San Diego Convention Center
    San Diego, California, United States
    2 - 6 August 2009
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    Highlights, Videos, and Photos from the Week

    Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 August
    Monday, 3 August
    Tuesday, 4 August
    Wednesday, 5 August
    Thursday, 6 August

    Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 August 2009

    SPIE Optics+Photonics 2009 kicked off with special programming aimed at students and early career professionals, showcasing SPIE's commitment to growing the next generation of scientists, researchers, and innovators. Conferences kicked off on Sunday, as sessions delved into the common problems of the attendees and unique solutions offered by the presenters. The All-Symposium and Astronomical Optics plenary sessions wound up a busy day.

    Leaders for the future

    Students leaders from 89 SPIE chapters in 22 countries gave Optics+Photonics 2009 an early start on Saturday, the first of a two-day student leadership workshop.

    Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 August
    Monday, 3 August
    Tuesday, 4 August
    Wednesday, 5 August
    Thursday, 6 August

    Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 August 2009

    SPIE Optics+Photonics 2009 kicked off with special programming aimed at students and early career professionals, showcasing SPIE's commitment to growing the next generation of scientists, researchers, and innovators. Conferences kicked off on Sunday, as sessions delved into the common problems of the attendees and unique solutions offered by the presenters. The All-Symposium and Astronomical Optics plenary sessions wound up a busy day.

    Leaders for the future

    Students leaders from 89 SPIE chapters in 22 countries gave Optics+Photonics 2009 an early start on Saturday, the first of a two-day student leadership workshop.

    Rachel Won, editor of Nature Photonics, spoke with students at a leadership workshop on Saturday and presented one of the workshop’s four breakout sessions on Monday.
    Rachel Won, Editor of Nature Photonics, joined SPIE President María Yzuel and other presenters in sharing insights and information about networking, project management, and leadership skills with the 130 student attendees. Won talked about her career path from student to professional, stressing the assistance provided by SPIE along the way. Yzuel thanked the students for their dedication to optics and photonics, and encouraged them to continue their commitment by applying their energy and knowledge to solving the world’s problems in the future.

    A panel of experts from academia, industry, and government led a discussion on career choices Sunday morning, and speakers in four breakout sessions coached students in publishing, communication, and conference organization.

    Nola Lee, left, of Georgia Tech and Corneliu Colesniuc of Univ. of California, San Diego, talk at the Early Career Professionals social.
    Well over 100 students packed the Marriott Marina Ballroom for the keynote luncheon on Sunday. SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs presented a well-received talk titled "Musings on the Future." Arthurs spoke about differing career paths down which the students' education could lead them, and urged them to not be "type-cast," and to ruminate on what really drives their passions. "The last century was the century of electronics," Arthurs said, "but the 21st Century belongs to photons."

    Evening poolside receptions drew crowds of Early Career Professional Members and students to network with each other as well as with SPIE leadership and conference chairs.

    Astronomy on center stage

    Symposium plenary speaker Tracey Delaney warns the audience before an audio demonstration of the Doppler effect.
    Appropriately for the International Year of Astronomy, which celebrates 400 years since the invention of the telescope, the conference week began with three astronomy-track plenary speakers and two symposium-wide plenary talks on astronomy.

    Jerry Nelson, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, gave a symposium-wide plenary talk on "Four Hundred Years through the Eyes of the Telescope," and an astronomy-track talk on the 30-meter telescope (TMT) and segmented-mirror telescopes. Tracey Delaney of MIT, the second symposium-wide plenary speaker, talked about what can be learned from studying supernovae using 3D imaging techniques.

    Track plenary speakers Robert Tyson, Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte, spoke on adaptive optics, and Stuart Shaklan, Jet Propulsion Lab, spoke on direct imaging and characterization of exoplanets from space.

    Photonics growth and expertise

    Conference chairs in the Photonic Devices and Applications symposium, chaired by Zakya Kafafi of the Naval Research Lab, remarked in their planning meeting on the growth and impact of the symposium. Two conferences—Organic Photovoltaics, chaired by Kafafi, and Infrared Detectors and Focal Plane Arrays, chaired by Eustace Dereniak of the Univ. of Arizona College of Optical Science—reached 10-year anniversaries this year, and several other conferences are well established and growing as well. Chairs agreed that the synergy between academic and research labs and industry, including as conference sponsors in some cases, has been important in helping the symposium grow.

