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.)

2014
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.

2013
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.

24 May 2013
Making photonics a priority

Countries such as Germany and regions such as Europe that have made photonics a public policy priority have benefited greatly and stand to benefit even more in the future. To remain competitive, the U.S. must do the same. Now, the time has come for leaders of all organizations that understand the value of photonics to work together in support of the recently launched National Photonics Initiative, led by the APS, IEEE Photonics Society, LIA, OSA, and SPIE, and draws support from many people in U.S. industry, government, and academia.

20 May 2013
SPIE DSS 2013: Interview with Jason Eichenholz, CEO, Open Photonics

Senior editor John Wallace catches up with Jason Eichenholz, CEO of Open Photonics, who talks about their latest partnerships -- including Lockheed Martin and the Tricorder XPRIZE.

20 May 2013
SPIE DSS 2013: Interview with Tom Nugent, president, Laser Motive

Senior editor John Wallace takes time to talk with Tom Nugent, president of Laser Motive, about the company's ability to deliver 70 W power from lasers to photovoltaics using a fiberoptic cable.

20 May 2013
SPIE DSS 2013: Interview with Ray Latypov, CEO, VirtuSphere

Senior editor John Wallace speaks with Ray Latypov, CEO of VirtuSphere, about the company's 360-degree, immersive virtual-reality technology.

15 May 2013
MR takes a deep breath

MR sequences are faster than ever before; basic protocols as easy to perform as those for the knee or spine. Combined with contrast, lung MR can produce results as accurate as those seen in the liver, according to Hans-Ulrich Kauczor at the University Hospital of Heidelberg. John Mugler, University of Virginia, had been stumping for the broader use of this technology since making the first hyperpolarized xenon images of the human lung in 1996. Mugler was at it again at SPIE Biomedical Optics and Medical Imaging last year, where during the keynote presentation he described the disadvantages of conventional lung MR and extolled the virtues of hyperpolarized MR.

13 May 2013
People tracking with lasers

In late April, I visited the SPIE Defense, Security + Sensing show in Baltimore. This conference focuses on many market areas involving lasers -- for instance, night vision, range finding, targeting, and LIDAR.

07 May 2013
The sequester, DARPA, and a new reality for U.S. defense R&D

Sequestration, the automatic U.S. federal budget cuts that went into effect on March 1, was the dominant theme at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing (DSS) 2013 in Baltimore last week, and its impact on the defense industry could be clearly seen and heard. With travel budgets slashed or eliminated altogether, many government employees couldn't make the annual pilgrimage to the event, even those from as close by as Washington, DC. At one workshop I attended, attendees never even had the opportunity to lay eyes on the moderator (from the Air Force Research Laboratory's Sensor Directorate) -- he did his part via teleconference from Ohio.

07 May 2013
Small is more: SWAP for soldier systems and unmanned vehicles dominates today's technology

People tell me they're getting sick of the term SWAP, which as we know all too well is short for size, weight, and power. The idea, of course, is little SWAP, not big SWAP -- for most things these days, that is. The desire for big things in small packages is front-and-center in the aerospace and defense electronics industry because of a growing and wide variety of applications involving unmanned vehicles, soldier systems, and the like. Evidence of the growing focus on SWAP is almost everywhere we look. Last week at the SPIE Defense Security + Sensing electro-optics show in Baltimore, for example, tiny size, light weight, and low power consumption were common themes.

07 May 2013
DARPA chief issues call to arms in Baltimore

Arati Prabhakar, director of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), issued a strong call to arms in a keynote address opening last week's Defense Security and Sensing (DSS) symposium.

06 May 2013
My 3 favorite technologies from SPIE DSS 2013

The SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing (DSS) exhibition is a place where even the most hard-core tech geek can get lost amidst a sea of cutting-edge technologies being utilized in almost unthinkable ways.

06 May 2013
DSS 2013: SiOnyx sees digitally with ‘black’ silicon

For sharp night vision, no one on the exhibition floor at SPIE's Defense, Security and Sensing (DSS) show in Baltimore seemed to beat SiOnyx. The CIA-backed start-up company, at its first public show ever, ran two videos of a dark night in the Massachusetts woods.

05 May 2013
Xenics InGaAs SWIR detector is part of Proba-V space mission

At SPIE DSS 2013 Xenics introduced the Xlin-1.7-3000, a line-scan detector in InGaAs technologythat offers over 3,000 pixels of resolution With high sensitivity in the SWIR range (0.9 to 1.7 µm) Xlin-1.7-3000 it is suited for the Proba-V (vegetation) satellite mission orbiting at an altitude of 880 km to reveal detailed long-term information on the changing crop and vegetation patterns of the planet and other vital parameters for preserving the biosphere.

03 May 2013
Aircraft system powered by laser over fiber

Earlier this week, LaserMotive, an independent company specializing in delivering electric power via lasers, unveiled InvisiTower, the world's first tethered vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft system powered by laser over optical fiber. The new, portable system can power any multi-rotor helicopter indefinitely using laser power sent via fiber optic cable, enabling aircraft to stay in the air as long as power is available on the ground. The first public flight of an aircraft powered by the new system took place at the SPIE Defense, Security & Sensing (DS&S) tradeshow at the Baltimore Convention Center.

02 May 2013
On the floor at SPIE Defense, Security & Sensing

The SPIE Defense Security & Sensing Show in Baltimore, which began on Monday and ends today, provided attendees with an exhibit hall full of new products and technologies. If you weren't at the show, here's some of what you missed.

02 May 2013
DSS 2013: tiny drone flies on fiber-optic power

Tethered to a black fiber-optic cable supplying 70 W of laser power, a superlight micro helicopter, roughly the size of a medium pizza, flew using the power of light alone in demonstrations by Lasermotive at the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing (DSS) exhibition in Baltimore.

02 May 2013
Small size, light weight for unmanned vehicle applications dominate technology at SPIE

Tiny size, light weight, and low power consumption -- all with unmanned vehicles in mind -- were common themes this week at the SPIE Defense Security + Sensing electro-optics conference and trade show in Baltimore, as a wide variety of sensor integrators rolled out products for the newest generations of unmanned and soldier-worn technology.

01 May 2013
Photonic Frontiers: EUV lithography has yet to find its way into the fab

Demonstration of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) sources delivering tens of watts to wafers is a major milestone, and shipments will begin later this year. But serious challenges remain in reaching the performance needed for mass production of chips. The pace of EUV development accelerated in 2011, Wurm says, when ASML "stepped in and took more ownership of the source," investing more resources in EUV and agreeing to buy Cymer, a major source manufacturer. At the SPIE Advanced Lithography meeting (Feb. 24-28, 2013) in San Jose, Cymer reported a new EUV source that delivered average powers of 40-55 W at 13.5 nm for long periods and is offering a new generation of sources based on that technology.

01 May 2013
DSS 2013: thermal imaging meets consumer electronics

Potentially life-saving medical uses of thermal imagery are gaining interest in areas like breast cancer and diabetes, but it's slow going since the techniques are often considered alternative medicine, an advocate told the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing (DSS) symposium in Baltimore.

01 May 2013
Our professional network

Internationally, many efforts are underway to support innovation and growth in photonics-which in turn promises to help society in so many fundamental ways. In Europe, Photonics21, with more than 1700 member companies and organizations, serves as a platform for establishing priorities in photonics research and innovation and is implementing a common European photonics strategy. In the US, many diverse groups are supporting efforts to create a National Photonics Initiative intended to increase collaboration among industry, government, and academia, and make photonics a national priority in areas that are critical for maintaining competitiveness and national security.

30 April 2013
Defense, Security + Sensing 2013: Driving technological surprise

Dr. Arati Prabhakar was the symposium-wide speaker at the plenary presentation last night at the SPIE Defense, Security + Sensing 2013. Dr. Prabhakar is currently the Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and not surprisingly, she has an impressive resume, having spent her career investing in world-class engineers and scientists to create new technologies and businesses.

30 April 2013
DSS 2013: saliva emerges as medical test site

Several speakers described new approaches to saliva-based diagnosis of cancer and other serious diseases during a Defense, Security and Sensing (DSS 2013) technical session on Sensing Technologies for Global Health, Military Medicine and Environmental Monitoring.

29 April 2013
DSS 2013: hyperspectral sensor shows that small is beautiful

As the curtain went up at SPIE's Defense, Security and Sensing (DSS) symposium, the focus was on a tiny satellite, with a sensor just over 16 inches long, set to launch in Hawaii this fall. It may enhance the field of geological study from space. Called the SUCHI, for Space Ultra Compact Hyperspectral Imager, it is a slimmed-down version of an earlier long-wave infrared (LWIR) hyperspectral vehicle.

25 April 2013
Explosives identification benefits from THz-Raman spectroscopy

During SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing in Baltimore, new results will be presented by Ondax demonstrating enhanced spectral measurements of explosives and hazardous materials.

22 April 2013
Thermal imaging helps nab bombing suspect

The photonic technology of thermal imaging was literally in the spotlight on the evening of April 19 as law enforcement officials used it to monitor and capture a Boston Marathon bombing suspect. "Raman spectroscopy is being used by both military and civilian agencies to identify bulk chemicals," said Christopher Carter, program manager at the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab. "Carter will chair sessions on advances in spectroscopic chemical detection at the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing (DSS) conference next week in Baltimore. His sessions are part of the conference on Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing.

22 April 2013
Microsatellites turn eyes to the sky

In February, the Canadian government launched two satellites with a dual mission: to detect and track space objects while contributing to the country's continued support of 'space situational awareness' activities. Both satellites carry optical payloads designed to survey the sky from orbit looking for objects of interest, from surveillance of so-called "space junk" and other satellites to detecting and tracking near-Earth asteroids such as the bus-sized lump of rock that slammed into Russia the same month. While the majority of the world's 1,000 operational satellites are large and multi-functional, NEOSSat is an example of a relatively new type of craft - a microsatellite. .Attendees at SPIE's Defense, Security and Sensing (DSS) conference in Baltimore next week will have the chance to hear more about similar projects in a dedicated conference session.

18 April 2013
HiPER at the SPIE Optics and Optoelectronics conference, Prague

The 2013 SPIE Optics and Optoelectronics conference took place in Prague between 15 and 18 April, with more than 600 delegates gathered to discuss the latest advances in laser technology, hotonics, and applications ranging from inertial confinement fusion to medical imaging, from metamaterials to quantum information transfer.

02 April 2013
Canadian participation to Photonics West 2013

This winter, Canadian photonics companies headed west to establish new customer relationships, pursue new global market opportunities and showcase Canada's technology strengths on the international stage. Together with the Canadian Photonic Industry Consortium (CPIC), a delegation of almost 50 Canadian photonics companies attended Photonics West from February 5 to 7 in San Francisco, California.

28 March 2013
Interactive holographic video display developed

Holoxica, the Edinburgh, Scotland-based developer and supplier of 3D holographic solutions, has announced the availability of a new interactive holographic 3D display, which it is calling a "second generation" prototype. The design is inspired by head-up displays, based on free-space optics with images floating in mid-air that can change in real-time. A paper from Holoxica describing this HUD-style display was presented by the company's CEO Javid Khan at the SPIE Photonics West conference in February, and it was published this week in the conference proceedings.

25 March 2013
The call for the National Photonics Initiative

The three greatest assets the U.S. wields in the world's high-tech economy are our world-leading research universities, the commercialisation engine of the free market, and a government who supports basic science. Today's political landscape has, however, made the future of federal investments in research and development unpredictable. Intelligently aligning these assets is now essential with competition around the world growing more innovative every day. This alignment in the optics and photonics community is the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) -- an answer to the primary recommendation in the recent Essential Technologies report by the National Academy of Sciences.The NPI advisory committee consists of member and staff representatives from five professional societies including SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

22 March 2013
Positive list for LED lighting products achieves recognition outside Denmark

The preparatory work for the newly developed dynamic LED positive list achieved recognition at the annual SPIE Photonic West conference in January. The project for development of the positive list for LED lightning has been funded by the Danish Energy Association's ELFORSK programme.

20 March 2013
Report on recent SPIE activities: Spring 2013

SPIE Advanced Lithography concluded a few weeks ago. I was able to obtain some interesting perspective (albeit remotely) on EUV events thanks to first person accounts, daily news and video updates on the SPIE web site and from other SEMI industry news media. My instinct to publish blog commentary immediately after the SPIE conference proceedings was throttled by additional background research in which I rediscovered recent, relevant historic data preceding and supplementing this years SPIE Advanced Lithography event.

20 March 2013
More photons are good

Scatterometry is the favored approach to monitor complex 3D nano-structures in production. At SPIE Advanced Lithography, KLA introduced a new generation of their scatterometry metrology system. The new system expands the number of different measurements; know internally as multi-multi-multi.

14 March 2013
Cymer’s EUV team Hhas an exciting few months

At SPIE Advanced Lithography, Cymer announced some serious progress in EUV source development, one of several highlights. The latest results provided 40W of power in runs over 8 hours that mimicked full productions conditions including dose control. As far as I can tell, 40w translates to around 30 - 300 mm wafers an hour.

14 March 2013
IPG speeds UV laser development with Mobius acquisition

The market-leading fiber laser company IPG Photonics has signaled the growing importance of short-wavelength sources with the acquisition of California-based Mobius Photonics. The deal follows recent moves by rival firms Coherent and Newport to enter the industrial UV laser space. At the SPIE Photonics West trade show in San Francisco last month, Newport's Spectra-Physics division launched its "Quasar" UV laser, Coherent released its "AVIA 355-33" Q-switched solid-state source for micromachining, and Mobius launched its "G2" fiber laser.In a technical conference session at Photonics West, IPG's CFO Tim Mammen had highlighted the growing importance of the UV and green wavelengths for fiber lasers.

11 March 2013
NLIA and clusters advance China's domestic laser industry

I have long suspected that the annual Laser Market Review and Forecast underestimates the total laser market simply due to the fact that it is difficult to get actual production statistics from domestic laser companies in China. The presentation from Bo Gu at our Lasers and Photonics Marketplace Seminar during SPIE Photonics West confirmed my opinion.

11 March 2013
UCLA brings malaria diagnosis to the masses

The development of lens-free biomedical imaging technology continues apace, spurred on jointly by breakthroughs in the optical technology involved and the ever-wider availability of the perfect hand-held devices to exploit it. Aydogan Ozcan of the University of California, Los Angeles, whose research group has been heavily involved in pushing the technology forward, recently demonstrated an on-chip microscopy technique able to detect individual particles below 100 nm in size across an field-of-view of 20.5 square millimeters.This is an improvement of more than two orders of magnitude compared to other nanoimaging techniques, according to the team. Speaking at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco, Ozcan explained the rationale behind the BioGames platform, described as a new paradigm for remote medical image diagnosis of malaria.

10 March 2013
UWI rebrands school of science; eyes optics for industrial applications

The University of the West Indies (UWI) has rebranded and restructured its three departments of Science in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad as it positions to commercialise its R&D creations. The university hopes to leverage its innovations into money-making ventures that will, in turn, provide a new pool of resources for continuous research and development of saleable applications. UWI Mona was among 25 organisations worldwide to recently receive a grant from SPIE to establish an optics curriculum and to introduce the field to high school, pre-university and undergraduate students.

08 March 2013
Trumpf opens new solid-state laser development center

Trumpf has officially opened its new solid-state laser development center in southern Germany, following a €13.5 million investment. Trumpf says that an addition to its shipping unit is now at planning stage. The company's various solid-state lasers, which include disk sources, are used in a wide variety of applications from semiconductor manufacturing to automobile production. At the recent SPIE Photonics West event, Trumpf showed off the latest model in its "TruDisk" series of lasers, which delivers 6 kW from a single disk and is said to cut operating costs by as much as one-fifth compared with other lasers.

