and user-friendly method would be far preferable -- especially if it could supply quantitative data about oxygenation, a valuable indicator of tissue health and the beginnings of any necrosis that may be setting in. A team including researchers from the Wellman Center for Photomedicine and Harvard Medical School has developed an elegant solution: a paint-on bandage material, containing both an oxygen-sensing phosphor and a reference dye. Applied in liquid form, it dries into a thin-film dressing that can yield phosphorescent data about oxygenation with minimal disruption to the patient. The technology was among those recognized recently at the SPIE Photonics West Translational Research Symposium as having potential for significant clinical impact.

02 March 2015
Reaching out in the International Year of Light

As the UN-backed International Year of Light (IYL) moves on from two months of launch events, organizations around the world plan to undertake a wide range of educational and outreach activities to raise awareness of the importance of light and light-based technologies in the everyday life. optics.org publisher SPIE is collaborating to bring both kits and professional development workshops to teachers by attending national science teacher conferences and hosting related event.

02 March 2015
Lasers more than meets the eye

The college put on its fifth annual Laser Fun Day, an event composed of different displays and demos - all run by student volunteers - to show the different optics sections. The most popular attraction at Laser Fun Day is always the laser maze. This year, the college was able to completely redesign the maze thanks to a grant from the international society for optics and photonics.

01 March 2015
Photonics advances in the 'Land of Ideas'

The Abbe refractometer. The stauroscope. The Easter Bunny, the modern tradition of Christmas trees, and the accordion. All of these originated in Germany, and each has made a significant impact on the world. And the country's innovative spirit of past decades shows no sign of decline. The field of photonics is an especially exciting example of this. Photonics plays an integral role in Germany's economy and industrial development. Several innovative products and technologies from German companies were recognized this year as finalists for Prism Awards. The annual international awards competition, presented by Photonics Media and SPIE, recognizes innovative products that contribute significantly to various segments of the photonics industry.

01 March 2015
Gender equality in photonics?

At the Women in Optics panel discussion, which took place on 9 February at Photonics West, it was noted that the number of female optics and photonics professionals holding SPIE membership as of 2014 stood at 3,000, representing 16 per cent of the total membership -- this has grown from 4 per cent in 1998 when the SPIE Women in Optics group was launched.

01 March 2015
Charles Townes: a 'giant of a friend'

During a plenary session at Photonics West, SPIE CEO Dr. Eugene Arthurs paid tribute to his friend Charles Townes, the inventor of the maser, who passed away on 27 January. Jessica Rowbury reports on Towne' life.

01 March 2015
CCCC students attend national photonics convention

Second-year students in the Laser and Photonics Technology program at Central Carolina Community College's Harnett Campus recently attended the 2015 SPIE Photonics West Convention in San Francisco.

27 February 2015
SPIE Advanced Lithography 2015: Day 4

On Thursday I was EUV focused. My first complaint is that there were too many ASML papers. Of course, this is not ASML's fault. They are doing most of the important work in this field. Still, some sessions started to feel like an ASML meeting rather than an SPIE meeting.

27 February 2015
I-STAR researchers shine at SPIE Medical Imaging 2015

In sunny, warm Florida a team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins I-STAR Lab assembled at the February 2015 SPIE Medical Imaging conference.

26 February 2015
SPIE Advanced Lithography 2015: Day 3

When you walk into conference room 220A, it will be under the watchful eyes of the "lithography luminaries." These life-size posters of people who have made out-sized contributions to lithography are part of SPIE's celebration of the International Year of Light.

26 February 2015
EUV makes progress and other observations from SPIE

The SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference is the world's premier conference for patterning techniques utilized to manufacture semiconductors. At any given time during the conference there are multiple parallel sessions so it is impossible to see all of the papers presented. Prior to the conference I reviewed and blogged on some of the papers I was most interested in seeing presented. Now as the conference unfolds I wanted to blog about a few papers from each day that I thought were particularly interesting.

25 February 2015
Directed self-assembly hot topic at SPIE

At this week's SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium in San Jose, California, the hottest three-letter acronym is less EUV and more DSA, as in directed self-assembly.

25 February 2015
Proponents of EUV, immersion lithography face off at SPIESML gets a lift from TSM, though questions on EUV remain

The two main camps in optical lithography are arrayed for battle at the SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium in San Jose, California.

25 February 2015
SPIE Advanced Lithography 2015: Day 2

It's been a long time since a lithography conference was just about lithography. Last year TSMC gave a talk that described problems they were having with EUV lithography and ASML's stock price went down 5%. Yesterday (Monday), Tony Yen of TSMC gave a talk describing very nice progress on source power and throughput and ASML's stock price went up 5%.

25 February 2015
The Oscars of the photonics industry

Photonics Media's Light Matters reports on 2015 winners of the Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation -- with video observations and advice from the winners.

25 February 2015
SUNY Poly CNSE recognized at SPIE Advanced Lithography 2015

As a testament to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's high-tech blueprint for New York State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute's Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Poly CNSE) announced that it is once again playing a major role at SPIE Advanced Lithography, a leading lithography-focused forum, with forty technical papers by SUNY Poly CNSE faculty, staff, and students and its corporate partners accepted for presentation.

24 February 2015
ASML gets a lift from TSM, though questions on EUV remain

The Street today is reviewing some things gleaned from the SPIE conference on Advanced Lithography going on in San Jose, California, this week, which has implications for the semiconductor industry, and especially for companies that develop lithographic tools for chip making, such as ASML.

24 February 2015
EUV achieves 1000 wpd with 90W source

TSMC told the SPIE Lithography conference that it has exposed 1,022 wafers in 24 hours with an ASML NXE:3300B EUV machine with a  source power of 90W and that it has achieved several 400+ wafer per day results.

24 February 2015
TSMC announces lithography milestone as EUV moves closer to production

TSMC and ASML have announced a key milestone in extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) tech this week at the 2015 SPIE conference.

24 February 2015
SPIE Advanced Lithography 2015: Day 1

If you walk through the crowds this year, you know the symposium is well attended. We have about 50 less papers this year than last, but about the same number of attendees - on the order of 1,700 technical attendees and another 800 or so who just come to the exhibits. Short course attendance was up about 25% from last year. A very healthy and dynamic conference.

24 February 2015
SUNY Poly CNSE researchers and corporate partners to present 40 papers at globally recognized lithography conference

As a testament to Governor Andrew Cuomo's high-tech blueprint for New York State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute's Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Poly CNSE) announced that it is once again playing a major role at SPIE Advanced Lithography, a leading lithography-focused forum, with 40 technical papers by SUNY Poly CNSE faculty, staff, and students and its corporate partners accepted for presentation.

24 February 2015
3D E-beam enables 3D NAND flash

The world's largest equipment supplier for semiconductors, displays, and solar cells, Applied Materials Inc., claims to have uniquely solved the most pressing problems facing 3D flash chip stacks and 3D FinFETs for everybody. paper on AM's technique was presented today at SPIE Advanced Lithography in San Jose, California.

24 February 2015
Tighter CD requires tighter laser bandwidth

Cymer shows research at SPIE show that sharply limits chromatic aberration for 193nm lithography.

24 February 2015
Prism Awards showcase photonics technologies

Medical diagnostic and chemical sensing products for mobile devices, a fibre laser with uses including solar panel manufacture, and a new class of optical connectors for next-generation data centres, were among the winners of the Prism Awards, presented at Photonics West.

24 February 2015
Surgical photonic device wins SPIE Startup Challenge

An optical device for preventing injury during minimally invasive surgeries, a microphone with no moving parts, and a plasmonic film to detect mercury in power plants were selected as the top projects in the 2015 SPIE Startup Challenge.

24 February 2015
SPIE CEO pays tribute to the late Charles Townes at Photonics West

SPIE CEO Dr Eugene Arthurs has paid tribute to the late laser pioneer Charles Townes during the Lase plenary session at Photonics West, which took place 10-12 February in San Francisco. Arthurs referred to Townes as an inspiration throughout his life and career, but also as a "giant of a friend."

24 February 2015
EUV bet settled as source powers climb

ASML and Gigaphoton, the two major players when it comes to extreme ultraviolet (EUV) source development for future lithography applications, have each announced further technological progress at SPIE's Advanced Lithography event in San Jose, California.

23 February 2015
SPIE plenary takes in photonics, 3DICs, connected devices

Speakers at the plenary session of the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference covered a wide variety of topics, from photonics to 3D chips to the Internet of Things, on Monday morning in San Jose, California.

23 February 2015
Translational research work commended at Photonics West

Four scientists have been commended by SPIE for work in translational research. The researchers were presented with awards on 8 February during the biophotonics and biomedical optics conference, BiOS, which took place as part of Photonics West in San Francisco.

23 February 2015
Nobel Laureates honoured by SPIE at Photonics West

The three 2014 Nobel Prize for Chemistry recipients have been recognised by SPIE at Photonics West in the BiOS plenary session. Greg Blackman reports from the session, where each spoke about their contribution to super resolution microscopy.

23 February 2015
asers and analysis to feature at Photonics West

Analytic instrumentation and lasers for various applications will be on display at Photonics West in San Francisco, California. More than 20,000 attendees will visit the laser, photonics, and biomedical optics trade fair and conference, with 1,250 optics and photonics companies presenting at the show

22 February 2015
SPIE Advanced Lithograpy 2015: Day 0

2015 is the International Year of Light (light2015.org) and it has gotten me thinking about anniversaries. Two hundred years ago Fresnel developed his diffraction theory, 150 years ago Maxwell finished his electrodynamics, 100 years ago Einstein published his General Relativity, and 50 years ago Gordon Moore wrote an article that gave birth to Moore's Law (and lithographers have not been the same since). SPIE itself was begun in 1955 and so is celebrating its 60th birthday, and this is the 40th time the Advanced Lithography symposium has met. Is there anything special in store for 2015 in the world of lithography? We will have to see.

21 February 2015
Mack and Bakshi settle bet on the future of EUVL

What is the future of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL)? That innocent sounding question led leading industry lithographers Chris Mack and Vivek Bakshi to make their infamous 2009 bet about the future of EUVL. Will EUVL survive as a viable technology? Will it ever reach manufacturing readiness? With nothing less than Chris Mack's 2005 Lotus Elise on the line, they recently settled up on that bet. But first, its murky history. The last week in February will find a very large percentage of the world's lithographers at the same location: the annual SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium in San Jose.

20 February 2015
SPIE Advanced Lithography preview

Next week is the SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference in San Jose, the premier conference for advanced lithography used to produce state-of-the-art semiconductors. Last year I blogged after the conference about some of the key points I heard at the conference and this year I plan to do the same.

19 February 2015
Breakthrough results on directed self-assembly reported

At next week's SPIE advanced lithography conference, to be held in San Jose, California, imec will present breakthrough results on directed self-assembly (DSA) process development. Together with semiconductor equipment supplier Tokyo Electron and Merck, a leading chemical and pharmaceutical company that acquired AZ Electronic Materials in May 2014, imec has significantly improved DSA defectivity in the past year, approaching single-digit values.

19 February 2015
Capasso lab advance suggests industry role for flat photonics

The innovation, just published in Science, by the highly regarded research group led by Federico Capasso, is said to represent a dramatic improvement on the original flat lens - the first of its kind - demonstrated by the same group back in 2012. Capasso has discussed the theory and practical potential of flat optics based on metasurfaces at numerous conferences in recent years, including at SPIE'S Optics + Photonics event in 2013.

17 February 2015
Outlook positive, say industry executives at Photonics West

Continued growth in the photonics industry in 2015, building on that experienced last year, was the general consensus reported by executives from Trumpf, Inrad Optics, Jenoptik, Newport and Amplitude Systèmes during a panel discussion at Photonics West.

17 February 2015
Edmund Optics partners with 2015 Prism Award winner LUXeXceL for 3D printed optics

At Photonics West last week, Edmund Optics demonstrated a variety of 3D printed optics as a result of a new working relationship with Dutch company LUXeXceL Group, winner of the SPIE 2015 Prism Award in the category of Additive Manufacturing.

16 February 2015
Photonics West 2015: Where light technologies are making a difference

With the rapid advances in light technologies, it's fitting that 2015 is the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies. At Photonics West last week, the importance of the vital role that light plays in our daily lives was evident in applications in diverse disciplines.

13 February 2015
Synek targets Georgia lawmakers; BacterioScan wins national award: TechFlashes

St. Louis medical device startup BacterioScan was named the winner of the 2015 Prism Award for innovation in photonics for biomedical instrumentation by SPIE, the international photonics and optics society.