    The conference on Solid State Lighting will mark its tenth year next year, noted chair Ian Ferguson, who recently moved to the Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte from Georgia Tech. "SPIE has been involved in solid-state lighting from the beginning, and this is the primary technical conference in that area," Ferguson said. The conference is looking at expanding its focus in areas such as street lighting and will continue to contribute to new technologies advancing energy efficiency for the future.

    Stuart Shaklan, Jet Propulsion Lab, gives an Astronomy-track plenary talk.
    An invited paper on SPASER and nanolaser effects in hybrid Au/silica/dye nanoparticles, by Mikhail A. Noginov, Norfolk State Univ., et al., (paper 7394-04 ) reported the demonstration of the idea of the SPASER. A laser is made up of an amplifying medium inside an optical cavity that allows the light to oscillate and build up to lasing conditions. The size of a laser is determined by the laser cavity, and the cavity must be an integer multiple of the half-wavelength of the amplified light. So that the smallest classical laser, for visible light, must be at least several hundred microns. The idea of a SPASER, a Surface Plasmon Laser, is to use the resonance of surface plasmons on a nanoparticle as the optical cavity. The SPASER cavity consists of a dye-doped silver shell with a diameter of 44 nm. When optically pumped, the SPASER produced lasing light at 550 nm.

    Harry A. Atwater, Jr., California Institute of Technology (paper 7411-01) noted that there are many applications where a flexible solar cell would be desirable. But most solar cells are made on solid substrates that are not flexible. The idea addressed in this paper is to use nanowires as the photovoltaic material and embed the nanowires in a plastic substrate to make a flexible solar cell. The nanowires are grown on a silicon substrate using vapor-liquid-solid (VCS) growth process. Once the nanowires are the desired length, they are coated with a polymer and lifted off the substrate. Optimizing the collection efficiency of each nanowire requires careful control of the doping of a conducting material in the nanowires. Gold is a desirable dopant; however, it is not very abundant, so the research is pursuing the more abundant materials of copper or nickel. The collection efficiencies of the current nanowires are in the range 5%, but efficiencies of 15% are considered achievable.

    Attendees were given insights into the proposed 30-meter telescope (TMT) in a talk during the Astronomy plenary session, TMT and Segmented Mirror Telescopes, presented by Jerry Nelson, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (USA). The proposed 30-meter telescope (TMT) will require major developments in control systems as adaptive optics is the only way to achieve the full-resolution capability of a telescope of this size. The adaptive optics must null out atmospheric distortions even though the telescope will be mounted atop Mauna Kea in Hawai’i. The TMT main mirror will consist of 492 mirror elements, each being 1.45 m in size. The 492 elements require 2,772 edge sensors to control the tip, tilt, and piston position of each element. The adaptive optics system will employ six guide-star beams. The guide stars will be distributed with one in the center and five around the perimeter of the collection area at around 90 km above the surface of the earth. The need for the six guide stars is that the light collected from a distant star will pass through a cylinder of the atmosphere while the light from any individual guide star only passes through a cone of the atmosphere. There are planned eight instrument packages for the telescope. The instruments are mounted on a radial place surrounding the main mirror, and a tip and tilt tertiary will direct the light to each instrument; this will allow fast switching among the different instruments. The telescope is expected to be operational with first light and experiments in 2018.

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    Monday, 3 August 2009

    Strong attendance, lively discussions

    Strong attendance and lively discussions in the conference rooms were mirrored by large audiences in the plenary rooms on Monday. Several talks drew over-capacity crowds, proving one attendee's observation that SPIE is the "natural forum" for technologies such as solar thermal power as well as the meeting's other optical engineering and photonics technologies.

    OP09 Sarah Kurtz Plenary Speaker Interview
    A full interview with Sarah Kurtz will be available on the SPIE Newsroom soon. Click on the above image for a sneak preview.
    Sarah Kurtz of the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) spoke to the capacity crowd in the solar energy plenary session about reliability as a critical component of successful deployment of solar technologies. Kurtz is optimistic about the United States’ ability to rely on solar within 10 years to absorb the nation’s growth in energy needs. But in an interview for SPIE Newsroom, she highlighted its ability to handle peak loads now, even before sophisticated storage systems are developed.