07 March 2013
Viewing 3D IC blossoms at SPIE Advanced Lithography 2013

I was in San Jose last week at SPIE Advanced Lithography 2013 attending the 2013 Advanced Lithography Exhibition, hoping to catch whatever was being said about 3D IC applications by exhibition vendors who were otherwise advertising such technologies as immersion, double patterning, e-beam, EUV, optical/laser, and RET lithography (naturally), materials and chemicals, resist materials and processing, and nano-imprint systems for IC and chip fabrication.

05 March 2013
EUV Gets Closer to Hitting the Mark

It was one of the main themes at this year's SPIE Litho conference: what are the alternatives to extreme UV lithography?

04 March 2013
Extreme sources, block copolymers, and resist polishing at SPIE Advanced Lithography

Lots to talk about from SPIE Advance Lithography Conference this year; EUV power, multi-beam systems, double patterning, and imprint. I thought I would pick up some highlights here, and then come back and talk about them in detail over the next few weeks.

28 February 2013
Photonics West 2013: Interview with Wilhelm Kaenders

BioOptics World editor-in-chief Barbara Goode speaks with Wilhelm Kaenders, president of Toptica Photonics, who gave a talk during SPIE Photonics West at the 2013 Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar on the emerging market of supercontinuum lasers.

21 February 2013
SPIE Startup Challenge highlights high-tech photonics

It is an absolutely daunting challenge to attend a trade show like SPIE Photonics West 2013 and expect to come back to the office with a "comprehensive" view of what is new and exciting in the photonics industry. Truly, the show is awesome for its industry and networking events as well as the demonstration-packed exhibit, but I always feel like I've missed a lot. As an editor for Laser Focus World, that is not a good thing! So thank goodness for the three-year-old SPIE Startup Challenge! Wow, what an awesome way to discover ten of the top photonics startup companies in our industry--with truly "high tech" innovations--through their rapid-fire series of presentations to a distinguished panel of photonics industry investors and technology experts.

21 February 2013
Leading-edge research at SUNY NanoCollege generates nearly 50 technical papers to be presented at prestigious lithography rorum

Continuing to support the vision and leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo through which New York is being transformed into the worldwide epicenter for nanotechnology, the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) announced today that pioneering scientific research conducted at CNSE's Albany NanoTech Cospimplex has contributed to nearly 50 technical papers being presented at the world's preeminent lithography conference, SPIE Advanced Lithography.

21 February 2013
Slack LED market weighs on sapphire maker Rubicon

Ongoing oversupply in the LED market will see sapphire wafer vendor Rubicon Technology's sales cut in half in the current quarter, although the US-headquartered company is hopeful of a recovery prompted by solid-state lighting applications later this year. Outside of the slack LED market, Rubicon also sells sapphire material into optics applications and showed off a 12-inch optical window based on the material at the recent SPIE Photonics West exhibition, as well as a huge 85 kg boule of raw sapphire.

17 February 2013
Pyramids are not just for pharaohs

There were 3 different applications for pyramid patterns this year at Photonics West in San Francisco; improved LED's, improved absorbers and single quantum dot devices. This not the first time the ancients have come to the rescue of nano-technology, a couple of years ago we had nano-menhirs.

12 February 2013
Surface inspection, BNP testing, and remote image-guided surgery top startup challenge

DeA saying I heard several times last week at SPIE Photonics West was, "For every chicken getting swallowed, there's an egg hatching." This refers to the fact that although companies are often acquired in the photonics industry, and consolidation is a concern, there are always a number of startups beginning their own journey.

12 February 2013
Photonics and the defense market: reasons for optimism

Defense spending is a topic that has caused much anxiety during conversations I have had at trade shows in recent years. While the future of this area is still uncertain due to looming defense cuts, it does not appear to be as bleak as it is often made out to be, according to industry executives speaking at SPIE Photonics West sessions last week.

12 February 2013
How to laser-print a spaceship ... inside a minute

Nanoscribe, the Karlsruhe, Germany, spin-out company that is developing equipment for production of nano-scale polymer components, revealed a quantum leap in the technology at the BiOS and Photonics West exhibition in California last week.

12 February 2013
Corning plugs into optical cables

Waguih Ishak, VP and director of the Corning West Technology Center in Palo Alto, California, said at the SPIE Photonics West event last week that the company's new flexible optical cables -- launched at the recent Consumer Electronics Show and set for a commercial roll-out in the current quarter -- will revolutionize how glass fibers function with consumer devices.

11 February 2013
Magic? No! It’s computational lithography

The industry plans to use 193nm light at the 20nm, 14nm, and 10nm nodes. Amazing, no? There is no magic wand; scientists have been hard at work developing computational lithography techniques that can pull one more rabbit out of the optical lithography hat. Now, if you are prepared to have your mind blown by new computational lithography techniques, you can sign up for the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference. There is so much going on with computational lithography that I couldn't start to cover it all here.

08 February 2013
Live from SPIE Photonics West 2013: Day 3

In August, the National Research Council of the National Academies released its new report, "Optics and Photonics, Essential Technologies for Our Nation," which updates its 1998 "Harnessing Light" study. It looks at the state of optics, photonics, and optical engineering in the United States, prioritizes research grand-challenge questions to fill technological gaps, and recommends actions to support global leadership in photonics-driven industry, and calls for a National Photonics Initiative. "SPIE, OSA, the American Physical Society, the Laser Institute of America, and the IEEE Photonics Society are working together on the initiative, and we're trying to foster increased collaboration and coordination among industry, government, and academia to optimize photonics in the U.S.," said Eugene Arthurs, SPIE CEO. There will be a meeting in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 28 to finalize some of the recommendations of the initiative.

07 February 2013
Executive perspectives on the world of optics and photonics

There were mixed views on the future of photonics at the panel discussion held at Photonics West. Defence was 'tough', but not 'dead', China was 'difficult', and 2012 was a record year for mergers and acquisitions within the industry.

07 February 2013
Live from SPIE Photonics West 2013: Day 2

With the economy in recovery and many optics and photonics companies reporting growth in 2012, an attendee at the "Executive Perspectives on the World of Optics and Photonics" event on Wednesday asked the panel if additional jobs are coming to the optics industry. Current hiring strategies differ when it comes to manufacturing.

06 February 2013
Live from SPIE Photonics West 2013: Day 1

The SPIE Photonics West Exhibition opened on Tuesday, featuring more than 1,200 companies showcasing the industry's latest innovations.

04 February 2013
BiOS Hot Topics highlights photonics' move into clinical applications

Every year, Laser Focus World and BioOptics World editors write about many of the latest biophotonic advances including optogenetics, photoacoustics, and multi-modality or hybrid imaging. While many of these disciplines are less than a decade old, the well-attended Saturday night BiOS Hot Topics session at SPIE Photonics West highlighted how these technologies are already making tremendous inroads into clinical applications--targeting neural diseases, cancer, and making surgery less invasive.

01 February 2013
Self-assembly takes shape

Engineers in California have made an important advance in a technique that could help chipmakers create denser and cheaper integrated circuits. It might also extend the life of the traditional lithography process. With a method called directed self-assembly, the engineers were able to pattern contact holes for transistors in memory and logic circuits. At the SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium in San Jose, Calif., this month, a group led by H.-S. Philip Wong, an electrical engineering professor at Stanford University, will show that their template technique can pattern holes for a broad range of logic circuits, including adders and flip-flops, using a standard library of circuit components.

30 January 2013
Europe nails colors to graphene mast

This week, the European Commission announced its selection of the development of graphene as one of two "flasgship" projects that are set to receive unprecedented research funding through its "Future and Emerging Technologies" competition. Along with the "human brain" initiative, and with not insignificant contributions required from other funding partners including industry, graphene research across the continent is set to receive up to one billion euros over the course of the next decade.The potential applications of graphene run far wider than the various fields of optics and optoelectronics, and the material has quickly become a topic of huge interest for photonics researchers. Without directly referencing the high-profile graphene project, photonics leaders from SPIE and other organizations have added their voices to those calling for protection of Horizon 2020 funding.

24 January 2013
Inside BiOS 2013: 'jaw-dropping' presentations and trends in biophotonics

At a time when many industries are plagued by uncertainty or are in decline, biomedical optics and biophotonics are thriving. A 2012 report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. predicts that the global market for biophotonics will exceed $99 billion by 2018. Based on the opinions of experts I recently interviewed and the level of participation expected at SPIE BiOS 2013, such projections appear realistic.

18 January 2013
3 things you don't want to miss at Photonics West 2013

Every year, as I'm flying the red eye home and reflecting on SPIE Photonics West, one thought always comes to mind -- I wish there had been more time to meet more attendees, talk with more companies, shoot more videos, write more articles, and attend more presentations, sessions, and industry events. So, if you are going to be one of the event's more than 20,000 attendees this year, here are three things you don't want to miss.

07 January 2013
La photonique est partout, et pourtant invisible (Photonics is everywhere and yet invisible)

The international business convention Invest in Photonics 2012 -- dedicated to investments in the photonics industry -- recently attracted more than 150 participants to a meeting in Bordeaux of investors and project developers. The photonics market is estimated at € 300 billion, and is expected to reach € 480 billion by 2015, according to figures from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

01 January 2013
New image-reconstruction method yields clear images of subsurface features

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a popular imaging modality for obtaining three-dimensional, micrometer-resolution pictures of structures that lie beneath the surface of, for example, the human eye or silicon wafers used in the computer industry. The technique could now become even more powerful, thanks to work led by Hon Luen Seck from the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology at A*STAR. The team has found a way to eliminate one of the main noise sources that otherwise blur these images. The paper is published in the  Journal of Biomedical Optics.

2012
31 December 2012
Photonics conference highlights investment opportunities

Organizers of Invest in Photonics 2012, a two-day international convention on photonics venture capital (VC) investment, said that participation at last month's event increased "despite a tough investment decade in photonics". The gathering in Bordeaux, France (host of the Laser Megajoule and a region recognized as a center for photonics) attracted a mix of industry leaders, investors, photonics specialists, market analysts and trade representatives from across Europe, the USA and Asia. The photonics market is estimated to be worth €300bn ($395bn) and is expected to reach €480bn ($632bn) by 2015, according to SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

26 December 2012
Invest in Photonics shows VCs the money

With a global market that experts predict could grow 8 to 10 percent annually to reach €480 billion by 2015, photonics is on the rise -- and the recent Invest in Photonics convention revealed just where venture capitalists and industry leaders should focus their attention: zetabyte data communications, diagnostic health care, competitive manufacturing and sustainable clean energy. Analysts and speakers from companies around the world focused on three fast-growth markets: consumer goods, cleantech and health care, as well as the influence of Asia. "Photonics is ubiquitous, yet often invisible," noted Steve Anderson of SPIE in his opening address.

21 December 2012
Photonics: A key enabling technology of the future

Photonics may not be a household word but it is everywhere. Thought of as "light technologies," photonics is a part of our daily lives from the time we switch on a light to drive a car with a head up display to go to the doctor for a CT scan. Despite the tough economic times that the world has experienced in the past few years the market for light technologies is looking bright. According to SPIE, the global photonics market is estimated at 395bn USD and is expected to reach 632bn USD by 2015. The market in Europe is estimated at 60bn EUR.

20 December 2012
Super-fine sound beam could one day be an invisible scalpel

A carbon-nanotube-coated lens that converts light to sound can focus high-pressure sound waves to finer points than ever before. The University of Michigan engineering researchers who developed the new therapeutic ultrasound approach say it could lead to an invisible knife for noninvasive surgery. The researchers will present the work at the SPIE Photonics West meeting in San Francisco.

17 December 2012
Lithography experts remain skeptical about EUV

It was the end of the semiconductor roadmap for 193-nanometer lithography -- the next generation would have to go to 157-nanometer light. Jim Blatchford, Texas Instrument's manager of front-end processing, had just finished negotiating for a leading edge 157-nanometer photolithography system, but he was still worried about the unproven technology, so he went to an SPIE session on 157-nanometer lithography.

14 December 2012
Lighting Research Center celebrates 25 years of research and education

The Lighting Research Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration in March 2013 is expected "to be a landmark event for lighting,” said Russ Leslie, LRC cofounder and associate director. The topic for the 25th anniversary celebration is the value of lighting, also the subject of a new book written by LRC Director Mark Rea to commemorate the milestone. Dedicated to the notion that society undervalues light, largely because we do not properly measure its benefits, Value Metrics for Better Lighting brings together a wide range of research to illustrate how the effective use of light can benefit society and the environment. Published by SPIE, the book is due for release January 2013.

14 December 2012
The light in the cloud: A snapshot of photonics in Europe

Photonics, as a discussion subject, has been in the shadows for a long time. A quick look at Google Trends, which scans for news headlines, shows that there are five times more search queries for "cloud computing" than "photonics". Yet, just like cloud computing, it is as ubiquitous (but invisible) and essential to our day-to-day lifestyle. On Wednesday and Thursday, a biennial event called Invest in Photonics provided a peek at what's happening in photonics across Europe and the world, not only from the technology perspective but also crucially from the venture capitalists, well-known tech companies and the European Commission. Speakers included Stephen Anderson, industry and market analyst for SPIE.

14 December 2012
‘Quantum tech’ venture fund raises $30 million

A new venture capital company with a specific focus on "quantum" technologies including photonics claims to have raised $30 million in investment funds. The Boston-based group, called Quantum Wave Fund (Qwave), says it has the potential to raise as much as $100 million, and intends to fund start-up companies working on new kinds of materials and technologies. The company has a strong Russian influence, having been set up by managing partner Serguei Kouzmine, venture partner Serguei Beloussov and scientific advisory board member Vladimir Shalaev, and also has an address in Moscow. In a plenary talk at the SPIE Optics + Photonics conference held in San Diego in August 2012, Shalaev highlighted the potential application of nanophotonics in future modulator, nanoantenna and nanolaser components.

13 December 2012
Societies urge protection for research funding as 'fiscal cliff' nears

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, is among dozens of science and engineering institutions to sign a letter calling for US politicians to protect investment in research amid the looming "fiscal cliff".

13 December 2012
Femtosecond laser surgery affected by cavitation bubble dynamics

Using a Calmar Cazadero femtosecond laser, researchers in the Biomedical Optics Department of Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) have completed research on how cavitation bubbles impact the laser surgical process. Further research details will be presented at SPIE Photonics West 2013.

07 December 2012
Photonics West preview: Biophotonics leads growth for a February 2013 SPIE Photonics West

"We're expecting around 1,200 exhibiting companies at SPIE Photonics West again this year [1,214 in 2012], and more than 200 at the BiOS Expo [217 in 2012]," says Marilyn Gorsuch, SPIE Photonics West event manager. "The halls are filling fast, and late-booking companies who want to be a part of the Photonics West Exhibition will be facing the prospect of a waiting list." Clearly, SPIE Photonics West continues to be the most popular and well-attended photonics trade show in the United States.

03 December 2012
Information for invention

Sian Harris explores how engineers monitor new developments in technology, and what research information sources are available. Among the options, conference proceedings are highly-regarded sources of information on the latest developments in engineering. "They provide very current research progress reports and results in active and emerging technologies, much of which can’t yet be, or may never be, found in the journals literature," according to SPIE Publications Director Eric Pepper.

28 November 2012
Lockheed laser downs rocket targets

Lockheed Martin says that its 10 kW portable fiber laser weapon has shot down small-caliber rocket targets in recent tests -- the latest demonstration to highlight the rapid progress being made in the emerging field. News of Lockheed's successful demonstration comes shortly after the German division of the missile systems specialist MBDA said that its 40 kW system -- also based on fiber lasers -- had also shot down artillery targets in simulated flight. A wide range of laser sources are being worked on, and at SPIE's Security + Defence conference held in Edinburgh, UK, this September, it was clear that progress is being made.