10 February 2015
What not to miss at Photonics West 2015

Photonics West 2015 kicked off this week in San Francisco, California, with an anticipated 20,000 attendees and 1,250 exhibitors. Running just prior to Photonics West is BiOS Expo at which more than 220 companies will exhibit from the biomedical optics and photonics industries.

08 February 2015
SPIE Photonics West 2015 opens with big first-day attendance

A larger-than-ever number of registrants were on hand for conference sessions as well the weekend BiOS Expo, featured talks by several Nobel Laureates, the first of the week's professional development courses, an extensive industry program, displays celebrating the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies and much networking.

04 February 2015
EUVL: Remaining challenges and preview of topics for the 2015 SPIE EUVL conference

With the 2015 SPIE Advanced Lithography (AL) conference around the corner, some people have asked me what remaining EUVL challenges need to be addressed to ensure it will be ready for mass production later this year or next.  Here are my thoughts on this topic and what I expect to hear at the conference.

03 February 2015
New exhibit showcases the power of light in our everyday lives

To celebrate the International Year of Light, scientists with the Chandra X-ray Center at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, have teamed up on a new open-source exhibit that demonstrates the many ways light-based sciences and technologies allow us to understand our world.

02 February 2015
Let there be light

"Light poverty" has far reaching consequences, in terms of health and economics. Declaring 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, the United Nations has kicked off a number of programs and initiatives across the world. Eugene Arthurs, CEO of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics and one of the main stakeholders in the international initiative, noted, "The internet we have today, and the mobile devices we use to access it exist only because of progress in fiber optics and photonics. We can see paths forward using light, using photons"

02 February 2015
Light exhibit to travel through Whatcom County

"Light: Beyond the Bulb," an exhibit showcasing current light-based technologies, will make its way to more than a dozen locations in Whatcom County in 2015. The exhibit features a series of high-quality images relating to the science of light with descriptions of technologies that use light. The United Nations has proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies. SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, helped offer free images to people all over the world to be used in exhibits.

30 January 2015
SPIE opens up Townes archive

Photonics society SPIE is making its journal publications featuring research authored by Charles Townes available via open access through March.

29 January 2015
Guiding light

As Electro Optics celebrates its 250th issue, and to tie in with SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco, we ask industry experts including Dr. Eugene Arthurs, CEO of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics and organiser of Photonics West, what the future holds for photonics.

28 January 2015
Fibre optic thermometer for industrial processes developed

In the near future, optical fibres could be used as thermometers for industrial processes such as cutting. Researchers from the Charles III University of Madrid (UC3M) have developed a fibre optic pyrometer that can withstand extreme temperatures, which could be used to optimise the life of tools and increase productivity.(For further information, see the paper on fibre optic pyrometer in SPIE Digital Library.)

23 January 2015
Silicon photonics will revolutionize data centers in 2015

Data centers are morphing into computing singularities, albeit large ones. Silicon photonics will hasten that process. Copper-based ethernet runs have been replaced with fiber optics. Using existing fiber-optic technology will not help Moore's Law -- that requires a new technology called the silicon laser. Intel's Photonics Technology Laboratory in 2009 mastered the silicon laser, said Intel Fellow Mario Paniccia in an SPIE article.

22 January 2015
Saturday at BiOS 2015

The Biomedical Optics Symposium (BiOS) at SPIE Photonics West 2015 starts Saturday, February 7, and I'm looking forward to an action-packed week, beginning with a tour of the exhibit hall when it opens at noon on Saturday.

20 January 2015
...and light-based technologies

That's right, 2015 is the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies-as proclaimed by The United Nations (UN) General Assembly 68th Session more than a year ago. "An International Year of Light is a tremendous opportunity to ensure that international policymakers and stakeholders are made aware of the problem-solving potential of light technology," said IYL 2015 Steering Committee Chair John Dudley.

20 January 2015
2015 is UN's 'Year of Light' -- what role will solar play?

Extra sparks of light will shine on the importance of solar this year, thanks to the United Nations and international photonics society SPIE. As part of its 2015 International Year of Light, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and dozens of partners worldwide will be hosting a series of events to illuminate the pivotal role that access to light has to off-grid communities in the developing world. In the U.S., the importance of solar energy will be given special attention by SPIE, which is working with a number of scientific organizations (such as the National Science Foundation) to hold educational events at meetings in the U.S. and Europe.

12 January 2015
SPIE Year of Light photo contest’s winning images capture “Moving Light Show”

A 35-second-exposure image by Paul Reiffer of traffic and other lights on and around the Nanpu Bridge in Shanghai has been selected as first-place winner of the SPIE International Year of Light (IYL) Photo Contest.

01 January 2015
Photonics innovataors named 2015 Prism Awards finalists

 Innovative products, inventions and companies will take center stage 11 February, as the winners of the 2015 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation are honored during SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco. Presented by SPIE and Photonics Media, the annual international awards competition recognizes the best innovative products that are making contributions to various segments of the photonics industry.

31 December 2014
Photonics West Preview: SPIE Photonics West 2015 excites with neurology, 3D printing, and silicon photonics

Twenty-thousand photonics technologists and executives will unite at the 2015 SPIE Photonics West conference this February in San Francisco to explore, among many other things, how photonics could potentially improve, repair, and communicate with the brain using light. SPIE Photonics West has always been the go-to conference for new and exciting technological breakthroughs in the field of photonics. This year, as we enter the 2015 International Year of Light, SPIE Photonics West takes a more detailed look at neurology, 3D printing, and silicon photonics, with vast, far-reaching implications for the future of our society.

17 December 2014
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty visits OFS specialty photonics facility

Representative Elizabeth Esty (Connecticut-D) toured OFS' Specialty Photonics facility in Avon, Connecticut , to see first-hand the impact of photonics on the community, state, and the nation. Through the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), OFS is working to raise awareness about photonics and unite industry, academia and government experts to identify and advance areas of photonics critical to maintaining U.S. competitiveness and national security: advanced manufacturing, communication and information technology, defense and national security, energy, and health and medicine. SPIE is Founding Sponsor of the NPI.

15 December 2014
Teaching photonics: Light Blox Kit featured by International Year of Light

Entrepreneur Colette DeHarpporte, founder of Laser Classroom and developer of the Light Blox Kit to introduce the basics of light and color and to spark passion among schoolchildren for science, technology, engineering, and math, will work with SPIE and OSA to distribute the kits during the International Year of Light in 2015

Minneapolis entrepreneur, Colette DeHarpporte and founder of Laser Classroom, developed the Light Blox Kit, to introduce the basics of light and color and spark passion among school children for science, technology, engineering and math. Recently, the kit was selected as the International Year of Light’s “Featured Kit”. In collaboration with IYL founding partners The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the - See more at: http://www.novuslight.com/teaching-photonics-light-blox-kit-featured-by-international-year-of-light_N3456.html#sthash.NDseiY04.dpuf
Minneapolis entrepreneur, Colette DeHarpporte and founder of Laser Classroom, developed the Light Blox Kit, to introduce the basics of light and color and spark passion among school children for science, technology, engineering and math. Recently, the kit was selected as the International Year of Light’s “Featured Kit”. In collaboration with IYL founding partners The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the - See more at: http://www.novuslight.com/teaching-photonics-light-blox-kit-featured-by-international-year-of-light_N3456.html#sthash.NDseiY04.dpuf
Minneapolis entrepreneur, Colette DeHarpporte and founder of Laser Classroom, developed the Light Blox Kit, to introduce the basics of light and color and spark passion among school children for science, technology, engineering and math. Recently, the kit was selected as the International Year of Light’s “Featured Kit”. In collaboration with IYL founding partners The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE - See more at: http://www.novuslight.com/teaching-photonics-light-blox-kit-featured-by-international-year-of-light_N3456.html#sthash.NDseiY04.dpuf
Minneapolis entrepreneur, Colette DeHarpporte and founder of Laser Classroom, developed the Light Blox Kit, to introduce the basics of light and color and spark passion among school children for science, technology, engineering and math. Recently, the kit was selected as the International Year of Light’s “Featured Kit”. In collaboration with IYL founding partners The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE - See more at: http://www.novuslight.com/teaching-photonics-light-blox-kit-featured-by-international-year-of-light_N3456.html#sthash.NDseiY04.dpuf
Minneapolis entrepreneur, Colette DeHarpporte and founder of Laser Classroom, developed the Light Blox Kit, to introduce the basics of light and color and spark passion among school children for science, technology, engineering and math. Recently, the kit was selected as the International Year of Light’s “Featured Kit”. In collaboration with IYL founding partners The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE - See more at: http://www.novuslight.com/teaching-photonics-light-blox-kit-featured-by-international-year-of-light_N3456.html#sthash.NDseiY04.dpuf
12 December 2014
TSMC Chairman Chang: global semiconductor sector to face technical hurdles soon

Over the next five to 10 years the global semiconductor industry faces major technical hurdles including the bottleneck in extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) technology for sub-7nm processes and growing inapplicability of "Moore's Law" to the semiconductor industry, said Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) Chairman Morris Chang at the award ceremony in early December where he received the Visionary Award presented by the SPIE, the international society of optics and photonics.

03 December 2014
Laser World of Photonics 2015: A focus on image processing

Laser World of Photonics will shine a spotlight on the image processing industry in June 2015, with a dedicated Machine Vision Pavilion and practical lecture series. Taking place in parallel under the umbrella of the World of Photonics Congress is the high-powered SPIE Optical Metrology conference.

Laser World of Photonics will shine a spotlight on the image processing industry in June 2015 – as a dedicated exhibition segment and accompanied by a comprehensive supporting program. A dedicated “Machine Vision Pavilion” and practical lecture series invite visitors to discover modern image processing technology in all its diversity. Taking place in parallel under the umbrella of the World of Photonics Congress is the high-powered SPIE Optical Metrology Conference. - See more at: http://www.novuslight.com/laser-world-of-photonics-2015-a-focus-on-image-processing_N3408.html#sthash.DBaQlYpI.dpuf
Laser World of Photonics will shine a spotlight on the image processing industry in June 2015 – as a dedicated exhibition segment and accompanied by a comprehensive supporting program. A dedicated “Machine Vision Pavilion” and practical lecture series invite visitors to discover modern image processing technology in all its diversity. Taking place in parallel under the umbrella of the World of Photonics Congress is the high-powered SPIE Optical Metrology Conference. - See more at: http://www.novuslight.com/laser-world-of-photonics-2015-a-focus-on-image-processing_N3408.html#sthash.DBaQlYpI.dpuf
Laser World of Photonics will shine a spotlight on the image processing industry in June 2015 – as a dedicated exhibition segment and accompanied by a comprehensive supporting program. A dedicated “Machine Vision Pavilion” and practical lecture series invite visitors to discover modern image processing technology in all its diversity. Taking place in parallel under the umbrella of the World of Photonics Congress is the high-powered SPIE Optical Metrology Conference. - See more at: http://www.novuslight.com/laser-world-of-photonics-2015-a-focus-on-image-processing_N3408.html#sthash.DBaQlYpI.dpuf
28 November 2014
3D-printed optics and liquid lens make Prism shortlist

Innovations in 3D printing, groundbreaking tools for cancer diagnosis and a deformable liquid lens are among 27 products shortlisted for the 2015 Prism Awards.

28 November 2014
RISE Microscopy chosen as 2015 Prism Award finalist

RISE Microscopy has been nominated for a 2015 Photonics Prism Award. These well-respected product innovation awards honor the best new photonic products on the market and are each year presented by SPIE and Photonics Media at a gala event during Photonics West in San Francisco.

27 November 2014
DoD outlines photonics hub requirements and timeline

Organizations have learned what they must do to win a competition to host a $220 million U.S. hub for the development of integrated photonics.  Armed with that information following a proposers' meeting held last week in Arlington, Virginia, the interested parties returned to draft their "concept papers." More than 100 potential members of competing teams gathered at the closed first-round meeting, while a public webinar hosted by SPIE recapped the event on November 24.

13 November 2014
U.S. establishes Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute

Coordinated by the NPI in partnership with founding sponsor societies The Optical Society (OSA) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), dozens of experts within the national photonics community organized to answer DoD's request and provide numerous thoughtful and compelling responses.

13 November 2014
Executive Insight: Elmar Platzgummer

Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss photomask and lithography trends with Elmar Platzgummer, chief executive of IMS Nanofabrication, an Austrian-based supplier of multi-beam e-beam tools for mask writing applications. Timing for presenting data is expected to be around SPIE Advanced Lithography in February.

10 November 2014
Lung nodule classification grand challenge set for SPIE Medical Imaging 2015

A grand challenge on developing quantitative image-analysis methods for the diagnostic classification of malignant and benign lung nodules is among highlights planned for SPIE Medical Imaging 2015. The conference is the internationally recognized premier forum for reporting state-of-the-art research and development in medical imaging.