    Solar Energy plenary speaker Arvind Shah addresses the capacity audience Monday afternoon.
    Earlier, Arvind Shah of the University of Neuchatel Institute of Microtechnology talked about thin-film solar photovoltaic modules. He said that silicon’s low absorption coefficient is not well suited for thin-film solar cells, but that light-trapping methods will make them possible. He also emphasized the need for "continual political support" for solar energy to meet its hoped-for potential.

    Dave Eaglesham, First Solar LLC, noted that the basis of their thin film solar cell technology is the low-cost deposition of CdTe to produce photovoltaic modules. To date, they have produced nearly a gigawatt of capability and are ramping up to have the capability to produce a gigawatt per year of capacity. Their current modules have an efficiency of nearly 11% and have a manufacturing cost of less than $1. Their product philosophy includes a 25-year lifetime with recycling of the module material at the end of life. Their current systems are large megawatt facilities in sunny locations, though he noted that the infrastructure to support the modules in a desert location typically costs more than the photovoltaic modules themselves. Their long-term goal is to achieve CAPEX costs of less than $0.62 per watt modules in 10 years.

    OP09: Martha Symko-Davies, Symposium Chair
    Martha Symko-Davies, National Renewable Energy Lab, discusses the week at SPIE Solar Energy+Technology with Rich Donnelly, SPIE Newsroom editor.
    Raed Sherif of eSolar spoke next. eSolar produces solar thermal systems; these systems concentrate solar light to heat a fluid that is circulated to convert water to steam that drives electricity-generating turbines. The company has over 1.5 GW of projects in the planning stages. There are several approaches to collecting solar energy for heating fluids; one approach consists of parabolic troughs that contain a central tube where the fluid passes and is heated; another uses Fresnel lens arrays to focus the light. Their approach is to use fields of concentrating mirrors directed at a power tower, where the sunlight is focused for heating the exchange fluid. This approach produces high efficiency and low installation cost, but does require a large number of collection and tracking mirror systems.

    Nanotechnology Plenary Session

    Nanoscience + Engineering plenary speaker Nils Petersen answers a question; Symposium Chair David Andrews looks on.
    Nadar Engheta, Univ. of Pennsylvania, spoke on Taming the Light with Metamaterials. One of the promising developments in nanotechnology is in the area of artificially engineered materials. Nanofabrication techniques allow for the design and fabrication of elements smaller than the wavelength of the light of interest. The bulk optical properties of the material are dependent on the details of these subelements: their shape, size, composition and structure. The new field of “Metaplasmonics” explored in this presentation makes use of the plasmonic properties of these elements for the potential of development of the equivalent of electronic circuits for light. These equivalent circuits could form the basis of numerous applications such as nanosize optical circuits that contain source, modulator, and antenna transmitter in an extremely small package.

    Students lunch with experts; Newport Spectra-Physics Research Excellence Travel Awards presented

    SPIE Fellows, officers, and drectors, and SPIE Optics+Photonics conference Chairs networked with students and early-career professionals at Monday’s Student Lunch with the Experts, held in conjunction with the Newport Spectra-Physics Research Excellence Travel Awards.

    Newport Spectra-Physics Research Excellence Travel Award winners, with SPIE President María Yzuel (at left).
    The Newport Spectra-Physics Research Excellence Travel Awards provide financial support for university students to attend the two largest SPIE meetings in order to present their research. These travel grants are open to any student who has an accepted paper for presentation at Photonics West or Optics+Photonics.

    The 12 winners present to receive their awards Monday included:
    Shaddy Abado, Univ. of Notre Dame; John Anderson, Univ. of Memphis; Rola Aylo, Univ. of Dayton; Andrew Dahlberg, Montana State Univ. in Bozeman; Maxim Durach, Georgia State Univ.; Florian Fournier, Univ. of Rochester; Ashwani Kaul, Univ. of Central Florida; Derek Kopon, Univ. of Arizona; Chunlin Miao, Univ. of Rochester; Chul Woo Oh, North Carolina State Univ.; Shirish Pethe, Univ. of Central Florida; and Sameet Shriyan, Drexel Univ.