15 November 2012
'Photonics made in Germany': The German photonics industry presents latest research in optical technologies at Photonics West

With more than 1,220 exhibitors, North America's most important photonics event will open its doors this year at the beginning of February. Organizer SPIE expects about 20,000 attendees from around the world at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California. Photonics West 2013 coincides with five international symposia; more than 4,400 presentations have been submitted for the conferences BiOS, LASE, OPTO, MOEMS-MEMS and Green Photonics: Industry meets Science. The same applies to the German Pavilion -- here one finds a synergy of Germany's major players in the photonics industry as well as renowned research institutes.

15 November 2012
Process Watch: Breaking parametric correlation

When you're designing a geometrically complex structure like a high-k metal gate, FinFET, or vertical DRAM, you will probably use SEM/TEM cross-sectional imaging to work out the bugs. Maybe even a touch of AFM. However, in production, optical scatterometry-based technology is used, chosen for its speed, non-destructive nature and ability to monitor the 3D shape of a feature. This group of metrology techniques is commonly called OCD (Optical Critical Dimension) or SCD (Scatterometry Critical Dimension). Sometimes more than one parametric change (e.g. trench depth and top CD) results in about the same change in the spectrum. The SCD community calls this phenomenon "parametric correlation."  A similar issue was reported by GLOBALFOUNDRIES and IBM, in a paper published in a recent SPIE Proceedings on Advanced Lithography.

02 November 2012
Photonics West start-up challenge offers $10,000 first prize

Budding photonics entrepreneurs: get your elevator pitches ready! Next year's Photonics West conference and exhibition in San Francisco will host an expanded startup challenge, with $10,000 on offer to the eventual winner of the competition.

01 November 2012
Europe moves closer to open-access publishing

More than 20% of physical sciences journals offer a form of open access. New rules in Europe may increase that number. In the US, the European OA initiatives are not seen as problematic, even by societies that depend on revenues from publishing. "This move is intrinsically in concert with our long-standing directions," says SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. "The proposals acknowledge that there are both value and cost involved in the publisher's role of developing, feeding, and maintaining peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings." The society is launching a new gold OA program for all its journals in January 2013.

01 November 2012
An old idea gives telescopes a new twist

Putting a new twist on an old idea, an inventor has designed a telescope instrument that could dramatically boost the ability of astronomers to find objects in space, even alien worlds. It's called a Dittoscope, and while it sounds like a piece of copying technology from the 1970s, it's part of a decade-long effort by tinkerer and artist Tom Ditto. Ditto wrote up his first designs in 2002 and went to the annual SPIE Optics and Photonics conference.

31 October 2012
Industry leaders to speak at Laser Marketplace Seminar during Photonics West

A host of industry leaders will help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar on Monday, February 4, during SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco. Keynote speaker is Valentin Gapontsev, chairman and CEO of IPG Photonics, who will discuss developments in and opportunities for the fastest growing laser segment--fiber lasers.

17 October 2012
EPFL and Harvard join forces to diagnose hearing loss

Researchers at EPFL and Harvard Medical School have joined forces to develop an imaging technique that can provide in situ observations of the internal ear, an area which has until now been inaccessible. This groundbreaking work may finally make it possible to understand the mechanisms underlying hearing loss. Early results from testing on mice have been presented recently at the Bertarelli Symposium at EPFL, and will also appear in the online and print version of the Journal Of Biomedical Optics.

15 October 2012
Capitol Hill briefing boosts optics and photonics

Leading scientists and policy makers participated in a briefing on Capitol Hill on September 12, asking the government to help improve the organization of research in optics and photonics. The briefing was based on a recent report, titled "Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation," that calls for a national strategic plan to focus public and private research in the field. Presenters said that other parts of the world have developed such a strategic plan for their photonics industries. Taiwan, China and Germany have all invested significantly in research for new optics and photonics technology. "In the E.U. there is a very strong and sustained focus on optics and photonics," said Eugene Arthurs, CEO of SPIE.

08 October 2012
Remote Sensing and Security+Defence SPIE conference -- Edinburgh

History and iconic Scottish ancient buildings have been an excellent host to this year's Remote Sensing and Security+Defence SPIE conference, which was combined into one event. In my opinion the idea of combining the two fields came as a natural fit.

24 September 2012
Laser weapons home in on military utility

The Joint High-Power Solid-State Laser (JHPSSL) system developed by Northrop Grumman is to be tested by the US Army within the next two weeks, in a further sign that high-energy lasers are maturing as a future weapons technology. And that future may arrive sooner than may realize, Mark Neice, director of the Albuquerque-based High-Energy Laser Joint Technology Office (HEL-JTO), told delegates at SPIE Europe's Defence + Security symposium in Edinburgh.

18 September 2012
Will EUV miss another node?

Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is late for the 10nm node and could possibly miss the window for that insertion point, according to a panel discussion at last week's SPIE/BACUS Photomask Technology conference in Monterey, California.

13 September 2012
Charles Townes, optics and the 'Golden Goose'

Charles Townes, 1964 Nobel Laureate for his part in the pioneering research that led to the development of the laser, has picked up further recognition for his work as a winner of the very first "Golden Goose" awards. Set up to highlight the value of state-funded basic research in the U.S., the new awards represent a bipartisan political effort to educate both Congress and the general public about the human and economic benefits of such work. Coincidentally, representatives of the U.S. photonics community including SPIE were in Washington the day before the Golden Goose Awards ceremony, to state their case for funding a public-private national photonics initiative.

11 September 2012
Industry calls for a National Photonics Initiative and government support

Recommendations from a report released last month by the National Research Council of the National Academies were presented at the annual gathering of the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster on Monday."Optics and Photonics, Essential Technologies for Our Nation" was commissioned by a phalanx of research and development entities including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

11 September 2012
Free-space laser comms to boost Marines' bandwidth

The US firms ITT Exelis and Novasol are to complete development of a high-bandwidth, free-space laser communications system suitable for at-sea operations, under a new $7 million contract awarded by the US Navy. The system will be designed to transfer intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data between ships and from ship to shore, and is set to be used by the Navy and the US Marine Corps. ISR data is a fundamental part of military operations, but the proliferation of multi-spectral information generated via platforms such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), satellites and high-altitude planes is becoming increasingly difficult for conventional communications systems to handle. The problem was highlighted by Regina Dugan, the former director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), at last year's SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing show.

10 September 2012
Industrial lasers shine at Photonics West

Traditionally, Nd:YAG lasers have been used for detail work, and CO2 lasers have been used for big jobs. Both have proven track records, but diode lasers offer greater energy efficiency and substantially lower costs. In January at Photonics West ....

31 August 2012
Special seminar of importance to the photonics industry
Special seminar: Paul McManamon and Stephen Anderson presenting the recently released National Academies report "Optics and Photonics, Essential Technologies for Our Nation" UCF/CREOL, Thursday, September 27.
28 August 2012
New HEVC video compression wins big over today's standard

A new compression technology represents a significant improvement over today's standard, a new study found. The result could help pave the way for video with at least four times the pixels of today's 1080p standard. The study by researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne is detailed in a new paper for the SPIE Optics and Photonics conference in August.

28 August 2012
Photoacoustic detection gains new versatility

Photoacoustic techniques are currently a focus of interest for researchers in several fields, as shown by the attention paid to the topic in the keynote address at SPIE Photonics Europe which discussed its use in biomedical imaging.

21 August 2012
Photonics workers: happy; wealthy(ish); ambitious

A new survey has found that the vast majority of people working in the global optics and photonics community have very high levels of job satisfaction. The analysis of more than 7500 responses represents the second such annual survey by the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), and this year it featured additional questions relating to the enjoyment and perceived significance of their roles.

16 August 2012
PV puts utilities and construction ‘on collision course’

The falling cost of photovoltaic power will set up a "collision of titanic proportions" between energy utilities and the construction industry as grid parity is reached on a widespread basis. That's according to Billy Stanbery, founder and chief scientific officer of thin-film solar company HelioVolt, who made the comments during a panel session on the commercialization of novel photovoltaics technologies at SPIE's Optics + Photonics event in San Diego this week.

13 August 2012
Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster previews National Academies-commissioned report 'Harnessing Light II'

On September 10, the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster will bring optics industry experts Paul McManamon (co-chair, "Harnessing Light" update committee) and Steve Anderson (SPIE Industry and Market Analyst) to present research on the current state and opportunities in optical science in the United States. The event marks the release of the 2012 update to the 1998 "Harnessing Light" report, commissioned from the National Research Council by the U.S. Congress. Both the 1998 and 2012 report are based on research and insights from leading optics experts, and are key to defining economic policy in countries around the world.

09 August 2012
Curiosity might prove we've already found life on Mars

Gilbert Levin aims to appropriate the Mars Science Laboratory for his own ends. "Since NASA has disdained any interest in MSL looking for life, I'm taking over," he says. "I claim it." He is only half joking. If MSL's rover Curiosity finds carbon-based molecules in the Martian soil, Levin -- who led the "labelled release" experiment on NASA's 1976 Viking mission -- will demand that his refuted discovery of life on Mars is reinstated. Levin will make this call next week at the annual SPIE Optics and Photonics conference in San Diego, California.

09 August 2012
A new take on 3D volumetric display: this time, using a double helix

A number of attempts have been made to develop 3D volumetric display, some based on holography, others on looking into a big black box of a television-like device. This month, on SPIE.org, researcher Jason Geng (VP for the IEEE ITS Society) put forward his current theory for bringing volumetric display to fruition: projecting image patterns onto a screen that is a rotating double helix.

06 August 2012
Attend SPIE BACUS Symposium on photomasks in the deep sub-wavelength era

The Annual SPIE/BACUS Symposium and co-located SPIE Photomask Technology exhibition, serving the worldwide photomask industry, will take place September 10-14, with the theme of successful integration and optimization of design, mask-making, and wafer fabrication in the deep sub-wavelength era. This year's keynote speaker is John Y. Chen, V.P. of technology and foundry management of Nvidia.

03 August 2012
Persistent surveillance pays off

During the SPIE Defense, Security + Sensing show in Baltimore, I had a very interesting conversation with John Marion, who is director of persistent surveillance at Logos Technologies, about surveillance imaging from aerostat balloons tethered to the ground to continuously observe what Marion said could be a "small-city size area."

19 July 2012
Modeling mask effects for better IC reliability and yield

As mask feature sizes shrink well below the exposure wavelength, the topology of the mask-3D mask effects-begin to contribute significantly to distortions seen in specific features on the wafer. If these effects are not captured by the optical proximity correction (OPC) model, they can impact IC reliability and reduce yield. The solution would be full-chip rigorous electromagnetic field (EMF) modeling to find 3D mask effects, but this is not computationally feasible. The industry needs faster simulation methods to represent 3D mask effects adequately. Results on experiments with HHA and DDM models on a 28nm dark field mask from GLOBALFOUNDRIES were published at the Optical Microlithography conference at SPIE Advanced Lithography.

19 July 2012
Researchers develop rapid diagnostic test for pathogens, contaminants
Using nanoscale materials, researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a single-step method to rapidly and accurately detect viruses, bacteria and chemical contaminants. Their results appear in the early online edition of the journal Lab on a Chip and were recently presented at the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing conference.
13 July 2012
UMBC fellow makes breakthrough in 'ghost imaging'

Visit the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, on any cloudless afternoon, and you're likely to happen on an intriguing sight: a slender fellow bent over a contraption that looks like a cross between an 1890s camera and a bulky steamer trunk. That would be Sanjit Karmakar, a post-doctoral physics fellow who's using his "magic box" to take pictures by following the sun across the sky. One day, the pictures will be of objects thousands of miles away. Karmakar has made a splash at several professional conferences, including this year's SPIE convention, which was held at the Baltimore Convention Center in April. (SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, is dedicated to advancing light-based technologies.)

12 July 2012
Glasses-free 3-D TV looks nearer (w/video)
As striking as it is, the illusion of depth now routinely offered by 3-D movies is a paltry facsimile of a true three-dimensional visual experience. In the real world, as you move around an object, your perspective on it changes. But in a movie theater showing a 3-D movie, everyone in the audience has the same, fixed perspective - and has to wear cumbersome glasses, to boot. "The paper reveals how you would greatly improve the realism, and image depth, and physical simplicity of 3-D display systems, particularly those that don't require you to wear glasses," says Gregg Favalora, a principal at the engineering consultancy Optics for Hire and co-chair of the SPIE Stereoscopic Displays and Applications Conference.
06 July 2012
New instrument sifts through starlight to reveal new worlds

An advanced telescope imaging system that started taking data last month is the first of its kind capable of spotting planets orbiting suns outside of our solar system. The collaborative set of high-tech instrumentation and software, called Project 1640, is now operating on the Hale telescope at the Palomar Observatory. The project's first images demonstrating a new technique that creates extremely precise " dark holes" around stars of interest were presented at the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation meeting in Amsterdam.

05 July 2012
New instrument sifts through starlight to reveal new worlds

An advanced telescope imaging system that started taking data last month is the first of its kind capable of spotting planets orbiting suns outside of our solar system. The collaborative set of high-tech instrumentation and software, called Project 1640, is now operating on the Hale telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California after more than six years of development by researchers and engineers at the American Museum of Natural History, the California Institute of Technology, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The project's first images demonstrating a new technique that creates extremely precise "dark holes" around stars of interest were presented today at the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation meeting in Amsterdam by Ben R. Oppenheimer, an associate curator in the Museum's Department of Astrophysics and principal investigator for Project 1640.

27 June 2012
New Dutch technology for space instrumentation at SPIE

SRON, TNO, ASTRON and NOVA have joined forces to show their latest innovations and technologies in the field of instrumentation for astronomy. The venue is the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation technical exhibition, in Amsterdam RAI, 2 to 4 July.

26 June 2012
MIRTHE hosts commercialization workshop at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing symposium

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, invited MIRTHE to organize a workshop on speeding commercialization of mid-infrared (mid-IR) technologies for defense and security applications at this year's SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing (DSS) symposium, held in Baltimore 23-27April. Addressing a capacity audience, presenters offered diverse perspectives on the status of these technologies with respect to defense and security applications as well as strategies for progress towards increased commercial development and viability.

26 June 2012
New guide star laser debuts at SPIE astronomy event

A novel approach to laser guide star technology will be demonstrated at the forthcoming SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation conference in Amsterdam (1-6 July).

22 June 2012
SPIE just does things right

I'm always complaining about publishers and the various messes they make ... so I think it's really important once again to mention SPIE and how they're good people. SPIE is for optics and photonics folks, btw, but they also have some more general interest defense stuff from time to time

15 June 2012
Hard/soft data fusion research has broad potential

Human observations are playing an increasingly important role in gathering information related to a wide range of phenomena, including natural and man-made disasters, environmental changes over time, law enforcement, and efficient energy utilization. Jeff Rimland, a research technologist and doctoral candidate at Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), is exploring how combining information from human observations ("soft data") and data from physical sensors ("hard data") could help military personnel and emergency responders gain a more comprehensive understanding of crisis situations. Rimland recently presented his work at the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing conference.

04 June 2012
Imaging to drive remote sensing satellite market

The need for more and better imaging data will be the major driver behind a "healthy" market for remote sensing satellites over the next ten years, according to a new study by US-based Forecast International. At the recent SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing (DSS) conference and trade show in Baltimore, a team from the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Italy described a new method that uses a wider range of spectral bands now available via the WorldView-2 satellite, part of the DigitalGlobe remote sensing constellation.