06 November 2014
US federal competition for Photonics Institute of Manufacturing

Coordinated by the NPI in partnership with founding sponsor societies The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics, dozens of experts within the national photonics community organised to answer DOD's information request and provide numerous, thoughtful and compelling responses.

06 November 2014
US launches $220M photonics foundry funding competition

The next step towards a $220 million institute for manufacturing innovation in the area of integrated photonics has been taken, after the US Department of Defense launched an official call for proposals to host it. The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) calls for proposals from non-profit organizations wanting to establish the state-of-the-art photonics "hub" and foundry. The FOA release was welcomed by SPIE and OSA, the two organizations that have spearheaded delegations to Washington, DC, in support of the National Photonics Initiative.

31 October 2014
HGH Infrared Systems present unique blackbody with unparalleled emissivity

At the SPIE Remote Sensing Conference in Amsterdam last month, HGH Infrared Systems, a global provider of infrared solutions for over thirty years, presented their findings on evaluating performances of vacuum dedicated blackbodies.

30 October 2014
2015 W3+ fair to take place in Wetzlar, Germany

From 25 to 26 March 2015, the next W3+ FAIR, a network trade fair for the optics, electronics and mechanics sectors, will take place in der Rittal Arena in Wetzlar, Germany. After its successful start with a good 100 exhibitors and partners, as well as over 2,000 trade visitors, this follow-on event is being extended and given a more international flavour. Thus far, over 70 exhibitors and partners from seven countries have already confirmed their attendance for 2015. Well-known large-scale players such as Carl Zeiss, meopta and Fraunhofer IST will be attending for the first time, as will SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

27 October 2014
EIAST participates in 2014 SPIE Optics + Photonics conference in the Netherlands

The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) participated at the SPIE Optics + Photonics conference held recently at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre in the Netherlands.

27 October 2014
EIAST ... Eye Spy in the Sky... at 2014 SPIE Optics + Photonics Conference

The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) participated at the SPIE Optics + Photonics conference held recently at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Center in the Netherlands. Participating in the conference for the fourth consecutive time, EIAST had long strived to represent the UAE in international forums related to optics and photonics science and technology in addition to techniques used in satellite image processing to establish itself as a leader in the field.

27 October 2014
Invest in Photonics: better funding opportunities from corporate funds

Invest in Photonics 2014, an international two-day convention dedicated to investments in the photonics industry, today announced that participation in the event by business angels, venture capitalists, and corporate investors increased by 13% to 170 participants this year. The photonics industry is estimated at 364 billion euros (480 billion US dollars), according to keynote speaker Steve Anderson, industry expert and market analyst for SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics), with nearly 2,750 companies manufacturing photonics components.

23 October 2014
Diverse investors gear up for photonics sector growth

The photonics industry is estimated to have a value of $480bn. Keynote speaker Steve Anderson, industry and market strategist at SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, reported on his organisation's in-depth study of the industry world-wide.

20 October 2014
Foundation grants aid to Whatcom nursing students

The inaugural Bellingham Bay Leukemia Cup Regatta July 26 at the Squalicum Yacht Club clubhouse raised more than $25,000 to help fight cancer. Among the sponsors was SPIE. 

17 October 2014
Industrial lasers, photonics in oil and gas to headline 2015 Marketplace Seminar

Applications and market opportunities for lasers, optics, and photonics are the themes for the 27th annual Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar. It will held in conjunction with SPIE Photonics West, and take place at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco on Monday, February 9.

17 October 2014
Optoacoustics pioneers recognized in latest awards

Lihong Wang and Alexander Oraevsky, two of the leading researchers in the field of biomedical imaging and both experts in optoacoustics, have become the latest award-winners in the optics and photonics community. Wang has been awarded SPIE's annual Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award, while Oraevsky's work has been recognized with first prize in the biennial Berthold Leibinger Stiftung Innovationspreis for applied laser technology.

16 October 2014
Is multi-patterning good for you?

At SPIE this year, Arindam Mallik and others from IMEC presented on the economic impact of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography on critical process modules. 

14 October 2014
Societies open up Nobel winners' research papers

optics.org publisher and optics and photonics society SPIE is making research papers published by the six recipients of the 2014 Nobel prizes for physics and chemistry freely available through the end of the year.

08 October 2014
Faster, more frugal, greener VCSELs

When you hear the phrase "heavy industry" your mind might conjure up images of colossal steel-making plants, vast, busy dockyards, or endless rows of gritty smokestacks belching unpleasant and toxic gases aloft. But in the twenty-first century, you might equally well think of massive environmentally controlled data centres lying just a stone's throw from cold-water lakes or other natural chilled water sources, and surrounded by high-latitude evergreen forests.  To try and prevent the energy that data centres consume from getting out of hand, there is a need to develop more reliable, higher-speed data-transmission links that consume less energy. This year during Photonics West TU Berlin announced in partnership with IQE plc work for which TU Berlin received the SPIE 2014 Green Photonics Award in Communications, after having previously already received this award in 2012.

08 October 2014
Optech presenting three papers on topo-bathy lidar at SPIE Asia-Pacific Remote Sensing

Optech's team of scientists and engineers has produced three papers offering practical insight regarding the collection and analysis of topographic and bathymetric lidar data. Optech Senior Scientist Viktor Feygels will present these papers at the SPIE Asia-Pacific Remote Sensing conference in Beijing, China, October 13-16.

07 October 2014
Chip makers face scaling hurdles

The 2014 SPIE/BACUS photomask symposium in September reinforced the importance of industry collaboration to enable cost-effective high-volume manufacturing solutions to overcome technical and business challenges in advanced design node patterning technologies. At this year's SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, Jack Chen, the manager of TSMC's next-generation lithography department, discussed the slow progress on source power improvement for a newly installed EUV scanner. This generated increased attention on directed self-assembly and alternative patterning technologies. Since then, ASML and its partners have demonstrated processing more than 600 wafers a day exposure at two sites.

26 September 2014
UK-led team to build new VLT spectrograph

A multinational team led by the UK's Astronomy Technology Centre (ATC) in Edinburgh has won a €9 million contract to build a new spectrograph for the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile. Featuring engineers and scientists from France, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland -- as well as the UK and Chile -- the "multi-object optical and near-infrared spectrograph" (MOONS) project is aiming to build an instrument designed to reveal previously unseen details of the Milky Way galaxy. For a complete description of the MOONS spectrograph, see the various SPIE papers listed here.

24 September 2014
Trends From the SSL Ecosystem Summit

SSL Ecosystem Summit keynoter Makarand (Chips) Chipalkatti identified key trends he believes characterize the state of the industry today. Among them: value metrics. Mark Rea, director of RPI's Lighting Research Center, has been urging the industry to develop what he calls "value metrics" since at least December 2012, when his SPIE monograph Value Metrics for Better Lighting came out. The idea is simple: Benefit is the ratio of value to cost, and the SSL industry has been laser-focused on cost alone. The result has been the race to the bottom, in terms of color quality or any other factor with which we are familiar.

23 September 2014
SPIE Photomask Technology wrap-up

Extreme-ultraviolet lithography was a leading topic at the SPIE Photomask Technology conference and exhibition, held 16-18 September in Monterey, California, yet it wasn’t the only topic discussed and examined. Mask patterning, materials and process, metrology, and simulation, optical proximity correction, and mask data preparation were extensively covered in conference sessions and poster presentations.

22 September 2014
Science, piano are passions for impressive teen

Suproteem Sarkar has coauthored two scientific papers on cancer treatments, been a presenter at an international nanoscience conference, and won accolades as a pianist. But perhaps the most notable entry on his resumé is the birth date. Sarkar is 17, just entering his senior year of high school. After he submitted a proposal for a research paper on biomedical and physiological sensor technology, he was chosen as a presenter for SPIE Defense and Security.

17 September 2014
ASML on EUV: available at 10nm

Extreme-ultraviolet lithography systems will be available to pattern critical layers of semiconductors at the 10-nanometer process node, and EUV will completely take over from 193nm immersion lithography equipment at 7nm, according to Martin van den Brink, president and chief technology officer of ASML Holding. Giving the keynote presentation Tuesday at the SPIE Photomask Technology conference in Monterey, California. Martin offered a lengthy update on his company's progress with EUV technology.

16 September 2014
Survey: optimism up for multi-beam

The eBeam Initiative announced the completion of its third annual survey. In one of the highlights, a majority (58%) of respondents predict that multi-beam technology will be used in production by 2016 to address the critical problem of mask write times as the industry moves to smaller geometries. Some 52 industry luminaries representing 29 member companies from across the photomask supply chain participated in the survey. The complete results of the survey will be presented and discussed by an expert panel today during the eBeam Initiative's annual members meeting at the SPIE Photomask Technology Conference in Monterey.

15 September 2014
Diode lasers break into new wavelengths, new applications

new wavelengths, new production technologies, and microassembly are all expected to help extend the reach of diode lasers in the future. But the holy grail for diode lasers must surely be to enter the largest market: laser cutting. This calls for not only a higher beam quality, but also an improvement in brightness and power. At SPIE Photonics West 2014 in San Francisco, Jenoptik's Lasers & Material Processing division introduced a new generation of high-efficiency semiconductor lasers capable of achieving output powers up to 200 W in continuous-wave operation.

11 September 2014
Optics + Photonics 2014

Several weeks ago, I attended SPIE's Optics +Photonics 2014 conference in San Diego, California. My primary purpose for attending was to take part in the Student Leadership Conference for student chapter officers. I was recently elected as the Vice President for the Student Optics Chapter, so this was an appropriate event to prepare me for my greater leadership role this year.

10 September 2014
Seeing the light

For yearly 200 years, Rochester, New York, has been associated with optics. By 1995, when it was clear those companies were faltering, "We realized we had to promote our cluster," said Tom Battley of New York Photonics. To raise its profile, the group approached SPIE to launch a biennial conference on optics fabrication in Rochester.

10 September 2014
Study results from University of California broaden understanding of intravascular imaging

New research by the Univrsity of California, Davis, on intravascular imaging  demonstrates the compatibility of FLIm instrumentation with in vivo clinical investigations and its potential to complement conventional IVUS during catheterization procedures. The work is reported in the Journal of Biomedical Optics.

05 September 2014
Rochester optics firms see potentially big 2015

Optics has been an important part of the Rochester-area economy since 1863. And 2015 has the potential to be another milestone year for the industry. The U.S. Defense Department currently is mulling creation of an institute specializing in optics and photonics R&D and manufacturing -- an institute the Rochester area is hoping to land. And the United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies to highlight how optics could play a role in bettering everything from communications and health to energy and education worldwide. That U.N. project "is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for optics to get the kind of attention and resources it deserves, Stephen G. Anderson, an industry and marketing strategist with the SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, told a gathering of area optics industry executives.

22 August 2014
8 resources needed to keep current with the medical imaging industry

In a highly specialized and technical field keeping up to date may seem like climbing Mt. Everest. For in-depth reviews of current techniques and tools review articles are indispensable. The SPIE publishes several journals related to biomedical and medical imaging.

21 August 2014
Future of medicine: disposable biosensors and 'electroceutics'?

Early, reliable diagnosis of infectious disease in remote locations -- the current ebola outbreak in Africa being one obvious example -- is critical to saving lives. And new disposable biosensors based on organic materials have the potential save "many lives", according to Luisa Torsi from the University of Bari in Italy. Outlining her group's work in a plenary session dedicated to organic photonics and electronics, part of SPIE Optics + Photonics, Torsi hopes the technology will bring exactly such benefits one day.

21 August 2014
Compact goniometer for laboratories and production

Rachel Ulanch with Trioptics spent some time with us at SPIE's 2014 O+P exhibition to give us some background information on her company.

20 August 2014
Advice for optics designers: be flexible

One of the world's top optics designers would like to turn the design world upside down. Instead of just meeting arbitrary specifications laid down by company bosses, Anurag Gupta, formerly head of the optical engineering group for Google Glass and now the lead officer for sensor optics at Nest -- the smart thermostat company acquired by Google earlier this year for $3.2 billion -- says that engineers must discover their specifications in a long, painstaking process. Otherwise, the end product may be inferior or more costly due to multiple design iterations, said Gupta, a plenary speaker at the optical engineering during  SPIE Optics and Photonics.

19 August 2014
Beyond silicon: SPIE conference examines the solar options

So far, any predictions of the demise of silicon's dominance in the photovoltaics industry have been proved wrong. Silicon-based cells still feature in around 90 per cent of all PV modules and solar panels - with the remaining tenth of the market largely attributable to First Solar's cadmium telluride (CdTe) technology. But 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 generation at SPIE's Optics and Photonics 2014.