    Women in Optics hear about refugee aid project

    SPIE President María Yzuel, at left, and Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug with a solar cooker of the type used in refugee camps in Chad.
    Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug, Executive Director of Jewish World Watch, gave a moving presentation on “Empowering Refugee Women through Solar Cooking.” Schwartz-Getzug spoke of the humanitarian crisis occurring in Darfur, and how her organization is helping women there by supporting low-cost solar cookers, enabling women to stay within the relative safety of their own villages instead of venturing out to collect firewood. She urged the nearly 50 attendees to get involved any way they can to help end the atrocities against women in Darfur.

    Star gazing

    Watch footage of attendees enjoying the view from the convention center terrace.
    Members of the San Diego Astronomy Club participated in SPIE's celebration of the 400th anniversary of the telescope, bringing an array of their own telescopes to the convention center for a star-gazing social following the symposium Welcome Reception. Even with a nearly full moon, attendees crowding around to take a look upward enjoyed great views of the night sky.

    The event is one of several SPIE is presenting this week as part of the International Year of Astronomy observance.

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    Tuesday, 4 August 2009

    The early history of optics

    The SPIE Member Reception held Tuesday evening brought together attendees for an evening of refreshment and relaxation.
    A fascinating paper on the earliest indication of the knowledge of optical design and fabrication was offered by Jay M. Enoch, Univ. of California, Berkeley (paper 7428-02). The first plausible optical element was the mirror as ancient Egyptian artifacts indicate that there were bowls designed specifically to hold water, which mimicked the reflection you would get from a still pond. The next mirrors were fabricated from obsidian volcanic glass, found at the location of Catal Hoyuk in Turkey that date back over 8,000 years.

    Attendees saw the latest and greatest products on the exhibition floor. The exhibition continues through Thursday.
    The first lens can be found in modern museums that hold statuary from ancient Egyptian tombs that date back to 2575 BC. The lenses were designed and fabricated to produce the visual effect of having the pupil of the eye of these statues follow you as you moved around the statue. It was an ancient belief that the eyes contained the life force of the person and if this lifelike feature could be preserved, in a replication of the person, then the person could find his way into the life beyond. These lenses were made from crystalline rock, shaped into rods and cut and polished so that the exterior of the eye was a convex surface and pupil was a concave polished element at the back of the rod. The rear concave element sat at a focal point such that the apparent ‘dark’ pupil, when viewed from the front, would follow the observer as they moved around the statue. The effect is very lifelike and can be observed in several of these preserved statues around the world. To achieve this, the ancients must have understood, for many years earlier, the design needed and the fabrication tools required to produce these elements.

    Exhibition opens with good attendance

    Watch John Greivenkamp, University of Arizona, discuss the collection of antique telescopes on the exhibition floor at Optics+Photonics.
    Attendance was strong for the first day of the exhibition, with walk-in traffic being higher than expected. More than 230 companies displayed their components and devices to attendees.

    A highlight of the show floor is the collection of antique telescopes, some dating from the early 1700s. These early examples of optics technology are interesting not only from a historical perspective, but from a materials and technology perspective, too. Watch the video of John Grievenkamp, Univ. of Arizona, to get some insights into this great collection of instruments.

    Panel talks about potential, challenges of solar

    A full room hears prognostications for the solar industry.
    A capacity-audience panel discussion Tuesday morning led by industry and research experts on Commericalization of Next-Generation Solar Technologies explored current challenges in developing successful solar cell technology. The observation that there are many unexplored materials for solar applications was discussed, as was the opportunity for different solar technologies to be used at different sites. The availability of specific materials (a natural material abundance issue) will eventually have to be dealt with for any successful solar cell technology, and there is much to be gained in improvement in light and thermal management in these systems.

    Discussion also covered the status of multiple exciton devices, which are not yet ready for commercial applications, and that selective energy contacts have the potential to enhance both tandem and standard solar cells. It was also suggested that there is substantial potential for nanostructured films to be used in the current devices and that limits were not with the concentration factor onto the cells but rather with the ability to extract the high currents of these devices and the tight tolerances that must be maintained for them to operate at very high concentration values (2000x or more).It was observed that the silicon-based cells of today do not look that much different than the ones of 20 years ago. There are few viable developments in flexible solar cells.

    Panelists included moderators Loucas Tsakalakos, GE Global Research, and Sean Shaheen, Univ. of Denver; and Harry Atwater of Cal Tech, Christoph Brabec of Konarka Austria, Sue Carter of Solexant, James Ermer of Spectrolab, Christiana Honsberg of Arizona State Univ., Darin Laird of Plextronics, Moritz Riede of IAPP, and Wladek Walukiewicz of RoseStreet Labs.