31 May 2012
SPIE and OSA cooperate on optics education

The Optics and Photonics Education Directory is a joint public service effort by both SPIE and OSA, initiated by SPIE back in the mid 1980s.

30 May 2012
Infrared scans set to overcome breast cancer stigma

Mammography is the commonest imaging technique applied to the detection of breast cancer, employing low energy X-rays to scan the breast and spot abnormalities. But not all practitioners trust mammography to produce reliable results, believing that the technique produces unacceptable levels of both false-positives and false-negatives. It is also expensive, and sometimes unavailable on financial grounds to women who are particularly at risk from the disease. Thermal imaging using infrared scanning is an alternative, but despite several decades of occasional attention, the technique has failed to become widely adopted or trusted. A paper at SPIE DSS might show a way forward, and allow the technology gain more traction by improving the reliability of its results.

25 May 2012
Lasers in the classroom

Victoria University School of Biomedical and Health Sciences researcher Nicoleta Dragomir will spread $5,000 worth of biophotonics equipment between five lucky schools in regional Victoria, Australia. The equipment has been paid for through an education outreach grant from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

23 May 2012
Summer Faculty Fellowship at Wright Patterson Air Force Base

Pedro Cortes (Youngstown State University) has been awarded a summer faculty fellowship to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, an extension of work carried out during the summer of 2011 which resulted in a technical paper presented at the SPIE Smart Materials and Nondestructive Testing symposium in San Diego last March.

22 May 2012
The power of light: Research groups in Brussels and Ghent are frontrunners in revolutionary photonics technology

In 2010, the European Commission designated photonics, or light technology, as one of the five key enabling technologies of the 21st century. The future of photonics is looking bright, certainly in Flanders. It is no coincidence that the largest conference on photonics in Europe took place in Brussels last month.

22 May 2012
Gamma detector promises improved sensitivity

A team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, the applied research arm of the Georgia Institute of Technology, has demonstrated for the first time a glass-matrix-based scintillator for gamma-ray spectroscopy which features potentially low fabrication cost, along with high chemical and mechanical stability. The work was presented at SPIE DSS 2012 in Baltimore, and opens the door to glass and glass-ceramic scintillators as promising candidates for gamma-ray detection, if the resolution can be further improved.

16 May 2012
Emerging technologies will enable patients to monitor their own health

Future technologies will enable patients to have access to the ultimate point-of-care devices - devices that they operate when and where they want. "While current devices have been designed for such purposes as detecting explosives or other chemicals obscured beneath cloth, paper or ceramics, increases in waveform acquisition speed and other performance developments could soon pave the way for biomedical testing and clinical trials," says Eugene Arthurs, CEO, SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics).

04 May 2012
Newport cuts forecast on weak research orders

Newport, the top-tier supplier of lasers and photonics equipment, has reduced its sales guidance for fiscal 2012, despite continued expectations of an upturn in demand in the second half of the year. CEO Robert Phillippy and CFO Chuck Cargile said that the cut in guidance was largely due to unexpectedly weak orders from the research sector in the first quarter of the year. Phillippy was in attendance at last week's SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing show in Baltimore, Maryland, and told investors that he drew two key take-aways from the event.

02 May 2012
Novel radiation surveillance technology could help thwart nuclear terrorism

To support the nation's nuclear-surveillance capabilities, researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) are developing ways to enhance the radiation-detection devices used at ports, border crossings, airports and elsewhere. Details of the research were presented April 23, 2012 at the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing Conference held in Baltimore, MD.

02 May 2012
3 technologies people were talking about at SPIE DSS

Last week in Baltimore, I joined more than 6,700 attendees - the most ever for a SPIE Defense, Security, And Sensing (DSS) conference and exhibition - to witness the latest advancements in optical science and engineering, including lasers, sensors, and imaging systems. SPIE DSS featured many interesting technologies, including trace element detection and various approaches to thermal imaging.

01 May 2012
DSS 2012: bringing new IR sensors to market

Addressing a symposium on government funding at SPIE DSS 2012 in Baltimore, Fenner Milton of the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command made a point that was reiterated throughout the conference: that new IR technologies suited to the military's changing needs were required, and that companies developing them could find a welcome audience among those with funds for military research and development.

01 May 2012
Novel radiation surveillance technology could help thwart nuclear terrorism

To support the nation's nuclear-surveillance capabilities, researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) are developing ways to enhance the radiation-detection devices used at ports, border crossings, airports and elsewhere. The aim is to create technologies that will increase the effectiveness and reliability of detectors in the field, while also reducing cost. The work is co-sponsored by the Domestic Nuclear Defense Office of the Department of Homeland Security and by the National Science Foundation. Details of the research were presented April 23, 2012 at the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing Conference held in Baltimore, MD.

01 May 2012
New image sensors could lead to focusing photos after they're taken

At the heart of digital photography is a chip called an image sensor that captures a map of the intensity of the light as it comes through the lens and converts it to an electronic signal. Using new computational methods and a tried-and-true chip-making process, Cornell scientists are taking this technology many steps further. The result could be the next generation of 3-D cameras, as well as the ability to focus photos after they're taken. Researcher Alyosha Molnar detailed the math behind the device at an international optics and photonics (SPIE) conference in January in San Francisco.

30 April 2012
World's largest unclassified conference: spying and surveillance

SPIE hosted the world's largest unclassified conference for spying, defense, homeland security and surveillance technology. Many presentations in the Cyber Sensing track focused on surveillance of social media.

26 April 2012
New generation of ultra-small and high-precision lasers emerges

Ultra-fast, robust, stable, and high precision: these are some of the characteristics of a new laser developed by an international research team. This ultra-small laser paves the way for a new generation of highly powerful, ultra-stable integrated lasers. SPIE Fellow Professor Roberto Morandotti and his team at the INRS University's Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre played a leading role in the design of this versatile laser that recently made the front page of the prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications.

25 April 2012
NRO director outlines U.S. reconnaissance activities, concerns in SPIE DSS Pplenary presentation

Bruce Carlson, director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), gave a brief overview of NRO activities since the early 1960s, discussed current worldwide threats, and touched on the office's most recent budget submission requirements in his presentation at the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing plenary event on Monday.

25 April 2012
Photoacoustic imaging begins clinical move

Photoacoustic imaging is starting to be used on human patients, and the technology could revolutionize medical imaging in clinical practice - from early-stage cancer detection, to neurology and label-free histology. That was the message from the Washington University in St Louis scientist and photoacoustic imaging pioneer Lihong Wang, in a keynote presentation at last week's SPIE Photonics Europe conference in Brussels, Belgium.

24 April 2012
Memo from Brussels: photonics must create jobs

The precise details of the European Commission's (EC's) "Horizon 2020" innovation platform may still be somewhat hazy, but one message is becoming clearer: those in the photonics sector who are hoping for EC funding from 2014 onwards will need to convince Brussels of the wealth- and job-creating potential of their ideas. Horizon 2020 was a major theme resonating through last week's SPIE Photonics Europe event in Brussels.

24 April 2012
DSS 2012: Photonics and the NRO

In the plenary session of SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing (DSS) 2012 in Baltimore, Bruce Carlson described the impact that advances in photonics technology have had on the work of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and discussed some of the future challenges that need to be addressed. The NRO is tasked with developing, acquiring, launching and maintaining the United States' overhead reconnaissance constellation, the network of orbiting satellites that contributes to the country's intelligence gathering and counter-terrorism efforts.

17 April 2012
SPIE shows highlight photonics global impact

Back-to-back conferences and exhibitions from SPIE are capturing the international reach of lasers, optics, and photonics, with SPIE Photonics Europe underway from April 15-19 in Brussels, and SPIE Defense, Security + Sensing in Baltimore April 23-27.

16 April 2012
European conference on the light technology of the future in Brussels

Today sees the start of  the four-day SPIE Photonics Europe conference hosted at the Square congress centre in Brussels. Scientists and entrepreneurs from 55 countries will meet to share their thoughts on photonics, the light-based technology which develops innovative applications for a diverse range of industries.

10 April 2012
Optics chapter sets sights on engaging community

The University of Arizona Student Optics Chapter hosts events throughout the year in order to build a bridge between the optics department and students, engage with the community and spark an interest in science as a whole. SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and the Optical Society of America provide primary funding for the chapter.

03 April 2012
3-D, after-the-fact focus image sensors invented

At the heart of digital photography is a chip called an image sensor that captures a map of the intensity of the light as it comes through the lens and converts it to an electronic signal. Using new computational methods and a tried-and-true chip-making process, Cornell scientists are taking this technology many steps further. The result could be the next generation of 3-D cameras, as well as the ability to focus photos after they're taken. The math behind the device was shared at an international optics and photonics (SPIE) conference in January in San Francisco.

26 March 2012
IDEX interview: mega-trends and silicon moments

Interviewer Jacqueline Hewett discusses with IDEX Corporation president Mike Cumbo the recent IDEX buy-out of CVI Melles-Griot, demographic megatrends, and the thoughts behind Cumbo's comment at Photonics West that "photonics is yet to have its silicon moment."

22 March 2012
Brussels team 'revamps' photonics innovation

A project with a radical approach to providing photonics technology expertise to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe is delivering positive results just one year into its term, and will ultimately prove influential in the forthcoming Horizon 2020 innovation program. That's according to Hugo Thienpont, who co-ordinates the ACTMOST (Access Centre to Micro-Optics Expertise, Services and Technologies) project. Thienpont, who is the honorary chairman at next month's Photonics Europe conference and show in Brussels, also feels that the success of the ACTMOST innovation model will prove to be an influential force within the framework of the forthcoming Horizon 2020 funding program of the European Commission.

22 March 2012
SPIE panel: Time is ripe for alternative NGLs

The IC industry needs to think differently about lithography, according to a panel at the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference in San Jose, Calif. During the panel, lithography experts said that the market is ripe for an alternative next-generation lithography (NGL_ solution. Panelists represented the various alternative NGL technologies, such as direct self-assembly (DSA), maskless and nanoimprint.

20 March 2012
Amplitude Systèmes sets up ultrafast lab in Paris

Ultrafast laser specialist Amplitude Systèmes and the Laboratoire Charles Fabry have expanded their close ties by establishing a new joint research laboratory that will support ten researchers working on high-performance sources. Amplitude is already at the forefront of that field, winning a Prism Award at this year's Photonics West trade show for its "Satsuma HE" ultrafast laser, which has been designed for industrial applications.

19 March 2012
Analyst: industrial laser systems market tops $10BN

Optech Consulting's Arnold Mayer says that the market jumped 28% in 2011, reaching a record high. The emergence of the fiber laser as a versatile technology platform that is suited to a wide variety of industrial applications was highlighted at the recent Photonics West 2012 trade show, where a number of laser companies were showing their intention to enter a market that is dominated by IPG Photonics.

15 March 2012
New iPad boasts faster load times, better resolution, but researcher urges caution

The high-resolution retinal display on Apple's new iPad will speed its adoption by physicians, predicts mobile medical app reviewer iMedicalApps. However, physicians should be cautious in their diagnostic use of iPads, says Mark McEntee, a researcher from the University of Sydney. McEntee presented his findings on the subject last month at the Medical Imaging conference organized by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

12 March 2012
SPIE HDR course

There is an HDR course planned for SPIE Defense, Security + Sensing in Baltimore next month. "High Dynamic Range Imaging: Sensors and Architectures" 4-hour course by Arnaud Darmont, Aphesa, "describes various sensor and pixel architectures to achieve high dynamic range imaging as well as software approaches to make high dynamic range images out of lower dynamic range sensors or image sets".

 

 

 

12 March 2012
Physics-acope and awareness workshop at CUSAT

A sixth-grader at Barrington Middle School is headed to regional competition after winning top honors at the Hillsborough County Science and Mathematical Fair last month. Yasmine Aziz impressed STEM Fair judges with her project, "The Color of Blood: How Does Color Affect Blood Pressure?", winning second place overall in the behavioral and health science category as well as an award from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

 

 

 

12 March 2012
Barrington student headed for regional science fair

A sixth-grader at Barrington Middle School is headed to regional competition after winning top honors at the Hillsborough County Science and Mathematical Fair last month. Yasmine Aziz impressed STEM Fair judges with her project, "The Color of Blood: How Does Color Affect Blood Pressure?", winning second place overall in the behavioral and health science category as well as an award from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

 

 

 

08 March 2012
Keep your photonics business growing: Milton Chang's perspective

During our Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar at SPIE Photonics West 2012, Milton Chang delivered the keynote talk on how to keep a photonics company growing. Essentially he talked about how to sustain the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship with which a company is founded.

 

 

08 March 2012
National Academy calls for fusion energy roadmap

A committee at the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has recommended that the National Ignition Facility (NIF) becomes a major part of a drive to assess the feasibility of inertial fusion as a practical source of energy. In its current guise, NIF is designed to deliver single, intense bursts of laser energy to a deuterium-tritium target. At the recent Photonics West conference, NIF's director for laser fusion energy Mike Dunne said he was hopeful that fusion with energy gain (or "burn") would be demonstrated for the first time this year.

 

 

07 March 2012
Photonics Bretagne cluster to capitalize on expertise

Photonics Bretagne -- the newly established photonics research and industrial cluster -- has brought together 42 corporate and research member organizations across the northwest of France. The cluster, launched at the end of 2011 but gradually revealing itself to the global industry at Photonics West and at other European and upcoming Chinese industry events, has a strong commercial focus as well as substantial R&D resources.

 

 

07 March 2012
EBL adds 15 new publishers including SPIE

EBL has added 15 new publishers over the past few months, including a number of Swiss publishers.  Please see full list below:

  • SPIE the international society for optics and photonics

 

 

 

27 February 2012
eBeam and EUV move forward -- Advanced Lithography 2012

At the 2012 SPIE Advanced Litho Conference the show floor was not very crowded, but the sessions were overflowing -- literally. In all the sessions I attended -- EUV, DUV, Self Assembly, multi-patterning, not only were the rooms standing room only with all the walls covered with attendees that did not fit in the allocated chairs, but most had crowds in the video relay overflow rooms.

 

 

23 February 2012
Micropatterning Director at TSMC suggests e-beam lithography may replace EUV

Most integrated circuits today are made by using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology, but that could change, according to Burn Lin, Micropatterning Director at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd (TSMC) who was speaking at a SPIE Alternative Lithography Conference in San Jose last week. He says that as manufactures seek to make ever smaller and denser chips, EUV could lose its edge in allowing the industry to follow Moore's law. The answer he says, may turn out to be switching to electron beam (e-beam) lithography.

22 February 2012
Silicon photonics forges ahead

optics.org has interviewed some key players in the field of silicon photonics to build up a picture of what is happening in this long-researched and gradually evolving "hot" area, from the laboratory through to the commercialization of devices. A notable figure in the silicon photonics community is Michael Hochberg, a founder of Luxtera who recently established the OpSIS -- Optoelectronic Systems Integration in Silicon -- a foundry service that provides developers with access to optoelectronic integrated circuits at a modest cost. Up until a few weeks before Photonics West 2012, Hochberg was professor at the University of Washington but he has decamped to the University of Delaware to push OpSIS forward.

 

 

21 February 2012
EUV lithography gets some competition

When it comes to making denser, smaller circuits, all eyes have been on extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV). But it turns out that an alternative technology that uses electron beams to draw features might be just as productive and even cheaper. "I think Moore's law has pushed MEMS and electronics to the point where we can afford it," says Burn Lin, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. He's calculated that the cost of wafers made with e-beam lithography will be roughly one-third less than that of wafers made with EUV. Once the industry shifts from LP-record-sized 300-millimeter wafers to 450-mm wafers, the technology is likely to be even more affordable, says Lin, who prepared the numbers for a talk last week at SPIE Advanced Lithography.