18 August 2014
SPIE plenary highlights wearable potential

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 a plenary audience at SPIE's Optics and Photonics 2014 that the era of wearable technologies may see computing power suddenly become more mobile and versatile than many would have predicted.

18 August 2014
NIF director Dunne hails 'spectacular' progress

After a long and frustrating road, the hopes of using laser inertial confinement fusion (ICF) 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's mammoth site at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. "We have made truly spectacular advances in last 12 months," Dunne said during his opening plenary talk at SPIE Optics and Photonics 2014.

12 August 2014
Adaptive sensors drive exoplanet search

Thanks largely to the development of adaptive optics, terrestrial telescopes are starting to make a contribution to the field of exoplanet detection as well. Two state-of-the-art optical technology systems in particular are helping astronomers in their quest to detect and directly observe these distant worlds. The MagAO is an adaptive optics (AO) system installed on the 6.5 meter Magellan Clay Telescope, at Las Campanas Observatory (LCO), Chile, that corrects for the effects of atmospheric turbulence. With AO-enhanced telescopes like Palomar the Magellan now delivering results, the hunt for exoplanets can continue apace. But as Males and the Magellan team reported at SPIE's recent Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation conference in Montreal, Canada, the technology does have its limits.

11 August 2014
SPIE Optics + Photonics product preview: Optics and photonics to proliferate on exhibit floor

The SPIE Optics + Photonics 2014 exhibition, set to take place August 19-21, 2014, in San Diego, CA, will host 181 companies that will showcase their products and solutions in optical components, fabrication, and design; detectors, sensors, and cameras; lasers, accessories, and laser systems; fiber optics; positioning and vibration-isolation equipment; LED and OLED technology; optical engineering software; and test, measurement, and analysis equipment, among others.

11 August 2014
Light used to measure surface vibrations

A technique that passively monitors light intensity modulation is able to measure the physical and optical properties of a vibrating surface. A team from the University of Louisville, in conjunction with Spectral Sciences Inc. and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, used high dynamic range cameras with large focal planes to detect tiny changes in the surface normal of various objects. The work was funded by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The research was published online in the SPIE Newsroom.

07 August 2014
Industry Snapshot: SPIE’s annual salary survey offers a broad-ranging look at the current state of the industry.

SPIE released the results of its latest annual global optics and photonics salary survey -- the largest such international study of the industry - in May. It was conducted in February, with just over 6000 valid responses from 103 countries. The questions focused on salary, job satisfaction and other factors that affect employees in all aspects of the industry. On the whole, the survey is a useful tool for recruiters and educators, as well as a vibrant snapshot of the industry: where it is today and where it's going.

07 August 2014
Ones To Watch: Valerie Ding

Every August, we bring you some of the best and brightest early-career researchers and engineers (sometimes in middle school or high school) -- and this year is no different. Our editors have searched far and wide to find students of various ages who are advancing photonic science and technologies and working to impact the world in a range of areas: biomedicine, energy, education and robotics, to name a few. Among them: Valerie Ding of Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon, who holds honors from SPIE and countless other organizations.

06 August 2014
Cell-CT spots early signs of cancer in cell nuclei

An optical technique able to spot the tell-tale changes in DNA content of cell nuclei during the earliest stages of cancer could offer valuable screening and surveillance in the fight against some forms of the disease. A paper published in SPIE's Journal of Medical Imaging assessed how well the technique could detect aneuploidy, the presence of an incorrect amount of DNA material in a cell nucleus that can be an early indication of cancer. The results show that OPTM was fully capable of providing results on a par with the gold-standard flow cytometry and image cytometry methods used by pathologists.

05 August 2014
Research group pushes back against travel cuts

Travel restrictions put into place by the Office of Management and Budget are hurting morale and putting national security at risk, according to the International Society for Optics and Photonics. Federal researchers cannot get in-depth updates on the latest results if they cannot travel to technical conferences, in the United States or overseas, said Eugene Arthurs, the CEO of SPIE.

05 August 2014
Thoughts on the significance of IBM’s EUV benchmark

Since I posted in last week's EUVL Focus blog the news of IBM's EUV benchmark with the NXE3300B scanner at the EUV Center of Excellence in Albany, this news has received lots of attention, as it is a significant achievement. I have also received some questions and comments. I believe most of them come from a lack of familiarity with leading edge tool development and with EUV lithography itself, which is a rather narrow area of specialization. As I tend to give long answers and reviews (because I believe details are important) in this blog I will give first give a "short-short answer" followed by a "short answer." I will leave the "long answer" regarding the significance of this announcement for future blogs.... In the 2014 SPIE AL meeting, there were many papers confirming the performance of these new types of resists. Hence, the triangle of death (sensitivity, LER and resolution) for CAR resists is no longer valid for these new types of resists. The implications of these new resists are very striking.

11 July 2014
GPI at SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation

Members of the GPI team recently attended the biennial SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation conference. This time it was in Montreal at the end of June, and you can check out #SPIEastro to find out more about the general topics covered at the conference. There are many conferences in astronomy and many in engineering, but this is a rare one that combines the two, and so the SPIE Telescopes conference is always a big deal.

08 July 2014
EUV: coming but not here yet

Extreme-ultraviolet lithography is making progress! Well, check that. EUV technology is progressing, yet it remains uncertain when its insertion into volume production of semiconductors will occur. Kurt Ronse, program director of advanced lithography at IMEC, is less recalcitrant to talk about the 3300 power source's wattage. He says the sources at ASML facilities and at customer installations in the field have achieved 40 watts to 60 watts of power output, and some have gotten up to 70 watts. "We are not at 250 watts yet," Ronse says, the level widely believed to be necessary for chip production in volume. For the 3300s in the field, "uptime has improved since SPIE," the Advanced Lithography conference in late February, the IMEC executive says.

02 July 2014
Can you guess what these cute pink tiles are made of?

These images are from research into new techniques for medical diagnoses and biometrics. These are some nice color swatches, don't you think? I can just imagine them as decorative bathroom tiles. But what if I told you these are samples of people's skin? They are! The top set is a series of photos of the skin from the inside of different people's forearms. The bottom set are images of the same people's skin, but the images were enhanced with techniques researchers are developing for medical diagnoses and biometric applications. The images above come from an effort at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology to determine the best wavelengths of light to use for telling people apart by their skin. The researchers wrote a paper about their work and presented it last month at a conference at SPIE DSS.

01 July 2014
Seeing your true colors: standards for hyperspectral imaging

Today, doctors who really want to see if a wound is healing have to do a biopsy or some other invasive technique that, besides injuring an already injured patient, can really only offer information about a small area. But a technology called hyperspectral imaging offers doctors a noninvasive, painless way to discriminate between healthy and diseased tissue and reveal how well damaged tissue is healing over a wide area. The catch? A lack of calibration standards is impeding its use. After a successful non-human trial, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have started gathering data on how human skin looks under various wavelengths of light in order to develop these badly needed standards. The work was presented by Catherine Cooksey, Benjamin Tsai and David Allen at SPIE DSS last month, and is published in the SPIE Digital Library.

26 June 2014
Conferencing and Hack Days in Canada

Every two years the instrumentation building community in astronomy get together for conference organised by SPIE, the international optical engineering society. It's big and tiring and crowded, and the best place to get the updates on how all the major telescope and instrument projects around the world are getting on -- not to mention a whole lot of community gossip.

26 June 2014
Spectroscopy combo ups diagnostic accuracy

A new spectroscopy technique can identify melanoma with as much as 93 percent accuracy. Discovered by a team from the Institute of Electronics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and University Hospital, the new method uses light-induced autofluorescence spectroscopy, which can detect biochemical changes that occur in skin disorders, as well as diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, which reveals morphological changes and the presence of diagnostically important skin pigments. Combining the two techniques increases diagnostic accuracy as compared to using each one separately, the researchers said. The research was published in the SPIE Newsroom.

25 June 2014
SPIE President visits Imperial College London Optical Society

The President of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, accompanied by SPIE CEO Dr Eugene Arthurs met with the college's Optical Society, which is an affiliated SPIE student chapter, to discuss their work in bringing together researchers in the field of optics and photonics at Imperial and promoting the science and application of light to the wider community.

19 June 2014
Ball Aerospace lands synoptic telescope lens assembly contract

Boulder-based Ball Aerospace & Technologies has won a deal to build the optics and support structure for the ultra-high-resolution camera that will capture images at the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) in Chile. Next week's SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation conference in Montreal, Canada, will feature plenary presentations from representatives of some major projects, including LSST as well as the James Webb Space Telescope, the Square Kilometer Array, Gaia, AMLA, and the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE).

19 June 2014
Multi-beam sees the light

The multiple-beam electron-beam market is going in two separate directions at once. Multi-beam for photomask writing is set to take off. The other market - multi-beam for direct-write lithography applications - is still in the early stages and remains in flux. In the multi-beam direct-write segment, for example, multiple sources indicate that KLA-Tencor is exiting this market to focus on its core inspection and metrology tool businesses. Officials from KLA-Tencor declined to comment. At the recent SPIE conference, the company reported some impressive results.

19 June 2014
'Blast-off' for Extremely Large Telescope

As widely reported, construction of the European Southern Observatory's Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) site is under way, following a groundbreaking ceremony that saw part of the Cerro Armazones summit blasted away. Next week's SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation conference in Montreal, Canada, will include a status report on the E-ELT roadmap from ESO's German delegation. According to their presentation abstract, preparations for the start of the design and build phases of the "first light" instruments and their adaptive optics systems are now well under way.

13 June 2014
Indium nitride nanowires go green

The "green gap" may be conquered by shaping InN nanowires for quantum confinement. SPIE has a summary of research from University of Michigan doctoral student Dylan Bayerl, and his advisor, Emmanouil Kioupakis, investigating indium nitride nanowires as emission sources for the efficient generation of green light.

13 June 2014
NIR-enabled vein viewing gains velocity

There's been a lot of work going on recently to develop commercial vein imaging systems. Recent efforts have focused on vein visualization to increase accuracy and speed-and decrease pain and angst-involved in vein procedures like blood draws, injections, and IV placement. At SPIE Photonics West, vein viewing captured attention when AccuVein's AV400 Vein Viewing System won the 2014 Prism Award in the Life Science and Biophotonics category and Texas Instruments showed a handheld vein-viewing system.

11 June 2014
Segmentation scheme eases breast imaging

Dedicated breast CT shows potential as a breast cancer screening modality for high-risk women. But unlike a mammogram, a breast CT exam generates hundreds of images. To expedite interpretation of this large data set, researchers at the University of Chicago are developing segmentation algorithms designed for future use in computer-aided detection (CAD) systems for 3D images, as reported in the Journal of Medical Imaging.

08 June 2014
New laser device may be a drunk driver's worst nightmare

Scientists in Poland may have come up with a powerful new deterrent to drunk driving. It's a laser-based device that can detect alcohol vapor -- like that exhaled by someone who's been drinking -- inside a car as it passes by. A paper describing the device was published online in the Journal of Applied Remote Sensing on 19 May.

06 June 2014
Thermal imaging for consumers and more

SPIE held its annual Defense, Security and Sensing (DSS) event May 5-9 in Baltimore, with a new emphasis on sensing that the organization said was well received.

28 May 2014
Biophotonics leads list of recommendations

Biophotonics is at the top of a prioritized list of seven recommendations put forth last month by the U.S. government's Fast Track Action Committee on Optics and Photonics (FTAC-OP). Signed by The Committee on Science (CoS), National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), the letter explains that progress in these areas "has the potential to generate new knowledge, promote economic growth, create new industries and new high-skilled jobs, and provide technologies for new applications." SPIE has posted the entire report on its website.

21 May 2014
Photonics workers: doing it for the team

Workers in photonics - and in particular those in the commercial sector - say that team success is one of the main factors determining career achievement. That's according to the latest survey of the global photonic by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

19 May 2014
QCLs for medicine: the promise and the payoff

Although hurdles remain, the promise of quantum cascade lasers in medicine moves closer to realization with the commercial introduction of a microscopy platform, demonstration of a prototype device for breath analysis, and continued research and development. At SPIE Photonics West in February, MIRTHE researchers -- Yin Wang, a Ph.D. student; Dr. Michal Nikodem; graduate student Eric Zhang; and Dr. Gerard Wysocki from Princeton University Laser Sensing Laboratory -- demonstrated a prototype Faraday rotation spectroscopy (FRS) sensor system designed to measure nitric oxide (NO) isotopes in human breath.