    Other Life in the Cosmos

    Ryan Hannahoe, Fair Dinkum Skies Observatory, leads attendees through the process of producing their own astrophotos.
    Richard Hoover of NASA introduced the Life in the Cosmos panel discussion with compelling slides comparing certain physical features on earth with those on various bodies in our solar system, to illustrate the likelihood of microbial life existing in ancient ice on Mars, Europa, and Enceladus, to name a few. His images of Europa showed lines of red coloring, which he pointed out is rarely caused by minerals, but more likely by organisms. Hoover, who has traveled extensively to earth’s polar regions and Siberia in search of frozen microbes, said that telescopes and spectrometers have shown that the laws of physics and chemistry apply throughout the universe, so we shouldn’t assume that the laws of biochemistry, molecular biology, and microbiology apply only on Earth.

    Scholarships and Outreach Grants awarded

    2009 SPIE Grant recipients gather in San Diego.
    SPIE scholarships and outreach grants were presented to awardees at reception Tuesday afternoon by SPIE Scholarship Committee Chair Brett Bagwell and SPIE President Maria Yzuel. Bagwell commended the scholarship winners, and noted that the quality of applications was even higher this year than last. SPIE is awarding a total of $292,000 in scholarships and $90,000 in outreach grants this year. In 2010, SPIE will be awarding $322,000 in scholarships.

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    Wednesday, 5 August

    Good numbers, good energy

    Exhibitors reported seeing excellent quality and quantity of leads, and the numbers of visitors to the exhibition and of technical attendees are up at SPIE Optics+Photonics this year. Final numbers will be released after the exhibition closes and conferences sessions end on Thursday afternoon.

    Plenary talks continued through Wednesday afternoon. Among them, Keith Nugent of the Univ. of Melbourne gave a plenary talk about coherence-based x-ray imaging methods. He said that phase-contrast x-ray imaging is an established technique, while coherent diffractive imaging is emerging as a reliable high-resolution technique. With the prospect of very high resolution of molecules, coherent imaging methods are finding applications in materials science and, more slowly, biology.

    In the technical sessions, chairs reported high points including a deep level of international participation, with papers coming from all over the world and in a good mix of industry, academic and government research. As one said, "All the major players are here."

    Photonic Devices and Applications Plenary Session

    In his plenary talk, Materials and Processing Strategies for Unconventional Printed Organic, Organometallic, and Inorganic Electronic Circuitry, Tobin Marks, Northwestern Univ., noted that there are many applications that will be enabled by flexible electronics, such as foldable books and newspapers, ID tags, displays, heads-up and windshield displays. There are a number of areas that require new science and new materials for this to come to fruition. One of these areas is the need for better dielectrics. The gate capacitance is governed by the thickness and dielectric constant of the gate dielectric, and improved capacitance can lead to significantly reduced operating voltage.

    Nanomaterials offer the possibility of designing dielectric materials with the desired properties to meet these needs. The method proposed in this presentation is Self Assembled NanoDielectrics (SAND). Long, flat and stackable molecules are required to allow for self-assembly and for charge transport across the bulk material. The molecules are assembled and then embedded in a polymer to provide a stable material. The keys to the success of this technology are that the material’s design must be supported by accurate modeling of the molecular properties, and the final properties are highly dependent on how the films are processed. This method was used to develop a transparent active matrix OLED array display with drive electronics all on plastic substrate.

    Nanotechnology conference report

    In the keynote presentation New routes to reduced-symmetry plasmonics (paper 7394-48), Naomi J. Halas, Rice Univ., noted that complex nanostructures can have very interesting and useful properties such as polarization orientation dependence, but to understand the properties of these materials it is helpful to start with more elementary structures and map how the properties evolve with the increasing complexity. Elementary nanostructures, such as spheres, rods, prisms and nanocups, consist of structures with a single surface. These structures exhibit a single-plasmon mode that depends on the size and shape of the structure.