 

 

 

 

 

21 February 2012
Directed-self assembly gains steam in lithography

For more than a decade, there has been a plethora of research about a curious technology called directed self-assembly (DSA). Then, in 2007, with little or no fanfare, DSA landed on the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) roadmap as a potential solution for lithography at the 10nm node. Last year, DSA -- a patterning technology that makes use of block copolymers -- created a buzz at the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference. And at last week's SPIE event, the technology stole the show and rocked the status quo, leaving experts to wonder if DSA can save the day and extend Moore's Law.

 

 

 

 

21 February 2012
Video: ASI, 89 North, Berliner Glas, Goodrich ISR, and Insight light up the Photonics West show floor

Much of what makes SPIE's Photonics West such an excellent photonics venue is the extensive exhibition space and the hundreds of top-notch companies that exhibit their finest and newest products. While it is impossible to showcase all the new products, Laser Focus World attempted to capture the essence of some of the best showings on both the BiOS and Photonics West 2012 exhibit floors.

 

 

21 February 2012
ML2 lithography: one tool to write them all

Does the transition to 450mm wafers offer the ultimate opportunity to switch to maskless lithography (ML2)? That was the suggestion made by Burn Lin, senior director of micropatterning at TSMC in his keynote at SPIE Alternative Lithography.

 

 

 

21 February 2012
iPads show the way forward for medical imaging

Tablet computers such as the iPad are becoming more and more popular, but new research from the University of Sydney means they could soon be used in hospitals as a tool for doctors to view medical imaging. Results of the University of Sydney study, presented this month at the SPIE Medical Imaging conference in San Diego, show tablet computers such as the iPad are as good as standard LCD computer screens when used as secondary display devices for viewing medical imaging.

 

 

 

21 February 2012
Chip makers raise the bar for maskless lithography

Next-generation maskless lithography -- or multi-beam e-beam -- is a great concept. But over the years, the progress for multi-beam has been slow and the technology is still not in production despite years of R&D. Now, even though the multi-beam e-beam vendors are behind the curve, the new champions of the technology have raised the bar on suppliers. At last week's SPIE Advanced Lithography event Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company surprised the industry and proposed the idea of having maskless for use in processing all critical layers in devices.

 

 

 

21 February 2012
SPIE 2012: the spring of EUVL

The SPIE Advanced Lithography EUVL conference is usually held close to spring, but was pulled into week of Valentine's Day this year. Fittingly, 2012 may be the year of EUVL's early spring. This year even the loudest criticism of EUVL was not about "if" but "when," and the predicted range of insertion for EUVL in high-volume manufacturing (HVM) is now 2013-15.

 

 

 

17 February 2012
Advanced Lithography 2012: Day 4

As expected, the first EUV session of the last day of the conference filled a large room. It was time to hear the status of EUV tool development, in particular the EUV sources.

 

 

16 February 2012
Advanced Lithography 2012: Day 3

I continue to focus on line-edge roughness in my own research. This means that I attended papers in every conference in the symposium, since LER is an issue that cuts across all topics in lithography.

 

 

16 February 2012
Molecular Imprints debuts roll-to-roll lithography

Looking for new markets, Molecular Imprints has introduced what it calls a roll-to-roll lithography system based on its nanoimprint technology. MII is targeting the display market.During a presentation at SPIE, MII outlined its strategy.

 

 

16 February 2012
SPIE Advanced Lithography: Intel's, TSMC's tool roadmap takeaways

Cymer revealed it has made significant progress in the development of a power source for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography over the past few months. In a paper delivered Thursday morning at the SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference here, David Brandt, senior director of EUV marketing at Cymer, detailed significant improvements in source power, availability and dose stability for the company's laser-produced plasma EUV source.

 

15 February 2012
Advanced Lithography 2012: Day 2

There is no place I'd rather be on Valentine's Day than in San Jose surrounded by my friends and colleagues in lithography. No wait, I didn't mean that

 

 

15 February 2012
SPIE Advanced Lithography: Intel's, TSMC's tool roadmap takeaways

After attending SPIE Advanced Lithography, this week in San Jose, Barclays Capital came away with a lower lithography tool shipments forecast, more hope for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, and expectations of a litho buying spree at Intel.

 

15 February 2012
SPIE Panel: Time is Ripe for Alternative NGLs

The IC industry needs to think differently about lithography, according to a panel at the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference in San Jose.

 

 

15 February 2012
Darkhorse litho technologies stay in NGL race

Much to the chagrin of many backers of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, the technology's continually slipping target date for insertion into volume production has enabled several other intriguing lithography technologies to hang around the next-generation lithography race, which not long ago was considered all but over. EUV and alternative technologies were the subject of a panel discussion at the SPIE Advanced Lithography.

15 February 2012
Photonics West 2012: A snapshot of the imaging sector

The exhibition at Photonics West 2012 provided a good opportunity to catch up on the latest innovations in imaging technologies. Here, optics.org presents some highlights.

 

14 February 2012
Advanced Lithography 2012: Day 1

Attendance at this year's Advanced Lithography symposium is up 10% this year, though we still haven't recovered from the huge drop in numbers that accompanied the economic collapse in 2008. Still, the mood here is good.

 

 

14 February 2012
NanoCollege representatives at lithography conference

Faculty and scientists working at the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering are presenting more than 60 scientific and technical papers at the 38th annual SPIE Advanced Lithography conference this week.

14 February 2012
eBeam Initiative ready with updated roadmap

The latest lithography roadmap from the eBeam Initiative is out this week with specifics at ways to improve wafer yields at upcoming 20-nm and 14-nm technology nodes. The eBeam Initiative roadmap will be presented at the SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium.

13 February 2012
SPIE 2012: Tachyon FMO provides effective hotspot repair for advanced mask correction

Techniques such as model based sub-resolution assist features (MB-SRAF) and 3D mask modeling (M3D) are essential to good imaging, yet can be computationally intensive and can add complexity and cost to mask making. Tachyon FMO enables the use of techniques tailored to localized imaging challenges that can result in tapeout cycle time which is claimed to be just one-third of alternative technologies, and which results in the same desired level of imaging performance.

12 February 2012
Advanced Lithography 2012: a prologue

Yesterday I found my way to San Jose (a more arduous journey than in the past, since all direct flights from Austin to San Jose have disappeared like civility in American politics). Another SPIE Advanced Lithography conference is about to begin.

 

 

10 February 2012
IMEC announces directed self-assembly process line

European research institute IMEC has co-developed a directed self-assembly (DSA) manufacturing process to improve both optical and extreme ultraviolet lithography and installed a 300-mm compatible manufacturing line within its pilot fab. The organization is expected to announce details of the successful implementation of DSA at SPIE Advanced Lithography.

10 February 2012
Directed self-assembly to grab limelight at SPIE

Directed self-assembly (DSA) technology is expected to take center stage at next week's SPIE Advanced Lithography conference in San Jose, California.

10 February 2012
DFM at SPIE Advance Litho show

This year's SPIE Advanced Lithography is loaded with interesting keynotes and sessions. To help me narrow down what to see, I spoke with John Sturtevant (Mentor Graphics), co-chair of the Design for Manufacturability through Design-Process Integration conference.

10 February 2012
World's first 300mm-fab compatible directed self-assembly process line

At next week's SPIE Advanced Lithography conference (San Jose, CA), imec announces the successful implementation of the world first 300mm fab-compatible Directed Self-Assembly (DSA) process line all-under-one-roof in imec's 300mm cleanroom fab. The upgrade of an academic lab-scale DSA process flow to a fab-compatible flow was realized in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin, AZ Electronic Materials and Tokyo Electron Ltd. Imec's DSA collaboration aims to address the critical hurdles to take DSA from the academic lab-scale environment into high-volume manufacturing.

09 February 2012
CNSE and partners share research results at SPIE Advanced Lithography

More than 60 scientific and technical papers detail results from research by CNSE scientists and industry partners at next week's SPIE Advanced Lithography 2012 conference. More than 60 scientific and technical papers detail results from research by CNSE scientists and industry partners at next week's SPIE Advanced Lithography 2012 conference.

08 February 2012
Phoenix Photonics addresses 2μm market

Growing demands for optical communication products suited to the 2000 nm range prompted Phoenix Photonics to address this market and extending the operational wavelengths of its all-fiber based couplers. At Photonics West 2012, the Croydon, UK-based company launched a range of 1x2, 2x2, tap, and cascaded configuration couplers as well as a new polarization scrambler.

07 February 2012
LED lights point shoppers in the right direction

Looking for an item in a large department store or mall can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, but that could change thanks to a hybrid location-identification system that uses radio frequency transmitters and overhead LED lights, suggested by a team of researchers from Penn State and Hallym University in South Korea. "LED lights are becoming the norm," said Mohsen Kavehrad, W.L. Weiss Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the Center for Information and Communications Technology Research at Penn State. "The same lights that brighten a room can also provide locational information," he told attendees at SPIE Photonics West.

06 February 2012
High-contrast gratings bring new meaning to 'integrated' optics

Photonics West is such a condensed week of awesome photonics technology that it is next to impossible to describe even a fraction of the best presentations and papers. But I was particularly impressed by the Tuesday 24 January OPTO Plenary presentation by Connie J. Chang-Hasnain, UC Berkeley research professor (and incidentally, an editorial advisory board member for Laser Focus World), entitled "High-Contrast Metastructures for Integrated Optics."

31 January 2012
Photonics West 2012 in San Francisco

On January 21, SPIE Photonics West opened its gates again at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. It is the largest international event in the world for three key technologies of the 21st century: optics, lasers, and photonics. Photonics West combines conferences and courses with an exhibition. As a result, it creates a crucial link between associations, politicians and scientists and, in turn, allows them to work together to advance the global innovation process. Germany, for the seventh time running, continued its tradition of having an own pavilion at the Photonics West.

30 January 2012
High performance LEDs on Si wafers -- the race is on

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are about to pick up one of the key drivers from the low cost IC industry -- gallium nitride (GaN) LEDs are being manufactured on large silicon wafers. This opens the future prospect of manufacturing 300 mm wafers filled with LEDs at a huge cost advantage. At Photonics West 2012 in San Francisco, a team from Osram described 150 mm wafer results, and a team from Samsung described 200 mm results.

26 January 2012
Papers address standard means of measuring image quality

The International Imaging Industry Association has announced that two papers arising from its Camera Phone Image Quality Initiative (CPIQ) were presented at IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging.

26 January 2012
A compact hyperspectral camera at Photonics West

As you might expect from its name, a hyperspectral camera does more than reproduce the appearance of objects. The name connotes spectroscopy: For each of its pixels, a hyperspectral camera yields a continuous spectrum over the same, wide waveband. In 2009 Andy Lambrechts and his colleagues at IMEC in Leuven, Belgium, set out to design a cheaper, more compact camera. Last week at SPIE Photonics West, the camera was publicly unveiled for the first time.

 

26 January 2012
Photonics West 2012: Schott surprises with brighter Pb-free fiber

Glass-maker Schott has announced the launch of its Puravis high-purity glass optical fiber, which not only offers improved properties compared with existing glass fibers, it contains no lead, arsenic or antimony thanks to a newly developed manufacturing process. The new fiber is intended for illumination and medical applications but not optical communications.

 

25 January 2012
Christopher Ries sculpture to be highlighted at scientific exhibitio

Christopher Ries, internationally renowned glass sculptor from Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, will exhibit some of his glass sculptures at the SPIE Photonics West exhibition.

25 January 2012
Job fair at Photonics West show

There were quite a bunch of companies looking for engineers and scientists at the SPIE Photonics West show this week. At least 35 of them had recruiting booths in the Job Fair area and lots of conversations were going on. Microsoft was there and so were Honeywell, Ocean Optics, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Teledyne, Veeco, and Micron Technology.

25 January 2012
Compact, low-cost and fast hyperspectral imaging solution

At SPIE Photonics West 2012, imec demonstrates a hyperspectral camera solution based on a system-on-chip image sensor with an integrated hyperspectral sensor. Imec's solution is fast and enables small and cost-efficient camera-solutions. It targets multiple industrial vision applications.

24 January 2012
Developing-world diagnostics

Plenary speaker Jonathan Cooper of University of Glasgow gave a fascinating talk Monday at SPIE Photonics West entitled "Developing diagnostics for the developing world."

24 January 2012
QD Laser shows off new green diode

With several pico-projector developers poised to exploit green laser diodes, and other potential end-users also waiting in the wings, the announcement at Photonics West of a new 532 nm compact diode from QD Laser could mark another step on the road towards successful development of the technology.

 

24 January 2012
Photonics West 2012: laser drug delivery wins start-up challenge

Carlos Serpa, University of Coimbra researcher and CEO of new start-up company LaserLeap Technologies, has won the 2012 Biophotonics Start-up Challenge at Photonics West.

 

24 January 2012
Photonics West: reducing noise in mid-IR imaging by a billion times

At Photonics West 2012, scientists from the Technical University of Denmark today presented their new approach to mid-IR imaging, which reduces noise by a factor of a billion when compared to conventional mid-IR imaging methods (such as microbolometers and low-bandgap semiconductors like indium antimonide and mercury cadmium telluride).

 

24 January 2012
Photonics West 2012: Industrial laser sales are hitting new highs

"This year, I'm going to start out by giving you some good news," opined a generally positive David Belforte, the Editor in Chief of Industrial Laser Solutions For Manufacturing, and presenter of the forecast World Markets for Industrial Lasers and Applications. "Since the disaster that was 2009, the recovery has continued surprisingly rapidly and this year we should achieve a new high."

 

24 January 2012
LaserLeap Technologies wins best startup challenge at Photonics West

Wow ... we just jump from show to show to show ... from CES to NAMM -- and now Photonics West. Sure there isn't all that much overlap, but each of these shows are rather interesting to me.

 

24 January 2012
Infrared neural stimulation at Photonics West

In 2005 Vanderbilt University's Anita Mahadevan-Jansen and her colleagues made a remarkable discovery: Pulsed IR light triggers a tightly localized response in mammalian peripheral nerves. What's more, the pulse energy needed is far below the threshold for damaging tissue.

 

23 January 2012
Video: Light Matters: BiOS/Photonics West special report

Senior editor Melinda Rose reports from SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco.

 

23 January 2012
BiOS 2012: super-resolution in a live mouse brain

The stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy technique, which beats Ernst Abbe's optical diffraction limit through clever use of fluorescence and de-excitation, has been used to produce in vivo images of synapses in the brain of a 'higher' animal for the first time. Stefan Hell, who invented the STED technique more than a decade ago at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, told delegates at the BiOS 2012 conference in San Francisco that "the door is now open to study synapses directly".

 

 

23 January 2012
Microtomography for microfluidics at Photonics West

Microfluidics is a technique for controlling, processing, and analyzing small volumes of liquid in submillimeter devices. The small scale befits biology especially. Not only are cells and microorganisms themselves small, but they are often available only in small, precious quantities. Monitoring a microfluidic device is usually done through an optical microscope, which is typically a hundred times as big as the device itself. What's more, because conventional microscopes rely on lenses, high spatial resolution is obtained at the expense of a small field of view. Paradoxically, big microscopes yield small images.

 

 

22 January 2012
Photonics West: SPIE's awesome conference smartphone app

So I'm here at SPIE's Photonics West 2012 in San Francisco (and will be here until next Thursday), and I'm as overwhelmed as everyone else by the number and variety of events and sessions at the show. However, I am armed with a secret weapon -- SPIE's free "SPIE Conferences" app, which I have on my Android phone (it's available for the iPhone too).