19 May 2014
EC approves funding for giant attosecond laser

The European Commission has approved a €111 million of investment to build a giant laser in Hungary, via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The money will be used to construct the third "pillar" of the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) research hub in the EU's new member states in eastern Europe, and follows similar approvals for cutting-edge lasers in the Czech Republic and Romania. Back in January, the team received the front end of a 10 J pump laser system emitting at 1030 nm, while the award of a contract to Austrian firm Femtolasers to provide the source laser for the "L3" beamline at the facility was announced at SPIE's Photonics West exhibition in February.

14 May 2014
Publishers spotlight: SPIE

From time to time, we feature interviews with authors and publishers offering content via Knovel. Today's interview is with Eric Pepper, Director of Publications at SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. We asked Eric about some important upcoming events (including the International Year of Light), what the hottest trends were in photonics and optics, what we need to do to grow the engineering profession, and much more.

13 May 2014
The top 5 technologies from DSS 2014

Walking the exhibition floor at SPIE's Defense and Security Sensing (DSS) conference, I saw firsthand the latest technological innovations in optics, imaging, and sensing for defense, security, industrial, and environmental applications. With more than 450 companies at this year's event and only three days to explore, it was an almost overwhelming task to try and take in all of the technology on display.

12 May 2014
EDA for DSA; not what you're expecting

Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) regulations have created awareness about the hazardous materials used in electronics products and the end-of-life recycling issues associated with electronics products. Even as the electronics recycling market is growing, some companies may continue to feel the pinch as other elements show up on the banned or recyclable list. For example, Europe's recycling efforts may affect the availability of raw materials needed to produce various optical and photonics products, according to this SPIE Professional article.

12 May 2014
EDA for DSA; not what you're expecting

We've looked at the physics of DSA before (kind of), but we've never addressed the implications for simulation. I'm going to assume that "ab initio" or first-principles simulations are well established, but those serve well only during process development. They're far too cumbersome for production use. "How different could things be?" you wonder. While all the DSA-related papers at SPIE litho are full of hints that this is a different world, one in particular caught my eye this year.

09 May 2014
Live from SPIE DSS: Day 3

SPIE DSS 2014 came to a close on Thursday, and looking back at the week, it's clear that the event continues its evolution from a once DoD-dominated event to one that reaches into a far broader range of industries. The expanded Sensing Technologies + Application technical tracks included large segments on environmental, agricultural, and medical/biomedical advancements and innovation. The increased diversity of both the presentations and the attendees bodes well for the future of this important East Coast photonics industry event.

08 May 2014
DSS 2014: Robot named Sally steals the show

A robot named Robo-Sally won hearts at the DSS 2014 exhibition floor all week. She shook hands (and has a firm, pleasant grip), handed over a pen, looked you in the eye, and did everything but dance.

08 May 2014
Live from SPIE DSS: Day 2

The future of sensor development will lie in parsing the data that is continuously assimilated by multitudes of sensors, in order to alleviate data storage requirements, noted a speakder in a panel discussion on "The Future of Sensing: An Industry Perspective," at SPIE DSS.

07 May 2014
SPIE DSS 2014: What's in a name?

The SPIE show taking place this week in Baltimore, Maryland (USA) is now known as DSS, which stands for Defense, Security and Sensing. The emphasis this year is on the word "sensing", and it is evident in the way the conference symposia has been split into Sensing Technologies + Applications and Defense + Security.

07 May 2014
DSS 2014: Polarized imager shows intruders in a new light

Conventional thermal imagery is fine, says David Chenault, president of Polaris Sensor Technologies, but collecting polarized infrared light can offer so much more. Polaris' booth on the exhibition floor at the SPIE DSS 2014 photographed visitors' polarimetric signature, and also showed video comparing standard thermal images that missed people hiding, disguised vehicles and "hidden" footprints on a desert.

07 May 2014
Live from SPIE DSS: Day 1

SPIE's Defense and Security Sensing (DSS) convention has traditionally been dominated by infrared imaging technology, and this year's show has been no different. One could hardly walk a step on the exhibition floor without passing an IR camera with its corresponding images on display.

06 May 2014
DSS 2014: Air Force chief warns on space-junk threat

Plenary talk suggests that the movie Gravity highlighted a very real danger.

06 May 2014
DSS 2014: FLIR invites consumers to 'go play with thermal'

Infrared camera maker's new iPhone-compatible hardware, which it hopes will revolutionize the thermal imaging sector, to begin shipping next month.

06 May 2014
DSS 2014: Hyperspectral satellite set to monitor Hawaiian volcano

A suitcase-size satellite called SUCHI is now scheduled for launch from Kauai Island in Hawaii in the fall of 2014, after a year's delay to fine-tune its hyperspectral sensing technology, a team member said at the outset of SPIE's defense, security and sensing (DSS) event in Baltimore.

06 May 2014
The matrix, your ultimate OPC

One of the many consequences of shrinking process nodes is that traditional OPC can no longer achieve good pattern fidelity with reasonable turn-around-time. But there is a solution; we made it ourselves and call it matrix OPC. We've been working on this technology for roughly 14 years, with the first publication at SPIE in 2002.

30 April 2014
Expanding IPG hails efficiency drive

IPG Photonics has posted another sharp uptick in sales for the opening quarter of 2014, with CEO Valentin Gapontsev hailing a "remarkable" performance in what is traditionally the weakest period of the year for the fast-growing firm. In the high-power sector, responsible for by far the largest chunk of overall sales at IPG, the company continues to see rapid growth. Launched at the SPIE Photonics West exhibition in February, the "ECO" class of ytterbium-doped fiber lasers is now said to offer an efficiency of 45 per cent. Gapontsev points out that the efficiency figure has improved from 25 per cent just five years ago.

29 April 2014
Astro Hack Day, take your pick: SPIE or UK National Astronomy Meeting!

The Astronomy Hack Days we've been hosting since 2009 have been a great success. Some of the hacks the .Astronomers have produced over the years have been amazing, and every year they get more impressive too. That's why it's fantastic to see the concept spreading: hack days are being organised at other major astronomy conferences, or as standalone events. Two more events are coming up in the next few months. First, the UK National Astronomy Meeting in Portsmouth (23-26 June) will host a Hack Day. That same week I'll be at the bi-annual SPIE conference on Astronomical Telescopes & Instrumentation, which will be held in Montreal. It's the big meeting for everyone involved in instrumentation and software in astronomy, and excitingly I'll be hosting the first ever SPIE Hack Day on Thursday 26 June, together with fellow postdoc Casey Deen at MPIA, Heidelberg.

29 April 2014
Laser and manufacturing events: too many choices?

Unfortunately, there are so many conferences that it is not possible for any individual to attend them all. For people like me, these venues include not only conferences specifically related to lasers (ICALEO, Photonics West) and manufacturing in general (IMTS, Fabtech) but also industry-specific conferences (MDM, Semicon). The problem is that frequently we must make choices given the budget and time available. This is the case with next week-the week of May 5, 2014. SPIE hosts the DSS conference in Baltimore, from May 5-9. This is arguably the defense industry's most important scientific conference and exhibition on optics, IR imaging, lasers, and sensing for defense, security, industry, healthcare, and the environment.

28 April 2014
Whither lithography? Will we get stuck?

It's been a few weeks since the annual gathering of the world's semiconductor lithography illuminati, put on by SPIE. Ffor all the drilling we do into the details of these technologies and how they're progressing, it's good to take a step back occasionally to review the big picture. So that's what we're going to do today.

25 April 2014
Students are our future

It is not an overstatement to say that the future of optics and photonics lies in the hands of students. Every little investment, be it intellectual or financial, can potentially yield immeasurable returns. SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and OSA provide a great range of services to their student members. Of these services, the most popular are their student chapter programmes.

25 April 2014
Photonics Europe 2014: the highlights

SPIE Photonics Europe is the largest and broadest European photonics event presenting leading research in optics, lasers, micro- and nanotechnologies. With its product exhibition, reports of the European commission on funding initiatives, as well as an expanded industry program, the congress provides an ideal platform for networking, technology transfer and business opportunities.

23 April 2014
White House committee backs 'photonics foundry' idea

The "Fast Track Action Committee on Optics and Photonics" convened last year by the US National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) has come up with seven specific recommendations to drive future photonics research in the country. The National Photonics Initiative (NPI), set up by optics.org publisher SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and others to follow up on the NRC's findings, said it "applauded" the new report.

22 April 2014
Skin-cancer detection project wins innovation prize

Progress towards a new way to diagnose skin cancer was rewarded at last week's SPIE Photonics Europe event, as the MINERVA European project won first prize in the "Innovation Village" competition.

17 April 2014
ASML: volume productivity with EUV in 2016

Development of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is on track to meet customers' volume productivity requirements by 2016, according to EUV scanner developer ASML. CEO Peter Wennink said, "I think when you look at where we are today, we initially provide a capability of 100 wafers per day with a decent availability - and a decent availability is about over 50 per cent. 100 wafers per day is the result of the first great cycle. To get to 500 wafers per day, we need several great cycles, which are planned throughout the year. For instance, the upgrade cycle that we did just after [the] SPIE [Advanced Lithography conference] for the tools in the field actually gave us the projected results."

17 April 2014
Environmental regulations 'jeopardize' European photonics

European production of raw materials seen as vital for a whole host of industrial and medical optics applications is under threat from environmental regulations. Peter Hartmann, director of market and customer relations at Schott's Advanced Optics division in Germany, and Wenko Süptitz from the photonics industry group Spectaris told delegates at an SPIE Photonics Europe industry session that getting around directives such as the Restriction on the use of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) -- designed to restrict the environmental impact of chemicals such as lead and arsenic -- was becoming such a distraction that companies may decide to exit the business altogether.

16 April 2014
ASML in a good mood about EUV

[From Dutch] ASML's confidence in EUV lithography has increased again. According to spokesman Lucas van Grinsven, ASML is receiving positive feedback from customers who are able to illuminate a hundred wafers per day. A EUV scanner problem reported at SPIE Advanced Lithography in February has been resolved, van Grinsven said.

15 April 2014
Getting closer to understanding the presbyopia puzzle

As we age, the lens of the eye becomes less flexible, gradually losing its ability to change shape and optical power over time, which is known as 'presbyopia'. Options to manage this condition include reading glasses and contact lenses, or procedures such as implantation of accommodating intraocular lenses. However, none of these are able to restore the youthful ability to focus at all distances and, up until now, one of the barriers to solving this puzzle is the inability to view the internal structures of the eye that are involved in this process. New research in the area, supported through a U.S. National Institutes of Health grant, was recognised earlier this year at SPIE BiOS, where Marco Ruggeri won the Pascal Rol Award for significant contributions to the field of ophthalmic technologies.

15 April 2014
Raman technique extends to single virus detection

Scientists at Friedrich-Schiller University and the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology in Jena have combined an advanced version of Raman spectroscopy with an atomic force microscope (AFM) to identify individual virus particles. The technique, known as tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS), is a combination of AFM and the more established surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Describing it at the SPIE Photonics Europe conference taking place in Brussels, Jena researcher Stephan Stöckel explained that the tip acts like an antenna, amplifying both the excitation laser and the scattered signal.

15 April 2014
Hyperspectral method shows cell imaging utility

Hyperspectral imaging, widely used for decades in mineralogy, surveillance and the food industry, is now showing great promise for cell characterization -- including stem cells -- and could be used to aid medical treatment of a wide range of conditions. According to Ewa Goldys of Macquarie Univeristy, who presented an invited paper on the topic at this week's SPIE Photonics Europe conference in Brussels, the vast range of cell types presents a major identification challenge.

14 April 2014
No more flint glass?

SPIE Fellow Peter Hartmann, who is also director of market and customer relations for Schott (Mainz, Germany), has recently pointed out a drawback of the European Union's REACH and RoHS regulations, at least to the European photonics industry: the potential demise of virtually all good optical flint glasses (the high-index glasses that, when combined with low-index glass in a proper optical design, result in color correction; used in everything from achromatic doublets to microscope objectives, camera lenses of all types, and just about any other high-end nonmonochromatic visible optical system). Hartmann writes about this in the SPIE Professional's April issue.

14 April 2014
NanoBits and Pieces: What I spied at SPIE

​It's tough to make predictions. Nonetheless, many speakers at the annual SPIE Advanced Lithography conference have taken the plunge and proffered thoughts of what the future might look like for EUV.

14 April 2014
Nanoparticles offer route to smarter endoscopy

Patients undergoing exploratory endoscopy procedures stand to benefit from more versatile and sensitive technologies in the future, thanks partly to the use of nanoparticles. That was the message from Brian Wilson, a senior scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto in a "hot topic" plenary talk during the opening session of SPIE's Photonics Europe conference in Brussels.

10 April 2014
Light Matters: Interview with SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs

"Engineers are changing the world," notes SPIE CEO in an interview with James Lowe of Photonics Media. Dr. Arthurs talks about the strength of the worldwide photonics market in the recovering economy, and offers some suggestions for ensuring a well-trained workforce for the future.