    The next higher level structures are called complex structures and these consist of adjacent pairs and two- surface structures, such as rings and symmetrically placed pairs of assemblies. To reach the highest level of complexity you need to break the symmetry of the structure, and these resultant structures are called reduced-symmetry assemblies, such as nonconcentric shells. These structures produce more plasmon modes and provide an extended tunable range of the plasmon resonance frequency. One can follow the development of the complex structure by starting with an elementary structure and modifying it through laser ablation to produce the reduced-symmetry structure. This was done by starting with a sphere and laser ablating a top region to produce a nanocup and then adding a nonconcentric particle into the cup to observe the progressive increase in modes.

    Society honors distinguished members

    Ralph James, Upendra Singh, and Richard Hoover at the Awards Banquet Wednesday evening.
    Innovative and outstanding contributions to optics and photonics were recognized at the annual SPIE awards banquet Wednesday evening, SPIE President Maria Yzuel and SPIE President-Elect Ralph James presented several of the Society's top awards, including the President's Award to Hans Tiziani, Professor Emeritus of the Univ. of Stuttgart, in recognition of distinguished leadership and support of SPIE, and the Directors Award to Bruce Tromberg, Director of the Beckman Laser Institute, Univ. of California, Irvine, in recognition of his outstanding leadership as Editor of the Journal of Biomedical Optics.

    Richard Hoover was presented with the Gold Medal of the Society, SPIE's highest honor, recognizing his outstanding work in s-ray and EUV optics. Other awards presented were:

    Charles Vest: the inaugural Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology

    Neil Gehrels: George W. Goddard Award

    Rajpal Sirohi: Dennis Gabor Award

    James Grote: Technology Achievement Award

    Roland Winston: A. E. Conrady Award

    Fenna Hanes: SPIE Educator Award

    Marc Kuchner: Earl Career Achievement Award.

    Fifteen of a total of 59 new Fellows of the Society were presented at the banquet: David Cardimona, Shaochen Chen, Koen Clays, Kishan Dholakia, Lee Feinberg, Ian Ferguson, Ruyan Guo, Martin McCall, Maria Millan Garcia-Varela, Rajesh Naik, Kazuhiko Oka, Jeffrey Puschell, Osami Sasaki, Franky So, and Gary Sullivan. New Fellows are presented at several SPIE events throughout the year, at their choosing.

    In the banquet keynote talk, Vest, President of the National Academy of Engineering, talked about the "Grand Challenges" identified by an expert committee commissioned by the Academy. The increasingly close connections between engineering and science will contribute to solutions to the challenges, he said, and innovations aimed at rebuilding the economy, disruptive technologies, globalization, and changes in venture capital practices will have big impacts.

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    Thursday, 6 August

    SPIE Optics+Photonics attendance strong

    SPIE Optics+Photonics returns to San Diego 1-5 August 2010. Plan now to present your research, and to come hear exciting new developments in the technologies that are changing how we live.
    Attendance was up, albeit slightly, over last year, with the total attendance number as the event closed at 4,736. Exhibition walk-in visitors were up as well, and company representatives had good reports about the quality of traffic.

    In the words of Dan Ford, Southwest Sales Manager of Ophir-Spiricon, "The quality of leads at Optics + Photonics rocked!"

    Michael Dorin, Director of Sales and Marketing for Scientific Solutions, said, "Despite the economy, this was the best incarnation of SPIE Optics + Photonics in which we've exhibited to date. I've exceeded the number of leads I’ve ever had—and I'm just a table-top exhibitor."

    In his keynote presentation titled Plasmonics: a focus on light concentration (paper 7394-64), Mark L. Brongersma, Stanford Univ., said that diffraction limits the smallest focused spot achievable with standard optics; however, nanostructures can produce smaller concentrated spots of light through interaction with the surface plasmons of the structure. A metal nanosphere will focus light on the back side of the sphere, from the illumination, into a spot much smaller than the diffraction limit. However, this energy either is quickly radiated away or ends up as heat in the metal particle. This paper explores how to utilize these small focused spots to improve the performance of a number of optical applications; such as, nonlinear optics, unique sources, faster and low noise detectors, photovoltaics and high spatial resolution imaging and spectroscopy. Several of these applications employ plasmonic waveguides consisting of two metal strips separated by a thin dielectric material. The thickness of the dielectric is on the order of 30 nm, much smaller than the wavelength of the resonant light, but the light propagates down this waveguide for 10s of microns. The goal of this research is to use these waveguides to produce novel optical circuits that can be used in the applications mentioned above.

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