 

22 January 2012
Heads up

Now here's a big laser show: SPIE Photonics West, a conference for the photonics and laser industry, opens Saturday at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

22 January 2012
Photonics West 2012: QCL applications pull a crowd

Despite the 8.00 am start on a Sunday morning, interest in the Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices IX conference was so great that the event had to be relocated to a larger hall to accommodate the hundred-plus early-bird delegates.

 

22 January 2012
Dermatology at Photonics West, from skin-cancer detection to tattoo tomography

Of the many topics at the BiOS technical conference at SPIE's Photonics West 2012, I chose to sit in on a few sessions in Conference 8207A, "Photonics in Dermatology and Plastic Surgery." The reason is that my family has a history of skin cancer, which was covered in this conference (and for the record, my family has no history of plastic surgery).

 

22 January 2012
BiOS 2012: cancer diagnosis dominates hot topics

This year's "hot topics" session at the BiOS biophotonics conference -- part of the Photonics West event -- suggests that optical diagnostic techniques, and in particular coherence tomography, will play a significant role in the fight against cancer.

 

19 January 2012
SLI eliminates the need for touch in MEMS applications

The next promising frontier in emerging ubiquitous MEMS applications, SLI (structured-light illumination), may revolutionize metrology applications by removing the need for touch with MEMS. The technology is both smaller and more precise than conventional approaches. Texas Instruments, with its million-mirror DLPs (digital-light processors), is a pioneer in this segment. Besides revolutionizing biometric, facial, dental, and medical scanning, SLI is also opening new frontiers in DLP applications-from industrial inspection systems to scientific instrumentation. (A new module becomes available after SPIE Photonics West).

19 January 2012
High-power, 532 nm-wavelength compact green laser module with high efficiency, high-speed modulation capability

QD Laser, Inc., the Institute for Nano Quantum Information Electronics, the University of Tokyo, and Fujitsu Laboratories Limited today announced the successful development of a high-power 532 nm-wavelength compact green laser module with high efficiency and high-speed modulation capability. A prototype of the green laser module will be exhibited at SPIE Photonics West, held from January 24, 2012, in San Francisco.

16 January 2012
Autofocus and the importance of 'defocusing'

Two U.S. scientists have developed a simple algorithm that looks set to revolutionise the way autofocus works, allowing for greater speed and accuracy in digital photography. Later this month, they will be presenting their work at the IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging conference near San Francisco.

13 January 2012
Laser sales reach new record, but what lies ahead?

Despite the weak global recovery, financial strains in Europe and North America, and concerns about the Chinese market, corporate earnings for lasers have fared well -- but the road ahead is looking bumpy and uncertain. On 23 January, in conjunction with SPIE Photonics West, Laser Focus World will host the 2012 Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar to navigate what lies ahead.

13 January 2012
Eastern Connecticut teens get taste of high-tech jobs

The first rule of Laser Camp: Do not look into a laser. The second rule of Laser Camp: Revel in the scientific wonders of nanotechnology, spectroscopy and other disciplines featured at the sixth annual Three Rivers Community College Laser Camp. Contributions from organizations such as SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, pay to purchase material and supplies.

12 January 2012
Edmund Optics kicks off 70th anniversary celebration at Photonics West

Edmund Optics is recognizing 70 years of optical innovation with an anniversary celebration starting at SPIE Photonics West.

12 January 2012
Weilin Hou and Bob Arnone selected to chair SPIE Ocean Sensing and Monitoring IV

Weilin "Will" Hou and Bob Arnone, both oceanographers in the Oceanography Division at NRL Stennis Space Center, will chair the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing's fourth Ocean Sensing and Monitoring conference 23-27 April 23-27.

05 January 2012
'Under the radar' at Photonics West 2012

It's nearly time for Photonics West again, and with both this year's main event and the BiOS showcase for biophotonics technologies now officially sold out there will be more than 1200 companies showing off their photonics wares. Among those will be the usual suspects, of course. But there will also be plenty of companies that you may not have come across before, whether they are new start-ups, exhibitors making their debut or simply ones that have stayed "under the radar".

02 January 2012
Three things to like about Photonics West 2012

You will find extensive coverage of Photonics West 2012 in the form of articles, blogs, and videos appearing on our website in the coming days. The event attracted more than 20,000 attendees, while the expo itself included more than 1,200 exhibitors.

 

01 January 2012
SPIE BiOS overview

The BiOS conference had number of sessions that highlighted technologies that may be transferable to areas outside of formal medicine. As more technologies move into the biological sciences areas, researchers are seeing greater needs for integrating electronics and light emitters and sensors to improve their measurement capabilities. Advances in all of these areas eventually lead to the delivery of advanced healthcare solutions to a greater range of people.

2011
19 December 2011
US small business program gets six-year extension

The small business innovation research (SBIR) program in the US, which had been in danger of collapsing amid a political impasse, will now be extended for a six-year term after a compromise on its finer details was finally agreed. Washington representatives of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, welcomed the resolution of the SBIR issue, which comes after a remarkable 14 continuing but short-term resolutions over the past few years.

13 December 2011
Optics pioneer Eustace L. Dereniak to lead SPIE in 2012

For nearly five decades, Eustace L. Dereniak has explored the frontiers of optics and engineering to help create 21st century breakthroughs in medicine, military hardware, astronomy and many other fields. Dereniak will become president of SPIE, the world's largest professional organization dedicated to optics and photonics, in January.

07 December 2011
SPIE Photonics West 2012 continues growth streak

After outgrowing the San Jose convention center and moving to San Francisco in 2010, SPIE Photonics West 2012 will grow yet again, both in terms of number of attendees as well as technical content and exhibition size.

05 December 2011
Antennae absorb wide spectrum

Jacob Scheuer and others at Tel-Aviv University presented a paper at a recent conference of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, describing the properties and showing the potential of nano-scale antennae that can transmit optical light. Among the applications of the technology is harvesting of radiated energy for solar panels use semiconductors like silicon to capture some energy from the sun. However, they are usually very inefficient. Scheuer showed that his array of antennae captured 95 percent of the energy radiated onto it.

18 November 2011
Photonics West talk explains US patent changes

From high-profile spats like Apple versus Samsung, to more parochial matters like the recent IMRA America vs IPG Photonics case, there's no denying the influence and impact of a strong intellectual property portfolio. In September, President Obama's signature on the America Invents Act (link to full text) set in motion what the White House has described as the most significant reform of the US patent system for more than half a century. But what will all this actually mean in practice for photonics companies and budding entrepreneurs? Paul Davis, a partner in the business law department at Goodwin Procter in Menlo Park, California -- and previously at the laser company Spectra Physics -- will focus on the implications in a presentation at the Photonics West 2012 conference and trade show early next year.

18 November 2011
Latest milestone in science: the 'invisibility cloak'
The next James Bond flick could very likely feature a situation where the baddies get bashed up by an invisible Bond. Yup, Bond film writers may soon borrow an idea from the latest scientific development: the 'invisibility strands'. So the next time you see Bond, rather don't see Bond, it could be because he's wearing a new gadget that makes him invisible. The invisibility strands created by Texas-based scientist could soon result in a cloak. NASA scientists working along the same lines reported at the SPIE Optics and Photonics conference talked about success in creating the darkest substance on Earth, virtually invisible to the human eye.
15 November 2011
2011 Prism Award finalists revealed

Organizers SPIE and Photonics Media have revealed the short-list of finalists for the 2011 Prism Awards, the annual international competition for companies working on photonics technologies and applications.

11 November 2011
A light wave of innovation to advance solar energy

Supplying enough power to meet all our daily needs would require enormous solar panels. And solar-powered energy collected by panels made of silicon, a semiconductor material, is limited -- contemporary panel technology can only convert approximately seven percent of optical solar waves into electric current. Professors at Tel Aviv Universityand its innovative new Renewable Energy Center are now developing a solar panel composed of nano-antennas instead of semiconductors. By adapting classic metallic antennas to absorb light waves at optical frequencies, a much higher conversion rate from light into useable energy could be achieved. The technology was recently presented at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco and published in the conference proceedings.

08 November 2011
NASA develops super-black material that absorbs light across multiple wavelength bands

NASA engineers have produced a material that absorbs on average more than 99 percent of the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and far-infrared light that hits it -- a development that promises to open new frontiers in space technology. The team of engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, reported their findings recently at the SPIE Optics + Photonics conference, the largest interdisciplinary technical meeting in this discipline.

03 November 2011
Photonics and optics: So much potential, so little recognition

A Q&A with Eugene Arthurs, CEO, SPIE: Photonics Online had the privilege of asking Dr. Arthurs for his view of the optics and photonics landscape, SPIE's present and future activities and goals, the status of the update to the Harnessing Light study, and the interesting new technologies and trends highlighted at SPIE shows this year.

03 November 2011
Inequality or market demand?

In April and May 2011, SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics) conducted what is probably the largest and most comprehensive salary survey of the optics sector to date. Calling on its members from more than 170 countries around the globe to answer a series of questions by e-mail, the society collected more than 7,300 responses. The results, which are now live on the SPIE website, make for interesting reading.

25 October 2011
Look who’s 50 in 2011: Nonlinear optics and Spectra-Physics

Ah, who can forget the 2010 50th anniversary celebration of the laser? Our normally docile and academic-minded photonics industry was jumping in 2010, with jubilant celebrations ... But wait, the celebration continues into 2012, which is the official 50th anniversary of the diode laser -- those little solid-state beacons of light that have found their way into our lives in countless ways. At the 2012 Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar, held during Photonics West 2012, David Welch, executive VP and chief strategy officer of Infinera, will present "Celebrating 50 Years of Laser Diodes."

13 October 2011
What salaries do optics and photonics folk have?

Preliminary results from the largest optics and photonics salary survey are in. The median salary for photonics worker is $75,000. The global survey of over 7000 optics and photonics professionals was conducted by SPIE, the international society of optics and photonics. The survey found a large range of salaries, depending on an employee's location and the field of employment. THE SPIE salary survey website has many more detail.

11 October 2011
imec technology forum: hyperspectral imaging from a medical perspective

Hyperspectral imaging separates visible and invisible light into a series of small bands. This data can then be processed to identify materials based on their spectral fingerprints. The technology has many applications in mineralogy (to help find oil fields, for example), surveillance and agriculture. Its materials characterisation capabilities can also be applied to disease detection. However, the technology as it exists today requires the use of complex, bulky systems and is expensive to deploy. At the imec Technology Forum, Francesco Pessolano of imec's NVision programme, explained how the technology could find broader applications if the glass components of a vision system were replaced with a chip. A prototype of the digital optical system will be shown at SPIE Photonics West in January.

11 October 2011
Sofradir wins military satellite IR detector contract

The French infrared detector specialist Sofradir will supply the high-resolution focal plane arrays used in a new constellation of Earth observation military satellites being built by a European consortium. Handling the huge amounts of data created by high-resolution aerial and satellite imaging at a speed that can benefit forces on the ground was identified by Regina Dugan, director of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as a major bottleneck earlier this year in a plenary talk at the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing (DSS) conference.

10 October 2011
Monitoring our seas from space

A team from the IOI-Malta Operational Centre has statistically compared ocean colour values from satellites with in situ values collected in the field, to gauge the productivity of a marine area, assessing surface runoff from land as well as identifying phenomena such as upwelling. The outcome of this research was presented last month at the SPIE Remote Sensing congress in Prague and has been published as part of the congress proceedings.

07 October 2011
New cell design promises more efficient conversion of solar energy

A promising new approach to achieving the goal of efficiently generating electricity from sunlight is being developed by Arizona State University engineers Cun-Zheng Ning and Derek Caselli. Details of the project, which is supported by the U.S. Army Research Office, are presented in a recent article by Ning and Caselli posted on the website of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

06 October 2011
Photonics West to feature 4100 research papers

If you want to tour the world of photonics, flip through the technical program and exhibitor list for SPIE Photonics West. The annual trade fair brings together a wide-ranging conference program, a professional development program with 50 courses, two exhibitions, and numerous networking and special events, all focused tightly on photonics, lasers and biomedical optics. Each year, more than 19,000 people from all sectors of the photonics industry -- researchers, exhibitors, technologists, students and industry leaders -- flock to California from more than 50 countries to attend the event.

06 October 2011
SPIE BACUS 2011: Having your cake and eating it too

The eBeam Initiative held its second annual BACUS event on Tuesday, September 20, to continue to promote greater education and focus on eBeam technologies.

04 October 2011
Photonics for a Better World

It could be a great tag line for the industry: "Photonics, for a Better World." In reality, "Photonics for a Better World" is the name of a special pavilion at SPIE Optics & Photonics, which was held in August in San Diego.

30 September 2011
Researchers realize high-power, narrowband terahertz source at room temperature

Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a simpler way to generate single-chip terahertz radiation, a discovery that could soon allow for more rapid security screening, border protection, high-sensitivity biological/chemical analysis, agricultural inspection, and astronomical applications. The work, headed by Manijeh Razeghi, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, was presented in August at the SPIE Optics + Photonics conference in San Diego.

26 September 2011
Britton Chance biomedical optics award nomination deadline looms

The first Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award -- which honors optical imaging researcher Britton Chance, who passed away in November 2010 at the age of 97 -- will be presented at the upcoming SPIE Photonics West in 2012. Deadline for award nominations is 1 October 1.

23 September 2011
Iran reschedules espionage trial for Texas graduate student

A doctoral student at the University of Texas, Austin, who has been detained for months in his native Iran on espionage charges will go on trial on 4 October. Omid Kokabee, who was working toward a Ph.D. in optics, was arrested at a Tehran airport while on vacation in Iran in late January or early February. News of the new trial date comes as a number of scientific groups including SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, the International Commission for Optics, and others have signed open letters to the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, requesting clemency for Kokabee.

23 September 2011
TrueMask DS: mask-wafer double simulation platform

At the 2011 SPIE masking conference, known as BACUS, we had a chance to meet with and talk to Aki Fujimura of D2S, Inc., about his company's new product offering. The new platform is an interactive masking workstation that allows for simultaneous optimization of lithographic patterning for BOTH mask and the resulting wafer image.

21 September 2011
Litho tool explores tradeoffs at 20nm and below

D2S announced a mask-wafer double simulation accelerated workstation, TrueMask DS, for R&D exploration, bit-cell design, hot-spot analysis and mask defect categorization at the SPIE Photomask Technology conference.

21 September 2011
SPIE BACUS: delayed Photomask Japan 2011 in a nutshell

The March 11, 2011, Tohuku earthquake and tsunami caused many deaths and much property destruction, bringing parts of Japan to a virtual standstill. One casualty was Photomask Japan 2011 (PMJ), which was originally scheduled to take place in Yokohama in April but was cancelled after the horrific events. PMJ has a sister conference, SPIE Photomask Technology (known in the vernacular as BACUS), annually staged in Monterey, California, in September, and this year BACUS has been extended by one-half day to allow the "10 best" PMJ papers to be presented in a special kick-off session.

20 September 2011
Applied Materials EUVL mask etch system debuts with multiple installs

Applied Materials unveiled its Centura Tetra EUV advanced reticle etch system at the SPIE Photomask (BACUS) conference. The system addresses changing requirements from transmission photomasks used in optical lithography to reflection photomasks needed for extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL).

12 September 2011
eBeam Initiative members to present collaborative results at SPIE Photomask BACUS symposium

The eBeam Initiative, a forum dedicated to the education and promotion of new semiconductor manufacturing approaches based on electron beam (eBeam) technologies, today announced that several of its members will present the latest eBeam breakthroughs in mask and direct-write technologies at the SPIE/BACUS Photomask Symposium 2011 in Monterey, California. The eBeam Initiative also announced today that five additional companies have joined its ranks.