10 April 2014
Philips Lighting signed up as International Year of Light sponsor

Philips Lighting is the first company to sign up as a sponsor for the United Nations-sanctioned International Year of Light (IYL2015) that will run throughout next year. John Dudley, chairman of the international steering committee that will oversee the IYL2015 activities, says that the year-long celebration will present a golden opportunity to communicate the power of light-based technologies to politicians and the wider world -- but warns that this communication must be improved. "We live in a bit of a bubble really, because outside the confines of scientists very few people actually understand what 'photonics' is," he said in a recent interview with SPIE.

05 April 2014
SPIE Career Center job board for high-tech professionals and geeks

There are many ways to find a new job these days. We know this because we've written about many of them. Whether it's an innovative service that lets you tap into the power of social media, or a super effective job board with specific opportunities in your field, there are more paths than ever for employers and potential employees to find each other. Today we share with you SPIE's niche job board (The SPIE Career Center) for technical professionals, and how it can help advance your career.

04 April 2014
Professional society in our photonics ecosystem

Milton Chang, Incubic Management, interviews SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs: "We see our role as bridging science and applications to real-life deployment. We have always emphasized applications and commercialization more than most professional societies. We know that science is key to all aspects of the innovation model and science can also feed off the innovation process."

03 April 2014
Invest in Photonics returns to Bordeaux in October

Invest in Photonics, a two-day international business partnering convention exclusively focused on photonics venture capital investment, will be held this year over October 9 and 10, in its usual Bordeaux venue, western France. Attendees will receive exclusive market data on these industries, helping them identify hot trends and the best potential for maximizing investment returns. Speakers announced so far include Stephen G. Anderson, Industry & Market Strategist at SPIE.

03 April 2014
Photoacoustics holds promise for cancer

This is the first of a two-part series that will look more closely at the work of the dedicated researchers making some of the most exciting recent (and future) advances in photoacoustics. One researcher, Chih-Hsien Huang, received the Seno Medical Best Paper Award at SPIE Photonics West 2013 for "Water-immersible MEMS scanning mirror designed for wide-field fast-scanning photoacoustic microscopy."

03 April 2014
Photonic Materials: Epner gold: The Midas touch for laser cavities and sensing applications

A next-generation, more-resilient gold coating from Epner Technology (Brooklyn, NY) is proving instrumental not only for emerging thermal and IR-reflective uses, but for gas-sensing applications and for advanced laser-pumping schemes. Epner Technology president David Epner was awarded the Midas Award at SPIE Photonics West 2014 -- a kind-hearted gag put together by staff to recognize Epner's "many, many years of exemplary and distinguished gold-coated exorbitance and bemazement."

03 April 2014
A jump in EUV resist sensitivity?

There was an interesting presentation that happened toward the end of SPIE Litho -- it seemed to catch the audience off guard, and I frankly went away with the sense that there was some confusion in the room. The presentation discussed an experiment that was done at Osaka University as part of the overall effort to optimize EUV exposure.

03 April 2014
Ultrafast mirror array enhances gene microscopy

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS in Dresden, Germany, have developed a programmable microelectromechanical (MEMS) chip which can divert light of varying wavelengths at ultra-high speed and with micrometer-accuracy. A first demonstration of the system and the latest research results will now be presented to the public at the SPIE Photonics Europe conference in Brussels.

02 April 2014
Ammono and Unipress devise fast, low-cost production of ammonothermal GaN

Ammono S.A. in Warsaw, Poland, which produces bulk gallium nitride (GaN) using ammonothermal technology, and the Institute of High Pressure Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Unipress) say they have conceived proprietary new technology that allows cheap and fast production of ammonothermal GaN on the basis of hybrid Ammono-HVPE GaN seeds. Their research was presented for the first time at SPIE Photonics West 2014.

02 April 2014
Ultra-fast micro mirror array targets optical microscopes

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS in Dresden have developed a programmable MEMS chip that diverts light of varying wavelengths at very high speed and with micrometre accuracy. The latest research results will be presented to the public at SPIE Photonics Europe 2014.

01 April 2014
Trends in optics: old and new technologies set to flourish

Advances in optics in the past year or two have ranged from promising new optical materials to innovations in existing technologies. Useful, functional devices are starting to emerge from the realms of metamaterials research. The research agenda is to achieve tunable, switchable, nonlinear and sensing functionalities by structuring functional matter on the subwavelength scale.The field is certainly growing: The first SPIE conference on Metamaterials, Metadevices and Metasystems will be held 17-21 August during SPIE Optics + Photonics in San Diego, California.

31 March 2014
The annual EUV update

OK, folks, SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014 happened last month, so it must be time for ... wait for it ... wait for it ... wait for it .... That's the best clue I can think of. Still waiting for it? Yup, we are. EUV is the thing we're awaiting, of course. So this is the obligatory update on the The Technology that Will Finally Save the Imminent End of Moore's Law.

27 March 2014
Optical pulses to deflect asteroids

An abundance of rogue asteroids are on a collision course with Earth ... more than previously thought, according to recent studies. But don't panic. The threat is not immediate, and scientists are working on a solution. Researchers from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and MIT have found that optical energy shaped by quantum phenomena, used in conjunction with the microgravity and vacuum of space, could offer scalable deflection of such asteroids. The work was published online by SPIE.

24 March 2014
His jail in Teheran is a school, says Kokabee’s poem for family

On the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, Omid Kokabee sent his family a poem he wrote in jail. Kokabee, a graduate student at Texas University/Austin and SPIE Member, has been in Evin prison since 2011  for allegedly "communicating with an enemy government" and "illegal earnings."

20 March 2014
Under the radar at SPIE

At the SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium, the best and brightest minds in the lithography, m(DFM) fields assemble for a week. The annual event is a good way to get a pulse on the current state of lithography.

19 March 2014
Standards and VC trends on the agenda at Photonics Europe

Photonics Europe, the SPIE-organized conference and trade exhibition taking place in Belgium next month, will feature a newly expanded industry program with a strong focus on the impact -- both positive and negative -- of standards on the photonics sector.

19 March 2014
Studies from National Taiwan University yield new information about drug delivery systems

According to news reporting originating in Taipei, Taiwan, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "Transdermal drug delivery, transporting the drug molecules through epidermis to dermis, has been extensively investigated but not studied in dynamic detail. The objective of this study is to monitor the dynamical changes of drug permeation and that of polarization of skin tissue with oleic acid treatment." For more information on this research see "Investigation of transport dynamics in oleic acid-induced transdermal drug delivery by two-photon fluorescence microscopy: an ex-vivo study of mouse skin," Journal of Biomedical Optics, 2013;18(9):34-41; doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.9.096016

18 March 2014
First methodology to analyze nanometer line pattern images

Scientists from the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia announced pioneering software for line pattern image analysis at SPIE Advanced Lithography. The presented methodology is a unique tool developed to address the gap existent in dimensional metrology of sub-10nm line patterns. This is a methodology to quantify the critical dimensions and defect density of line arrays in regimes where optical inspection cannot reach.

18 March 2014
Life sciences seen as key at SPIE Photonics West '14

Again and again at SPIE Photonics West 2014, I found evidence of the importance of life sciences applications among optics and photonics suppliers and systems developers. Despite setbacks imposed by the U.S. government's "sequester" of 2013, biophotonics companies are optimistic and see opportunity. This was evident across the exhibit hall at both the BiOS and Photonics West expos.

17 March 2014
This is what the death of Moore’s law looks like

There have been a number of events over the past few weeks that collectively point to serious problems ahead for the semiconductor market and all the players in that space. While some companies will be impacted more than others, the news isn't great for anyone. At the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference at the end of February, a group of lithography engineers -- men and women who have spent their careers pushing the boundaries of Moore's law -- toasted its death.

12 March 2014
SPIE spies Brazilian photonics

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, publishes regular features on industry opinion formers and speakers at its regular conferences. One recent SPIE video profile documents the work of the Brazilian physicist and senior science policy figure Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz. In his role as scientific director of the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), Prof Brito is one of Brazil's principal overseas ambassadors for science and has extensive links with research councils and universities around the world.

11 March 2014
A perspective on EUV lithography February 2014: the NIF shot heard around the world.

SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014 provided no encouraging news on further development of EUV power output for advanced semiconductor HVM.

11 March 2014
BiOS 2014: Spectral imaging, ultrafast lasers, and more

The Biomedical Optics symposium (BiOS) and BiOS Expo, the world's largest annual biomedical optics and biophotonics symposium and exhibition, kicked off SPIE's Photonics West 2014 on February 1 in San Francisco, CA. Last year, in our reports on SPIE's 2013 BiOS, we commented on the prevalence of biomedical applications throughout Photonics West - and again this year, the symposium comprised about 45% of papers presented.

11 March 2014
Biomedical applications sweep Startup Challenge '14

In 2013, BioOptics World noted that the majority of entries in the Startup Challenge at SPIE Photonics West had biomedical application. The winner wasn't bio-focused, but most other entrants were. This year, in 2014, biophotonics swept the competition: That is, all three winners presented biomedical innovations.

10 March 2014
Taking lasers to the movies

With Gravity winning big at the Oscars at the beginning of March, Jessica Rowbury looks at how laser projection technology is set to transform the 3D experience of watching blockbuster movies. The film boasts some spectacular visual effects, but how would laser projectors change the viewing experience? Laser projectors for cinema offer significant image enhancements over traditional xenon lamps, especially for 3D films. "By using lasers there is a much higher distinction ratio -- so there is much more contrast and everything looks more real," said William Mackenzie, CEO of Necsel. Necsel's lasers have been adopted in projectors from Kodak and Christie Digital and its frequency-converted green laser array won a SPIE Prism Award earlier in the year at Photonics West.

10 March 2014
BRAIN Initiative spurs novel imaging technology

Since President Obama's announcement in April 2013 of a high-caliber collaborative project aimed at a deeper understanding of how the brain works, a surge of research for the BRAIN Initiative has been under way. Photonics is set to play a critical part, according to Rafael Yuste of Columbia University, who co-authored a paper about one potential line of research for SPIE Photonics West 2014.

07 March 2014
Photonics executives optimistic ... for the most part

The overwhelming sentiment of photonics industry executives participating in the Executive Panel at the 2014 Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar was positive regarding opportunities in our industry for 2014 and beyond. And while that sentiment was largely echoed in the executive panel at SPIE Photonics West 2014, the panel discussions did express some outlying issues of concern.

07 March 2014
Scientific exchanges at the SPIE Medical Imaging Conference

Two ICCAS members recently took part in SPIE Medical Imaging 2014, focusing on the areas of electronic management of patient data, patient information systems and clinical assistance systems in view of an increasingly evidence-based and personalized medicine. The members report in this short write-up that the conference confirmed the future potential of the ICCAS-concept.

06 March 2014
DSA update

The focus of the directed self-assembly (DSA) discussion at SPIE Advanced Litho has changed. In past years, it has felt more like the efforts were largely about corralling this interesting new wild thing, or even seeing if it could be corralled. Well, this year it felt more like it's in the corral, but there's lots more training to do to make it a well-behaved showhorse.

06 March 2014
Global photonics sales to 'beat global GDP growth by 50%'

The VDMA said last month that in both Germany and internationally, photonics is a key driver of innovation: "In a fiercely competitive environment, this field of technology is associated with a highly dynamic evolution with a global market volume expected to reach about €615 billion by 2020". Between now and then, this expansion would equate to an average annual growth rate one-and-a-half times that expected for the general global GDP. Meanwhile SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, assessed 2013 global sales of photonics systems to be around $450 billion, growing to $480 billion in 2014 and heading above $500 billion by next year.

05 March 2014
NASA, MIT send laser internet to the moon

Hong Kong currently boasts the fastest Internet speeds on Earth. However, Internet speeds on the moon are as much as 10 times faster than those found in Hong Kong. The key behind the large difference in speeds is the lasers that are being used to carry Internet from Earth to ships exploring the moon. Colloboarting on the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD), NASA and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) attempted to beam data via lasers to and from the moon in the interest of significantly decreasing the amount of time it would take for satellites exploring space to communicate with scientists back on Earth. Dan Boroson, the LLCD design team lead, spoke about the project at the SPIE Photonics West conference in February.

04 March 2014
450mm delayed and other SPIE news

Scotten Jones comments on his observations from SPIE Advanced Lithography: "The first interesting information from the conference floor was that 450mm is being pushed out."