09 September 2011
Salary survey: average photonics worker earns $75k

Preliminary findings from a global survey of more than 7,000 people working in various areas of optics and photonics show that the average (median) salary for those employed in the field is $75,000. The survey, conducted by SPIE and the largest of its kind yet undertaken, found a very wide distribution of salaries, dependent largely on the location of an employee and whether they are working in industry or academia.

09 September 2011
TSMC to start EUV lithography

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. will switch on its first extreme ultraviolet (EUV) machine in two weeks. The milestone marks the next step in the foundry's goal of evaluating three competing lithography machines for making next-generation chips. Early this year, the industry was concerned with how much power EUV lithography will would need. Keynote speakers at the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference have admitted that while lithography is making headway, the technology's power source continues to lag behind.

07 September 2011
Organic PV: closing the reality gap

As the dust settles on Solyndra's high-profile failure to crack the photovoltaics market -- at least in the company's current guise, ahead of any potential restructure -- the ability of novel PV technologies to compete with the entrenched silicon and CdTe approaches that dominate the scene is in question. At last month's SPIE-hosted Optics + Photonics conference in San Diego, California, many of the hottest photonics research topics were under discussion, with world-leading groups describing their advances in technologies ranging from hyperspectral imaging to the potential optoelectronic applications of silk.

01 September 2011
Hollow-core dielectric-coated fibers deliver mid-IR laser light

Scientists from Opto-Knowledge Systems, Pacific Northwest National Lab, and Rutgers University  have developed a new type of hollow-core optical fiber that can deliver mid-infrared (mid-IR) as well as long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) laser light. The fibers, detailed in "Fiber delivery of mid-IR lasers" from the SPIE Newsroom (24 August 2011), are important for mid-IR light delivery from quantum-cascade lasers (QCLs) and other mid-IR sources in instruments that can detect trace molecular species in such applications as explosives detection, environmental pollutant monitoring, and in analysis of biomarkers in a patient's breath.

01 September 2011
OPEL forms new parent; touts process technology

Solar and optoelectronics technology firm OPEL Solar International has changed its corporate identity in a move designed to reflect its expertise in two distinct photonics sectors. According to CEO Leon Pierhal, OPEL Solar's CEO, both business units are now looking for investment. "We need more capital," he told optics.org at the recent SPIE Optics + Photonics conference in San Diego ...."

25 August 2011
SPIE Optics + Photonics special edition: Light Matters

A special edition of Light Matters, broadcast from the exhibition floor at SPIE Optics + Photonics

25 August 2011
Winners of optical design contest announced

Synopsys Inc. has announced the winners of the 2011 Robert S. Hilbert Memorial Optical Design Competition, two University of Rochester students who were recognized for their achievements in optical design. Samples of their projects were on display this week at SPIE Optics + Photonics at the San Diego Convention Center.

25 August 2011
Tunable nano-suspensions for light harvesting; discovery may be key to solar energy and smart glass technologies

Radhakrishna Sureshkumar, professor and chair of biomedical and chemical engineering in Syracuse University's L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, and professor of physics, has developed a patent-pending robust process to manufacture stable suspensions of metal nanoparticles capable of capturing sunlight. His work is was presented at the SPIE Optics + Photonics conference on August 23.

25 August 2011
Biggest CPV Project in US Up and Running in NM

A new 5 MW concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) project recently completed by market-leading CPV system company Amonix is the largest yet built in the U.S. Amonix founder Vahan Garboushian showed details of the New Mexico installation during a plenary talk at SPIE’s Optics + Photonics show in San Diego, describing the 10 kW “megamodule” building blocks on which the systems are based. According to a Greentech Media article, the project has been built and is being operated by NextEra Energy Resources, with the electricity generated sold to El Paso Electric.

25 August 2011
Congress considers cutting Hubble's successor

SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs is among those providing perspective on consideration by Congress to cut funding for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope.

24 August 2011
Schott starts up US chalcogenide glass line

The specialty optical components manufacturer Schott announced at SPIE Optics + Photonics that it is now making products based on chalcogenide glass in Pennsylvania, in a move that will enable the company's US subsidiary to target the domestic defense sector more effectively.

21 August 2011
SPIE Optics + Photonics: Looking back and ahead

Last year's SPIE Optics + Photonics conference was particularly memorable, mostly for the awesome PennWell customer-appreciation catamaran cruise and the typically warm and breezy weather we all enjoyed.

20 August 2011
NASA showcasing new optical technologies, developments and science at SPIE conference

NASA will showcase and discuss a wealth of projects, technologies and science at the 2011 SPIE Optics and Photonics conference.

16 August 2011
Model-based mask data prep using overlapping shots for 20nm devices

As semiconductor devices push into the 20nm process node and beyond, new techniques are needed to extend the viability of 193nm immersion (193i) optical lithography. ... concerns about the thermal effects of overlapping shots were laid to rest in the paper published at the 2011 SPIE Advanced Lithography Symposium by eBeam Initiative members.

05 August 2011
Non-intrusive retinal imaging system

A novel retinal imaging system developed by Jane You Jia of Hong Kong Polytechnic University performs computer-aided, non-intrusive diabetic retinopathy screening and monitoring and affords privacy protection ... took second place in the SPIE Medical Imaging 2009 international competition Retinopathy Online Challenge.

03 August 2011
Amonix founder sees CPV finally make its mark

Vahan Garboushian on a breakthrough year for concentrated PV, and why the technology promises to be much more than a niche solution ... A central message from Garboushian’s plenary talk at SPIE Optics + Photonics will be that CPV has more headroom to improve LCOE than any other PV technology, and could get very close to the DOE’s solar electricity target cost of $0.06-0.07 per kWh.

26 July 2011
RRPC and MCC host optics camp for Rochester inner-city high-school students

Like many in the industry, Rochester optics companies are faced with a shortage of skilled technicians. To address this problem, the Rochester Regional Optics Cluster, Monroe Community College, and local high schools are collaborating to broaden inner-city high-school students' career opportunities and create a workforce pipeline. ... In fact, this problem was discussed earlier this year at SPIE Optifab 2011  in a panel discussion called "The Future of Optical Manufacturing in North America."

24 June 2011
VCSEL-based 25-Gbps transmission at 850 nm nearing readiness

While module developers work to perfect 4x25-Gbps transmission over singlemode fiber for 100GBase-LR4 and -ER4 applications, technologists have already begun work on enabling similar transmission over multimode fiber. Recent demonstrations have shown progress on both the transmission and reception ends of the spectrum. ... more information in a paper at the subsequent "Enabling Photonics Technologies for Defense, Security, and Aerospace Applications" conference sponsored by the SPIE.

24 May 2011
Outreach event with Arcadia High School

The SPIE chapter hosted 16 female students from a STEM interest group at Arcadia High School for a day of optics ....

23 May 2011
Photonics groups look to pull European levers

Photonics technologies underpin at least 10% of the European economy, and that reliance will increase as those technologies are further developed in the next decade. That is just one of the headline conclusions from a new study on the leveraging impact of photonics that has been prepared for the European Commission (EC) by a team working closely with the Photonics21 industry group. ... The photonics sector member organization SPIE has applauded that aim ...

12 May 2011
SPIE DSS 2011 post-show report

Some 6,000 members of the military, security, and environmental industries gathered in Orlando from April 25-29 for SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing (DSS) 2011. Perhaps the week's biggest attraction was the DSS exhibition, featuring the latest imaging and sensing technologies from 500 companies.

09 May 2011
Optics convention draws 1,700 to Rochester

... some 1,700 optics industry representatives from around the globe are in Rochester this week for presentations on such topics as part of Optifab 2011, a North American optics manufacturing convention and technical trade show that takes place every two years.

02 May 2011
SPIE 2011: DARPA chief calls for halt in 'data drowning'

The head of the US defence research agency, DARPA, says industry must find better ways of using the data garnered by ISR systems. Dr Regina Dugan, director of DARPA, said she was concerned that some on the front line in Afghanistan had lost faith in the S&T community, which was not delivering solutions on time.

02 May 2011
Report: SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing, Orlando 2011

Video: Military & Aerospace Electronics editor John Keller visits the SPIE Defense, Security & Sensing 2011 show in Orlando, Florida.

28 April 2011
SPIE 2011: Laser solution for long-endurance UAVs

A US company pioneering the use of lasers to recharge the batteries of UAVs in flight says such a system could be potentially fielded as early as next year. LaserMotive is demonstrating the ability to 'power beam' via laser several UAV aircraft, including rotary-wing vehicles, at the 2011 SPIE Defence Security, and Sensing exposition ....

26 April 2011
SPIE reports on first day at Defense and Security in Orlando

According to a report from SPIE, the Security, Defense,+ Sensing symposium in Orlando, Florida, is attracting a strong audience for sessions on infrared technologies and applications, with papers from Sofradir, The Aerospace Corp., SCD Semicondcutor Devices, Thales Optronics, and others.

30 March 2011
Green photonics: beyond PV and LEDs

If asked to consider the environmental credentials of photonics technology, the chances are that you will think first of clean energy generation through solar photovoltaics, or perhaps the energy-saving potential of solid-state lighting. But those increasingly valuable applications are by no means the limit of the possibilities. As Trumpf's Michael Lang noted at SPIE's first Eco-Photonics conference in Strasbourg, France, this week, one highly evident trend is the way in which high-power lasers used in materials production have become dramatically smaller and more energy-efficient in recent years.

29 March 2011
Synopsys litho and manufacturing -- SPIE Advanced Lithography 2011

At the SPIE Advanced Lithography event in San Jose, Synopsys presented their current mask making solutions.

28 March 2011
Solar observatory releases more Sun eruption videos

Our solar system's star continues to be very active: The Solar Dynamics Observatory has released a new video of a very active Sun.... Some of the SDO team will be in San Diego August 21-25th for the SPIE Optics + Photonics symposium.

25 March 2011
Why 3D movies could be so much more

Evolutionary cognitive scientist Mark Changizi argues that "3D movie" makers have been missing out on most of their creative space, because they have not recognized the full range of powers their binocular movies can harness: "At the end of January I was in San Francisco at the SPIE conference on Electronic Imaging, and attended a two-hour session demonstrating samples of state-of-the-art 3D videos from upcoming movies, video games, advertisements and artistic pieces. The general reaction of the several hundred people there was positive."

24 March 2011
Smoke, mirrors and EUV lithography

After decades in development and years behind schedule, it looks like extreme UV lithography is finally closing in on commercialization. ... And the EUV question took center stage at SPIE's Advanced Lithography conference and exhibition, held in San Jose in late February and early March.

21 March 2011
Overview of SPIE Advanced Lithography 2011

The 2011 SPIE Advanced Lithography Symposium was noticeably different from previous meeting which highlighted new tools and methods. This year few hardware or software tools were innovative enough to be news worthy, rather it was all about materials and the remarkable things they could be made to do -- or not do.

16 March 2011
Synopsys eliminates intermediate I/O steps with EUV design verification

Synopsys introduced the Proteus LRC for lithography verification at the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference ... George Bailey, director, technical marketing at Synopsys, describes the data flow process in a podcast interview.

15 March 2011
Miniature lasers could help launch new age of the Internet

A new laser device created at the University of Central Florida could make high-speed computing faster and more reliable, opening the door to a new age of the Internet. ... Dennis Deppe and Sabine Freisem presented their findings in January at the SPIE Photonics West conference in San Francisco.

14 March 2011
WaferNEWS Watch: SPIE viewpoints

A pair of Wall Street analysts and a litho exec describe their key takeaways from this year's SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium: How far from HVM are the latest EUV results, how are the competitive source vendors faring, and why some work in improving EUV is falling short.

14 March 2011
Analysis: Litho world needs a shrink

For decades, lithography has been the key chip-production technology to scale or shrink a chip. That still holds true. But at the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, there were signs that the lithography community -- and their customers --literally needed a shrink, the slang term for a psychiatrist.

11 March 2011
16nm hp EUV blanks inspected by KLAC Teron

Among the topics covered at KLA-Tencor's annual Lithography Users Forum at the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference was extension of KLAC's Teron 600 platform for inspection of EUV blanks at the 16nm half pitch node. ... In a podcast interview recorded at the event, Brian Trafas, chief marketing officer at KLA-Tencor, discusses the process control needs facing the semiconductor industry.

10 March 2011
Model-based mask data prep: Solving the impossible mask

Aki Fujimura, chairman & CEO of D2S, provides an update of the eBeam Initiative roadmap in a podcast interview held at the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference.

10 March 2011
Academic researchers develop wireless sensor technology for bridge safety

A pair of university professors say they have developed a radio transmission protocol and diagnostic algorithm for wireless sensor networks that enables the real-time streaming of sensor data to measure the local structural deterioration of highway bridges. The protocol is described in a scientific paper posted on the SPIE Newsroom titled "Wireless vibration sensors track condition of highway bridges," authored by Matthew Whelan, Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte, and Kerop Janoyan, Clarkson Univ.

09 March 2011
SPIE keynote: IMEC stance on materials innovation

Luc Van den hove, president/CEO of IMEC, summarizes key themes from his keynote presentation at the SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium in a podcast interview with SST senior technical editor Debra Vogler.

09 March 2011
Complementary electron-beam lithography extends optical litho life

At SPIE Advanced Lithography, David Lam, chairman of Multibeam Corp. and the founder and former CEO of Lam Research, presented the concept of complementary e-beam lithography -- a technology that is being used to complement and extend optical lithography for advanced logic ICs. ... In the podcast interview with Debra Vogler, Lam discusses the technology in detail, and also cites the inspiration for his paper: a presentation on complementary lithography by Intel Senior Fellow Yan Borodovsky, at last year's SPIE Advanced Lithography conference.

08 March 2011
AMAT inspection, Magma yield analysis integration to accelerate litho quals, better chip yields

During the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, Applied Materials and Magma Design Automation announced that Magma's CAD-based navigation and yield analysis software has been integrated with Applied Materials' inspection systems; it's called Excalibur Litho and targets designs at 2xnm and below. The companies claim that, without the ability to overcome litho qualification roadblocks rapidly, 22nm designs will be extremely time-consuming and expensive to bring to volume production.

08 March 2011
Imprint as the next NGL

For imprint watchers, SPIE's Advanced Microlithography in February was very interesting, in that there were several presentations that appeared to be linked, but the presenters denied that there were links ... which makes me think!

07 March 2011
SPIE: A glimpse into Intel's litho future

If anything in the litho world is certain, it's that 193nm ArF immersion lithography (193i) is being extended. Nikon's Masato Hamatani opened the Nikon LithoVision conference at this year's SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium, describing concrete efforts in improving overlay to less than 2nm and throughput to 4000 wafers per day.

07 March 2011
SPIE 2011: An ASML review of EUV

Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography was one of six conference tracks and a major point of discussion at the SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium (Feb. 28-Mar.3, San Jose, CA), with dozens of papers presented on various technology and infrastructure areas of EUV development.

07 March 2011
Applied, Magma managing yield for 20nm HVM

Lithography is where design meets manufacturing, and so the SPIE Advanced Lithography (AL conference this year was where Applied Materials and Magma Design Automation chose to launch their new collaborative solution to the problem of managing yield data when ramping the most complex ICs in high-volume manufacturing (HVM).

05 March 2011
EbDW may sneak in behind masks

Electron-beam Direct Write (EbDW) lithography on commercial wafers may sneak in the industry behind the technology developments for mask writing. At SPIE AL this year, Aki Fujimora (CEO of D2S and head of the E-beam Initiative) talked with SemiMD about solving today's mask problems using tricks that will be needed before EbDW can be used in HVM.

05 March 2011
Advanced Lithography 2011: Day 1-2-3-4

This week in San Jose began cold, but warmed up by Thursday to the kind of weather we all expect from California. So too with the conference, and I think Thursday had some of the most interesting, and surprising, presentations.