04 March 2014
Boosted CPV deployment in emerging markets key to stakeholder approval, bankability

As more installations of CPV technology come online at the 1MW and above level, the wider the spectrum of demonstrated track records stakeholders have at their disposal to compare notes. Adam Plesniak, Director of Research and Development at Amonix, said in a recent video on spie.org that the level of efficiency gains by CPV technology are not yet envisaged since they are expected to get higher and higher. 

04 March 2014
Lighting shift to slash energy consumption -- IHS

Analysts at the consultancy company IHS are predicting that the switch to solid-state lighting will cut global electricity demand for general illumination by a remarkable 24 per cent by 2020.  That prediction goes against an alternative scenario building on the fact that historically energy consumption has increased alongside the adoption of increasingly efficient artificial lighting technologies -- ever since the invention of the candle. Speaking at the SPIE Optics + Photonics conference back in 2010 Jeff Tsao, the chief scientist at Sandia National Labs' Energy Frontier Research Center for Solid-State Lighting, showed that for the past three centuries the global "consumption" of artificial light had stayed in proportion with the ratio of GDP to the cost of producing that light.

03 March 2014
Infrared: A new renewable energy source?

Physicists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) envision a device that would harvest energy from Earth's infrared emissions into outer space. "It's not at all obvious, at first, how you would generate DC power by emitting infrared light in free space toward the cold," said principal investigator Federico Capasso said. "To generate power by emitting, not by absorbing light, that's weird. It makes sense physically once you think about it, but it's highly counterintuitive. We're talking about the use of physics at the nanoscale for a completely new application." Capasso co-invented the infrared quantum-cascade laser in 1994, pioneered the field of bandgap engineering, and demonstrated an elusive quantum electrodynamical phenomenon called the repulsive Casimir force -- work for which he received the SPIE Gold Medal and other awards.

03 March 2014
The value of lesser features

At the 2014 SPIE Advanced Lithography conference sessions and exhibitors revealed the path to the future for creating the small devices needed for future solid-state memory and storage. The secret of greater memory capacity is the size of the critical features that make up the individual memory cells. Continuous technology developments that reduce the size of these features are a major contributor to the phenomena known as Moore's Law.

28 February 2014
SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014: Day 4

LithoGuru.com blogger Dr. Chris Mack's Day 4 coverage of SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014, including topics such as the ASML review of progress on their latest EUV platform; Jan Mulkens' talk on mix-and-match overlay between EUV and 193i tools; and more.

28 February 2014
Will there ever be cake?

It's as if there's this great party coming, and everyone is working at breakneck speed to make sure that all the details are in place to make it the best party ever. And the highlight is some amazing cake that everyone's been hearing about. Let's call it an Extreme Ultra Velvet cake. We've been waiting for the cake for a while now, and the party has been postponed a couple times. A few people have had samples, and they swear it's everything promised and more, but scaling this amazing pastry up to the size necessary to feed increasingly hungry partygoers has proven rather more difficult than expected. And at this year's SPIE Litho conference, faces seem just a bit longer.

27 February 2014
SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014: Day 3

LithoGuru.com blogger Dr. Chris Mack's Day 3 coverage of SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014, including topics such as directed self-assembly (DSA); the exposure mechanism for EUV resists; the death of Moore's Law; and more. 

26 February 2014
SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014: Day 2

LithoGuru.com blogger Dr. Chris Mack's Day 2 coverage of SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014, including topics such as David Brandt's update on the progress of the EUV source at Cymer; the session on "SEM Simulation and Emulation"; Ricardo Ruiz of HGST's talk "Directed self-assembly: Where does the roughness come from?"; and Will Conley and Kafai Lai's panel on "The Battle for the 7nm Node."

25 February 2014
Intel, TSMC revive EUV hopes

In separate talks, Intel and TSMC revealed two new efforts that are rekindling hopes for extreme ultraviolet lithography. At the SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014 conference, Phillips disclosed a new analysis tool under development at ASML for handling edge placement errors in next-generation chips, a growing problem with multiple causes.

25 February 2014
SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014: Day 1

LithoGuru.com blogger Dr. Chris Mack's Day 1 coverage of SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014, including topics such as the intersection of electronic design automation and lithography; Integrated Patterning Solutions; the progress and challenges of moving extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography towards manufacturing; a positron spectroscopy technique that could measure free volume in a resist; and more.

24 February 2014
SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014: Preview

LithoGuru.com blogger Dr. Chris Mack's preview of SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014, including topics such as the progress of directed self-assembly (DSA); EUV's use in manufacturing; and the predicted end of Moore's Law.

24 February 2014
Nanoparticle analysis: an interview with Bernardo Cordovez, CEO of Optofluidics

The NanoTweezer is a technology developed at Cornell University. It is composed of little optical fibers patterned on a chip and because these fibres are so small, we can tightly confine and shuttle a lot of light through them. You can then use these strong optical forces to trap and analyse nanoscale particles. The Prism Awards is an international competition and there are only three finalists in our area -- Life Science and Biophotonics -- so we're very honored to be here. We are particularly excited because, in essence, this technology is optics and this is the world's leading optics conference. The first conferences that we ever went to were actually SPIE, followed by Photonics West and that's because people in the field of optics could understand our technology before a lot of other people could at the beginning.

21 February 2014
Zeiss signals EUV metrology progress

Zeiss is claiming a "major milestone" in the battle to develop extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for commercial deployment, after its prototype metrology system captured its first images of EUV photomasks. Recent progress in EUV lithography technology - or, in the view of some, the lack of - will once again be a hot topic at next week's SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014 conference.

20 February 2014
What’s happening at SPIE?

Gandharv Bhatara, marketing manager for the OPC group at Mentor Graphics, writes: "As we march down the shrink roadmap, foundries are faced with the unenviable task of having to maintain their time-to-mask targets while managing the lithography related computational complexities and doing so with limited resources. ... This year at the upcoming SPIE Advanced Lithography conference we will be talking about some of these new technologies and methodologies that we are developing with our foundry and IDM partners."

19 February 2014
There is a storm brewing

I just returned home this past weekend from two weeks in California, attending both the SPIE Photonics West and MDM West conferences. SPIE Photonics West continues to grow at a decent rate (about 5% per year), and there were over 21,000 in attendance this year.

17 February 2014
Raising awareness of photonics in San Fran

In part III of the Photonics West review, Greg Blackman reports on the initiatives discussed at the SPIE Photonics West 2014 show in San Francisco, which aim to increase awareness of photonics technologies.

14 February 2014
Mind games at Photonics West

From emitter and detector technology allowing researchers to measure brain activity, to thermal imaging for the iPhone, Greg Blackman recounts the technology on display on the SPIE Photonics West 2014 show floor in part II of the Photonics West review.

13 February 2014
Positive industry outlook expressed at Photonics West

In part I of III of Electro Optics' review of a packed SPIE Photonics West 2014 show, which took place in San Francisco from 1-6 February, Greg Blackman reports on the state of the photonics market.

13 February 2014
Needle microscope wins SPIE Startup Challenge

Western Australian researchers fighting breast cancer have won the final of an international technology startup pitch competition sponsored by SPIE. Associate professor Robert McLaughlin from the University of Western Australia's Optical and Biomedical Engineering Laboratory won the annual SPIE Startup Challenge for his presentation of the team’s “Microscope in a Needle” project, including a $10,000 prize sponsored by Jenoptik.

12 February 2014
Astronomical Telescopes set sights on Edinburgh

SPIE 2016 Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation, the world's leading event in the field, has set its sights on Edinburgh for 2016, favouring the Scottish capital's recently expanded Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

10 February 2014
Photonics West 2014: Moving ideas to market

The sun in San Francisco gave way to rain for the closing day of SPIE Photonics West 2014. But the rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of the record-number of exhibitors and attendees. Out on the show floor, we asked a number of companies about their market emphasis.

06 February 2014
Photonics West Show Daily: Thursday Edition

Inside this issue of the SPIE Photonics West 2014 show daily: Winners of the 2014 Prism Awards; LASE plenary highlights global opportunities; Executives upbeat on the photonics market; Trumpf looking forward to ultrashort-pulse future; First-time exhibitors at Photonics West; European clusters look for international connections; Jenoptik's Mertin on European photonics; Biophotonics in Brazil; and more.

06 February 2014
Credit-card-sized device could analyze biopsy, help diagnose pancreatic cancer in minutes

University of Washington scientists and engineers are developing a low-cost device that could help pathologists diagnose pancreatic cancer earlier and faster. The prototype can perform the basic steps for processing a biopsy, relying on fluid transport instead of human hands to process the tissue. The team presented its initial results in February at the SPIE Photonics West 2014 event.

05 February 2014
Astronomical Telescopes set sights on Edinburgh

Inside this issue of the SPIE Photonics West 2014 show daily: Accelerating your startup's success; OPTO plenary showcases silicon photonics and ultrafast thin-disk lasers; Technology Transfer Showcase; New LASE conference focuses on 3D manfuacturing; UK presents largest ever industry grouping at Photonics West; College of Optical Sciences at University of Arizona celebrates 50th anniversary; Edmund Optics' expansion and innovation; and more.

05 February 2014
Photonics West 2014: Sun shines on light technologies in San Francisco

While much of the U.S. was battling snow and winter weather, the sun was shining for the opening of SPIE Photonics West 2014, the largest North American gathering for those in the light technologies industries. Amid bustling halls, a few technologies and new products stood out.

04 February 2014
Photonics West Show Daily: Tuesday Edition

Inside this issue of the SPIE Photonics West 2014 show daily: BiOS Hot Topics; MOEMS-MEMS plenaries target novel biomed applications; Exhibitors "worth $84 billion" in core photonics sales; A note from SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs; Translational Research: the path from bench-top to bedside; Bio-inspired devices draw inspiration from nature; Super-resolution microscopy: beyond the diffraction limit; A conversation with Green Photonics virtual symposium chair Steve Eglash; Solid progress in silicon photonics; and more.

04 February 2014
New partnership announced at Photonics West to develop powerful laser system

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced at SPIE Photonics West 2014 that Austrian company Femtolasers will supply a front-end source for the High Repetition Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser system that is being constructed as part of the European Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project. Major laser research facilities are being built accross Europe to house some of the world's most powerful lasers for use by the scientific community.

01 February 2014
What’s new at SPIE BiOS 2014?

Today begins what is probably the most stimulating week of the year for those involved in biophotonics: The 2014 SPIE Biomedical Optics Symposium (SPIE BiOS) at SPIE Photonics West 2014. Besides approximately 2000 paper presentations exploring so many facets of biophotonics, there will be loads of new product announcements among the SPIE BiOS exhibits, and these other interesting tidbits.

01 February 2014
Photonics scientist talks laser radar technology

Paul McManamon, former president of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, talked about future and past applications of laser radar at a lecture yesterday, as a guest speaker invited by the Rutgers Photonics Club.

24 January 2014
What is 'Translational Research'?

I have to admit that the first time I had heard of "Translational Research" is when SPIE announced its new Translational Research virtual symposium as part of SPIE Photonics West 2014 conference. While SPIE defines translational research in the context of the BiOS symposium as "New photonics tools, techniques, and technologies to meet challenges in global healthcare," Wikipedia defines it somewhat more broadly across multiple disciplines -- not just the healthcare industry -- as "scientific research that helps to make findings from basic science useful for practical applications that enhance human health and well-being."

22 January 2014
Optics standards matter at SPIE Photonics West

The American National Standards committees for general optics (ASC OP) -- which are responsible for all American national standards for optics and electro-optics except for those of the ophthalmic industry -- will meet Feburary 2 and 3 in conjunction with SPIE Photonics West.

16 January 2014
Light to have its year

Light, in all its technological glory, will be the center of attention in 2015, thanks to a proclamation late last month in which the UN General Assembly named 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies. This year, we are introducing our newest publication, Industrial Photonics, for all those engaged in bringing photonic technologies to industrial settings. We're kicking off our celebration during SPIE Photonics West and BiOS in early February.

07 January 2014
Seminar panel questions laser company executives

On 3 February, Laser Focus World will once again present its annual Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar  in conjunction with SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco.

20 October 2013
Rochester is a world leader in optics

SPIE President-Elect Philip Stahl writes: Last week Rochester once again demonstrated its importance in the optics and photonics global economy by hosting the SPIE Optifab meeting -- North America's largest exhibition of optical manufacturing and testing equipment and technology.

15 October 2013
Optifab turning more optics eyes on Rochester

Number of attendees expected this week at Optifab: roughly 1,700. Number of optics industry companies exhibiting at the biennial optics industry trade show: 162 -- 20 more than 2011. Total exhibit space in the Riverside Convention Center taken up this week by those companies' displays: a record 18,000 square feet.