04 March 2011
The physics behind Gigaphoton EUV source technology

Gigaphoton released the latest developments in its EUV source program at this week's SPIE Advanced Lithography conference. The company reported achieving a conversion efficiency (CE) of 3.3% with tin droplets <20µm in diameter with its plasma-based laser-produced plasma (LPP).

04 March 2011
ASML claims progress in EUV

At the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, ASML Holding NV disclosed more details about its progress with extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography.

03 March 2011
Executive profile: Terry Brewer, Brewer Science

"You can't approach the future by predictions. You approach the future by making it happen," Terry Brewer, founder/president of Brewer Science, says. And this mindset carries over into real-world results for the semiconductor industry, he points out: EUV will happen if we want to make it happen." SST's Debra Vogler caught up with Terry Brewer at the SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium.

03 March 2011
Cymer talks EUV source timelines and DUV highlights at SPIE

Nigel Farrar, VP, marketing & lithography technology, Cymer, provides an update on extreme ultra violet (EUV) source technology -- including training and next-generation timelines -- in a podcast interview at SPIE Advanced Lithography conference.

03 March 2011
EUV, resists, multibeam lithography chat with IMEC

At the SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium this week in San Jose, Kurt Ronse, director of lithography at imec, discussed the research center's new ASML pre-production EUV scanner, EUV readiness with source power (still a concern) and resists (practically there). He also discusses the perhaps overlooked topic of pattern collapse. 

03 March 2011
Imprint litho makes a good impression

Nano-imprint lithography has made solid progress over the years. "Things are really humming for us on both the technology and tool development front in the CMOS space" and in hard disk drives, said Mark Melliar-Smith, president and CEO of Molecular Imprints Inc. ... At SPIE....

03 March 2011
SPIE 2011: Where are we now with EUV?

There are two sure bets at the annual SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium, which convened this week in San Jose. First: about half the presenters will show some rendition of the ITRS Roadmap. Couldn't we just begin each session with a slide of the roadmap relevant to that session so we don't collectively burn eight or ten papers in Roadmap Hades? Second: someone will point out (or complain) that EUV gets all the money (okay, only 90% of the money).

03 March 2011
Momentum builds for directed self-assembly

Directed self-assembly (DSA) -- a technology based on a concept that was virtually unknown outside of research labs a few years ago -- has emerged as a legitimate contender for use in future semiconductor manufacturing. "Directed self-assembly cannot be ignored," said Christopher Bencher, a member of the technical staff at Applied Materials Inc., at the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference.

02 March 2011
Globalfoundries, TSMC square off in litho

It's a clash of the titans in the foundry industry between GlobalFoundries Inc. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC). The silicon foundry rivals are separately expanding their process offerings and services for customers, but they have different strategies to knock each other off from their respective perches. GlobalFoundries, TSMC, and, of course, Intel Corp., also have slightly different strategies in lithography, which is a big factor in scaling to bring products to market. At the SPIE event this week ....

02 March 2011
EUV lithography vs. EBDW: Interview with Toppan Photomasks at SPIE

At this week's SPIE Advanced Lithography conference in San Jose, Debra Vogler, senior technical editor, caught up with Franklin Kalk, CTO of Toppan Photomasks, to get his input on how EUV lithography development is shaping up, comparing the pros and cons of EUV lithography vs. e-beam direct write (EBDW), and why there's room for both technologies in leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing.

02 March 2011
KLA tips EUV line, but issues warning

At the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, KLA-Tencor Corp. has outlined its metrology and inspection tool roadmap for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography

01 March 2011
SPIE keynote: IMEC installs ASML pre-production EUV scanner NXE:3100

At the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, Luc Van den hove, president and CEO of IMEC, announced during his keynote speech that IMEC has started the installation of ASML's pre-production extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) scanner, the NXE:3100, in its Leuven, Belgium, facility.

01 March 2011
Who were those caped superheroes at Photonics West? (video)

If you attended SPIE's Photonics West 2011, you no doubt saw numerous caped individuals at the Ocean Optics and Edmund Optics booths in the exhibition hall. And who knows -- you may have donned a cape yourself!

01 March 2011
SPIE: EUV sources behind schedule

Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is making progress, but the power source for the technology is behind schedule, warned keynote speakers at the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference.

01 March 2011
TSMC to make FinFETs in 450-mm fab

At the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference here, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) outlined more details about its 450-mm fab plans.

28 February 2011
Japan forms EUV metrology consortium

Japan has formed a consortium to propel the infrastructure for photomask and inspection gear in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. The group in Japan is called EDEC, said Shang-Yi Chiang, senior vice president of R&D at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC), during a keynote at the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference.

28 February 2011
IMEC installs pre-production EUV litho

Belgian research institute IMEC has announced it has installed an NXE:3100 pre-production extreme ultra-violet lithography machine from ASML at its Leuven facility. Luc Van den hove, President and CEO of IMEC, is expected to announced the move during his keynote speech at today's SPIE Advanced Lithography conference.

28 February 2011
Startup rolls complementary litho

At the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference here, maskless startup Multibeam Corp. will outline more details about its ongoing efforts to commercialize its so-called Complementary E-Beam Lithography (CEBL) technology in the market.

28 February 2011
Nikon: Five reasons to be bullish

At the annual LithoVision event here, an executive from lithography vendor Nikon Corp. outlined the business dynamics in the market. LithoVision is sponsored by Nikon. It runs in conjunction with the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference here.

28 February 2011
Update: Nikon tips 193-nm tool, illuminator

At the annual LithoVision event here, Japan's Nikon Corp. tipped its lithography roadmap. Nikon disclosed a new 193-nm immersion tool, dubbed the S621D. The company also tipped a separate illuminator product and a metrology technology for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. LithoVision is sponsored by Nikon. It runs in conjunction with the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference.

25 February 2011
QCW fiber laser, simultaneous hyperspectral camera, and mini PMT enter the market: Video

SPIE's Photonics West 2011 saw the launch of new products: including IPG Photonics' (Oxford, MA) quasi-continuous-wave (QCW) fiber laser designed to compete with YAG lasers in materials-processing applications, Horiba's (Edison, NJ) one-shot simultaneous hyperspectral imaging camera that captures spectral information for dynamic events, and Hamamatsu's (Bridgewater, NJ) micro PMT (photomultiplier tube) detector, with the same performance as a regular PMT but in a miniature package.

23 February 2011
E-beam technology takes collective stage at SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium

The eBeam Initiative has highlighted that several of its members will present the latest breakthroughs in DFEB mask and direct-write technology at the annual SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium 2011 ... four additional companies have joined its ranks.

18 February 2011
New imaging and display technologies detailed by Imec and Opnext: Video

At SPIE's Photonics West 2011, research center Imec (Leuven, Belgium) and laser diode manufacturer Opnext (Fremont, CA) described their newest imaging and display technology innovations to the editorial staff of Laser Focus World.

17 February 2011
SEMATECH to present advances in lithography and demonstrate leading-edge technologies at SPIE Advanced Lithography 2011

SEMATECH experts will present world-leading research and development results on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) manufacturability and extendibility, alternative lithography, and related areas of metrology at the SPIE Advanced Lithography 2011 conferences on February 27 - March 3 at the San Jose Convention Center and Marriott in San Jose, CA.

10 February 2011
New solar cell self-repairs like natural plant systems

Researchers are creating a new type of solar cell designed to self-repair like natural photosynthetic systems in plants by using carbon nanotubes and DNA, an approach aimed at increasing service life and reducing cost. ... The concept also was unveiled in an online article featured on the website for SPIE.

10 February 2011
Favorite moments from Photonics West: an exhibitor's perspective

SPIE asked on LinkedIn what our favorite moments from Photonics West 2011 were. Since my answer is lengthy, I am answering on my blog rather than as a comment ... As an exhibitor, it is very easy to answer the question. My favorite moment is always 10AM on Tuesday morning, the moment when a voice announces over the public address system that the show is now open ....

07 February 2011
Photonics West 2010 wrap-up

A video summary of highlights from SPIE Photonics West and the 2010 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation ....

03 February 2011
Chips with integrated optical interconnects coming … eventually

Integrated 3-D chips combining logic, memory and optical interconnects are on the horizon, but won't be available for at least 10 years, according to Bert-Jan Offrein, manager of photonics at IBM's Zurich Research Lab. "Things will come together, eventually," Offrein said. Speaking at a panel discussion at the SPIE Photonics West 2011 conference last week, Offrein said the development of optical interconnects is being driven by advances in supercomputing.

02 February 2011
PW2011: perspectives on a record-breaking show

What a difference a year makes. In January 2010, Photonics West was, according to many accounts, a pretty glum affair. Despite the new San Francisco location -- usually enough to lift the spirits of anyone in possession of a soul -- and good attendance, the prevailing mood was one of caution, amid a photonics market that had suffered a major slump in 2009. ... Fast forward to 2011, and the mood could hardly be more different.

02 February 2011
Job seekers get advice at Photonics West

One of several professional development programs at Photonics West this year was "Getting a Job in 2011 and Beyond," a panel discussion held for the benefit of employment seekers of all stripes. Held in conjunction with the SPIE Job Fair, which itself was more successful than any in many years, the discussion provided expertise on job search tactics from people directly involved in the hiring process.

31 January 2011
Harnessing Light 2.0: revisiting the state of optical science and engineering

On the final morning of Photonics West 2011, SPIE hosted a special "Future of Photonics" forum designed to gather industry input for a comprehensive new study of the optics and photonics field. Erik Svedberg, senior program officer with the U.S. National Academies, and Eugene Arthurs, CEO of SPIE, moderated the event, which was attended by hundreds of Photonics West attendees.

30 January 2011
Best biophotonics ideas on display

At Photonics West on Monday, as the BiOS part of the week was winding down, SPIE sponsored its first Biophotonics Start-Up Challenge. Based on the concept of the "elevator pitch," 19 researchers -- mostly newly minted PhDs and others at the beginning of their careers -- each offered two-minute descriptions of how their idea was worthy of further development and funding.

28 January 2011
Warm weather and a good mood at Photonics West

The mood at Photonics West reminded me of a team when it's winning its games. The mood was good and no one wanted to spend too much time second guessing what they are doing. Whatever they are doing, it's working.

28 January 2011
Executives share market perspectives

Executives from six laser and optics companies gathered to share their perspectives on the state of the industry Wednesday as part of a SPIE-sponsored panel at Photonics West.

26 January 2011
Perspectives on the Si photonics frontier

Because a new market of miniaturized low-cost photonics will soon be created that can leverage the vast scale of CMOS manufacturing to revolutionize industries from computing and communication to biomedicine and imaging, panelists representing different aspects of the industry gathered Tuesday afternoon at SPIE Photonics West to discuss what they have discovered from their positions at the forefront of silicon photonics.

26 January 2011
Defense prime gives suppliers marching orders to lobby Congress to preserve aerospace and defense jobs

Interesting tidbit overheard yesterday at the SPIE Photonics West conference in San Francisco. It seems one of the nation's prime defense contractors, in a recent Webcast for its suppliers, is strongly urging its military subcontractors to urge their senators and congressional representatives to preserve current levels of defense spending in the interest of creating and preserving jobs.

25 January 2011
Spectroscopic super heroes at Moscone Center for Photonics West exhibition

Ocean Optics wants to have fun with their inventions, and so their mesmerizing display at the San Francisco Moscone Center (take a virtual tour) for the world's leading photonics, laser and biomedical optics event -- Photonics West -- is bound to catch your eye.

25 January 2011
MOEMS/MEMS plenary: Power to the pathway

Amit Lal envisions a day when tiny wireless sensor networks will be placed throughout the world in areas that can help save lives, prevent disasters, and even help sustain the environment, with a battery-free power supply that will last 100 years. Lal explained how the work of his group could help make that happen in his MOEMS/MEMS symposium plenary talk, "Microsystem Pathways to a Greener World," Monday morning at SPIE Photonics West. 

24 January 2011
Photonics West: laser markets look good through 2012

After expanding by a remarkable 27% in 2010, the global market for lasers is expected to enjoy robust growth in 2011 and into 2012, thanks largely to a sustained recovery in materials processing and communications applications. Speaking at the annual Laser Marketplace Seminar held in parallel with Photonics West in San Francisco, California, the market analysis by Pennwell's Steve Anderson and David Belforte painted a picture of a very healthy industry, following the pain of 2009.

24 January 2011
MOEMS/MEMS names best green photonics papers

Research papers on solar cells and LEDs were singled out for their contributions to green photonics by the MOEMS-MEMS (micro-optoelectromechanical systems/microelectromechanical systems) symposium committee at SPIE Photonics West Monday morning.

24 January 2011
3D TV? How about holography TV?

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2010 was abuzz about a slew of prototype 3D TVs, but if new research from the MIT Media Lab is any indication, holographic TVs could be close behind. At the SPIE Practical Holography conference in San Francisco the weekend of Jan. 23, members of Michael Bove's Object-Based Media Group presented a new system that can capture visual information using off-the-shelf electronics, send it over the internet to a holographic display, and update the image at rates approaching those of feature films.

17 January 2011
Winners of 2010 Prism Awards announced

A fiber laser that replaces aging flashlamp-pumped solid-state lasers, an analyzer that detects hazardous chemicals in seconds at a distance and spherical and chromatic aberration-free low-cost optical components are among the winners of the 2010 Prism Awards for photonics innovation announced Jan. 26 at a gala ceremony in San Francisco during Photonics West.

13 January 2011
Self-repairing solar cells

Researchers with Purdue University are creating a type of solar cell capable of self-repair via carbon nanotubes and DNA, according to an article published in the SPIE Newsroom.

13 January 2011
Submerged oil tracking in innovative way

Fluorescent optical ranging systems can rapidly assess and map concentrations of marine oil pollution suspended in the top few meters below the water surface, according to an article authored by researchers at Laser Diagnostic Instruments and PinPoint Environmental published in the SPIE Newsroom.

11 January 2011
UC San Diego engineers give solar power a boost

UC San Diego environmental engineering professor Jan Kleissl is working on technologies and methods that will better predict how much power we can actually harness from the sun ... Kleissl explains his intensive solar research in a recent video produced by SPIE.

2010
14 December 2010
Canadian researchers use Bayseian algorithm for enhanced IR face recognition

According to a recent report from researchers at the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering published in the SPIE Newsroom, infrared-based algorithms offer an alternative for handling variations in face appearance caused by illumination changes, facial expressions, and face poses during facial recognition.

10 December 2010
Evening with Eugene Arthurs, SPIE CEO

When Eugene Arthurs, Executive Director of SPIE, visited Singapore for two days in December, the Optics and Photonics Society of Singapore held a welcome party for him.

07 December 2010
Photonics West 2011: Sneak preview

After a successful debut in San Francisco last year, SPIE Photonics West is returning to the Golden Gate City for what is shaping up to be a hotbed of industry insights, market trends, the latest technologies and, of course, the ever-popular networking and hobnobbing with some of the finest minds in the photonics and optics industry.

07 December 2010
Knovel expands content for engineers, adds four new partners

Knovel, the leading provider of a web-based engineering application integrating technical information with analytical and search tools, today announced new content partnerships with four highly respected publishers and societies, including SPIE.

01 December 2010
Experimental lighting system improves control and efficiency

Researchers are exploring new user-controlled, efficient lighting systems in an effort to provide better illumination and save energy. The MIT Media Lab aims to build easy-to-control systems that can cut lighting bills by more than half. Preliminary results of the ongoing research of the polychromatic solid-state lighting controlled using a sensor network were published this summer in the Proceedings of SPIE.