08 October 2013
Lasers bring proton therapy within easier reach

Treating cancerous tumors with a beam of photons is an established therapeutic technique. But photons are not the only option. Laser proton therapy (LPT) might be one answer. "A high-power laser directed in a vacuum at metal foils a few microns thick generates protons when the laser interacts with impurities such as water or hydrocarbons on the surface of the foil," explained Ken Ledingham of the University of Strathclyde. Ledingham is also one of the prime movers behind a new grouping, the International Initiative for Laser Acceleration Applied to Bio-Medicine, Imaging and Diagnostics, which arose from a session at the 2013 SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics conference devoted to medical applications of laser-generated particle beams.

08 October 2013
French partners sign infrared development partnership

Sofradir, the Paris-headquartered company specializing in infrared detectors and imaging, has signed a new five-year deal with Onera to accelerate the development of new thermal imaging technologies. Researchers at Onera, a public-sector defense and aerospace establishment in France, are working on a number of infrared detection technologies, and it is hoped that the agreement will accelerate the transfer of that expertise into commercial products. One of the infrared technologies previously developed at Onera is the "Scorpio" camera. Featuring panoramic fish-eye lenses for 360-degree viewing in a highly compact package, it was launched at the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing show in 2011, and is designed for applications in drone or robot vision systems.

03 October 2013
Northwestern researchers develop compact, high-power terahertz source at room temperature

Terahertz radiation is gaining attention due to its applications in security screening, medical and industrial imaging, agricultural inspection, astronomical research, and other areas. Traditional methods of generating terahertz radiation, however, usually involve large and expensive instruments, some of which also require cryogenic cooling. A compact terahertz source -- similar to the laser diode found in a DVD player -- operating at room temperature with high power has been a dream device in the terahertz community for decades. Manizeh Razeghi and her group have brought this dream device closer to reality. The findings were presented at SPIE Optics + Photonics conference in August.

01 October 2013
NIST unveils prototype video imaging system for remote detection of hidden threats

By adapting superconducting technology used in advanced telescope cameras, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built a prototype video imaging system for detecting hidden weapons and other threats at distances up to 28 meters away. NIST researcher Dan Becker demonstrated NIST's prototype in a talk and video presented at SPIE Remote Sensing last week in Dresden.

27 September 2013
ChemCam laser finds Martian water: very first shot on the red planet showed spectroscopic evidence of hydrogen presence

The laser on board the ChemCam instrument that is busy collecting evidence on Mars was the first tool to show that water was present in the planet's soil, according to one of a series of papers just published by the scientific teams involved. Roger Wiens, leader of the ChemCam instrument team at Los Alamos National Laboratory, said that the first spectroscopic evidence was collected shortly after the tool was first switched on. Speaking at last month's SPIE Optics and Photonics conference in San Diego, Wiens said that data on some 80,000 ChemCam laser shots had already been returned for analysis, and predicted that much more would be discovered by the tool when it arrives at Mount Sharp.

24 September 2013
SEMATECH’s photomask industry survey validates top industry challenges and identifies long-term opportunities

SEMATECH, a global consortium of semiconductor manufacturers, has released the results from its annual mask survey. The survey, which was recently presented at 2013 SPIE Photomask Technology, identified defect mitigation and write time as the current top challenges, with critical tool readiness and capability as the top concern for the development of next-generation masks.

20 September 2013
Challenges grow in photomask market

At the recent SPIE Photomask Technology 2013 Conference, experts in the industry drew a simple but gloomy conclusion: Amid lackluster growth rates, the mask business remains a tough and challenging market.

19 September 2013
Squinting at Saturn through 17th century technology

A team of French researchers has shed light on an important moment of astronomical history by testing the old lenses used by astronomer Jean-Dominique Cassini when he observed a minuscule gap between two of Saturn's rings in 1675. At the behest of the Paris Observatory, Julien Lozi and colleagues tested the quality of the lenses, and simulated what the planets would have looked like to Cassini when he used them in his stargazing. Their results were presented at the SPIE Optics+Photonics conference in August.

13 September 2013
Optics and photonics technology in medical devices: go small or go home

The medical device industry is a rapidly growing area of opportunity for optics and photonics technology, with applications ranging from diagnostics to surgical tools to therapeutics. During the SPIE Optics + Photonics 2013 show last month, I had the opportunity to speak with executives at several optics and photonics companies that serve the medical market, discussing with them the challenges associated with the medical space, the future outlook for the sector, and more. One thing they all agreed upon is that smaller is the wave of the future for medical device

11 September 2013
Light Matters: Galileoscope at SPIE Optics + Photonics

At the Photonics for a Better World pavilion during SPIE Optics + Photonics, Rob Sparks explains the do-it-yourself Galileoscope, the Dark Skies project and other STEM education activities of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

09 September 2013
US authorities test adaptive LED headlamps

For auto headlamps, as with most lighting, the future is LED. But while engineers are working out problems with cost, brightness and luminous efficacy, it will be several years before the technology is widespread.For one feature - the adaptive driving beam, or ADB, which allows patterns of partial dimming - the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is still conducting a study. But LEDs will not replace halogen any time soon, per a talk at SPIE Optics and Photonics Symposium in San Diego last month.

09 September 2013
State of the Optics + Photonics industry

The last 2 weeks have seen heated discussion among the industry leaders, government, and academics in optics and photonics about the future of the industry. At SPIE Optics + Photonics in San Diego, the diversity of optics' impact was never more clear. In a half hour, you could talk with program managers and engineers in aerospace, medical device, consumer electronics, clean energy and semiconductor.

04 September 2013
Light Matters: Laser Classroom and spaghetti SERS

At the Photonics for a Better World pavilion during SPIE Optics + Photonics, Laser Classroom founder Colette DeHarpporte talks about the company's STEM education products helping students and teachers learn about light, lasers and optics.

04 September 2013
Videos from SPIE Optics + Photonics 2013

Photonics Online editors interviewed several exhibitors about their companies' latest developments, capabilities, new releases and perspectives on the industry.

03 September 2013
Stars turn out for SPIE 2013 Optics + Photonics

When you saw this blog title, you might have thought that some "movie stars" turned out for the SPIE 2013 Optics + Photonics conference held August 25-29 in beautiful San Diego, but alas, they didn't. The stars I'm talking about were the cool blue star necklaces that adorned attendees of the All-Conference Welcome Reception and Star Party on Monday night on the Convention Center Upper Level Terrace, as well as the fabulous stars that were being viewed in the night sky thanks to the telescopes set up by the San Diego Astronomy Association.

02 September 2013
Space telescope SPICA to build on AKARI experience

Despite a glitch or two, the AKARI space telescope succeeded as the first Japanese space mission totally dedicated to infrared astronomical observations. Operating for five years until November 2011, it has also proved a learning experience for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and its partners in Korea and Europe -- with key lessons for a follow-up mission set to launch a decade from now. At last week's SPIE Optics and Photonics symposium, Takashi Onaka from the Department of Astronomy at the University of Tokyo, an AKARI research team member, highlighted some of the lessons learned from AKARI that will apply to SPICA, a similar but much larger telescope that is scheduled for a 2023 launch.

29 August 2013
Hyperspectral sounder promises high-precision storm forecasts

Forecasting of extreme weather is about to get much more detailed, and within just a few years it will be possible for anybody with a smart phone to receive high-precision storm warnings based on data collected just a minute earlier - thanks partly to photonics. The availability of such current data should be one outcome from the forthcoming launch of a geostationary satellite positioned over equatorial Asia and featuring a hyperspectral imaging sounder. That's according to Gail Bingham, chief scientist at Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory, who was speaking at the SPIE Optics and Photonics symposium held at the San Diego Convention Center.

28 August 2013
ChemCam chief: stay tuned for signs of life

The cameras on Curiosity, the most ambitious Mars mission ever attempted, are yet to find signs of life: no microbes; no precursors. But hold on. "This mission isn't over yet," says Roger Wiens, principal investigator of the ChemCam instrument team on the Curiosity Rover Mission. "Stay tuned over the next couple of years. When we get to Mount Sharp, you'll see what we are going to do there." Mount Sharp is a critical destination for the rover, currently ambling across the Martian landscape at a tortoise-like tenth of a mile an hour. To huge public interest, it landed on Mars in August 2012. A year later, and Wiens told the optical engineering plenary session at the SPIE Optics and Photonics symposium: "We are now a fifth of the way to the gateway to the mountain."

28 August 2013
California utility eyes smart grid to handle growing PV load

As solar and wind power generation give utilities fits, so-called "smart grids" and new types of inverters are increasingly vital in smoothing out scrambled patterns. Thomas Bialek, chief engineer at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), a strong advocate of smart grids, described the principles behind the technology during a solar plenary session held August 26 at SPIE's week-long Optics and Photonics symposium.

27 August 2013
Asteroid-zapping lasers step out of science fiction

Mention a huge vehicle in space with lasers that can zap an asteroid, and what comes to mind? Perhaps the Death Star of Star Wars movies fame? If so, Philip Lubin, with a wink, has succeeded with his intended joke. "I have a sense of humor," he told a rapt plenary audience at SPIE's Optics and Photonics symposium. But as one of the world's leading experts on such futuristic projects, Lubin is dead serious.

27 August 2013
Kepler: the search goes on

The future of NASA's phenomenal Kepler space observatory, launched in March 2009 but now troubled by a faulty pointing mechanism, is up for grabs. "It's still a perfectly good telescope," said Jon Jenkins, a senior scientist at SETI, the California based institute for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. But in a plenary talk at SPIE's Optics and Photonics symposium in San Diego, he added that Kepler needs a new purpose beyond hunting for Earth-like planets where intelligent life could exist.

23 August 2013
Optics event to focus on region's role nationally

The global optics industry's market is estimated at $500 billion, with 1.5 million jobs in the United States directly related to or enabled by optics and photonics technologies. Photonics -- the application of light -- is used in technologies including lasers, computer chips, solar-energy panels, sensors and displays. It is found in manufacturing, medicine, defense and security, lighting and more. "Photonics is actually everywhere," said Eugene Arthurs, CEO of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

02 August 2013
This week's top photonics news picks

Editors' top news picks for this week, from Laser Focus World and elsewhere: Here's something I'd like to keep in the public eye, and I'm glad the SPIE is doing so: the unjustified imprisonment of scientists around the world, sometimes because their research is at odds with a government's political leanings.

02 August 2013
Optics-enabled endoscopy could lead to better colonoscopies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new endoscopy technology that could make it easier for doctors to detect precancerous lesions in the colon.  Full details of the work appear in the Journal of Biomedical Optics.

31 July 2013
Research points toward better colonoscopy

MIT researchers have developed a new endoscopy technology that could make it easier for doctors to detect precancerous lesions in the colon. Early detection of such lesions has been shown to reduce death rates from colorectal cancer, which kills about 50,000 people per year in the United States. Nicholas Durr is the senior author of a paper describing the new technology in the Journal of Biomedical Optics.

12 July 2013
Products from innovation

The global economic climate remained uncertain throughout the spring, resulting in attendance that was flat or slightly down at several major photonics trade shows. Yet in each case, these conferences and exhibitions brought out the best in terms of innovative technologies and new products. SPIE Defense, Security + Sensing in April felt the effects of U.S. government budget struggles and sequestration, but put on display strong advances in technologies for the infrared, unmanned vehicles, and simulation training.

01 July 2013
Lighting a path to innovation and prosperity

The US National Academy of Sciences National Research Council last year published a report which stresses the essential role that quantum technologies (lasers, fiber optics, high-resolution solid-state displays, imagers, and sensors) play in our everyday lives. The report called for a National Photonics Initiative (NPI) to advance photonics in five critical industrial sectors. Heeding the call, the American Physical Society, the IEEE Photonics Society, the Laser Institute of America, the Optical Society (OSA), and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, joined forces to organize their memberships and recruit support from across a broad spectrum of US stakeholders.

27 June 2013
For a brighter tomorrow

On 23 May 2013, the American Physical Society, the IEEE Photonics Society, the Laser Institute of America, the Optical Society (OSA) and the International Society of Optics and Photonics (SPIE) launched the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) - a collaboration involving industry, academia and government.

11 June 2013
Interview: Eugene Arthurs, SPIE CEO

How healthy is the photonics sector? What is driving key technologies? ASPICE interviewed SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs to learn his perspective.

01 June 2013
ABET-ing on accreditation

The new ABET accreditation for optics/photonics engineering is good news for universities offering such programs as well as for the students who will attend those universities and the companies that will hire them. Accreditation is a win-win-win situation, good for all parties involved, according to Barry Shoop, professor and deputy head of the department of electrical engineering and computer science at the US Military Academy in West Point. Shoop knows what he's talking about: He represents SPIE on the board of directors for ABET, the nonprofit, nongovern-mental federation of professional and technical societies.