The Moscone Center
    San Francisco, California, United States
    28 January - 2 February 2017
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    SPIE Photonics West Onsite News

    On this page:

       Thursday 28 January
       Wednesday 27 January
       Tuesday 26 January
       Monday 25 January
       Sunday 24 January
       Saturday 23 January

    The Photo Gallery highlights technical events, receptions, and more.

    The Exhibition Photo Gallery provides extensive coverage of the floor.

    Thursday 28 January 2010

     Monday's All-Symposium Welcome Reception

    A Banner Year with Final Attendance Topping 18,000
    As lasers old and new were packed away, nearly 200 new photonics product launches were completed, and the last round of business cards were exchanged, SPIE Photonics West closed Thursday afternoon after its San Francisco debut. The final attendance count was 18,327, a record for the event.

    Exhibition traffic was strong for much of the day, with the right companies and visitors in the halls: “This exhibition is out of this world!” in the words of Peter Moulton of Q-Peak. The move to The Moscone Center had enabled more companies to exhibit than in the past. Both the Photonics West exhibition, with 1,147 companies, and the BiOS exhibition, with 178, were larger than ever this year.
     The Exhibitor Breakfast

    Exhibitors started the final day with a breakfast sponsored by the SPIE Professional, the Society’s quarterly member magazine, and the SPIE Newsroom. SPIE President Ralph James thanked exhibiting company representatives for their participation at Photonics West, and praised their innovation. Laser expert Jeff Hecht spoke on the near-term outlook for and impacts of laser technology.

    The laser was celebrated on its golden anniversary throughout the week with an extensive display of vintage laser gear, tribute videos and photographs, and numerous events including an all-out party at the "Cirque du Lasaire" welcome reception.

    A group of about 120 Photonics West attendees toured the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Thursday afternoon. The NIF is the world's largest laser system, with 192 laser beams housed in a 10-story building. Dedicated in May 2009, the NIF facility achieved a power of 1.1 joules during experiments conducted in September. Experiments aimed at achieving ignition -- when the fusion target produces more energy than the laser energy required to initiate the reaction -- are expected to begin later this year. The energy gain is envisioned as a future energy source.

    Wednesday 27 January 2010


    Exhibition Traffic Up over Last Year
    The upward trend in exhibition traffic continued on Wednesday, with more exhibit visitors on the show floor than last year.

    The final tally for SPIE Photonics West is expected to be approximately 2.5% higher than last year, with increases in both exhibition and technical attendees.

    Happy exhibitors included Ömür Sezerman of OZ Optics, who offered this comment: “Photonics West is the best show in the world when it comes to photonics.”

    Prism Awards Honor Innovation

    Nine companies were honored for innovation at the Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation banquet at the Hilton Hotel. Among the presenters was Kathleen Maiman, widow of Theodore Maiman, who demonstrated the laser for the first time. The awards, sponsored by SPIE and Laurin Publishing, went to:

    • National Semiconductor, for Sustainable/Green Technologies
    • LightLab, for Life Sciences
    • Linden Photonics, for Photonics Processes
    • InfraTec InfraRed, for Detectors, Sensing & Imaging
    • Agilent Technologies and Leighton Electronics (tie), for Analytical, Test & Measurement
    • Hamamatsu, for Other Light Sources
    • IRphotonics, for Photonics Systems
    • Swamp Optics, for Optics
    • Laser Operations, for Lasers

    Industry Panels Cover Lasers and More

     The World of Optics panel
    Afternoon industry panels presented experts discussing prospects for optics and photonics, and for the laser. The “World of Optics and Photonics” executive panel was moderated by Tom Hausken of Strategies Unlimited. Panel members were Kenneth Kaufmann of Hamamatsu, Timothy Morris of TRUMPF, Stuart Schoenmann of CVI Melles Griot, Robert Edmund of Edmund Optics, Mark Sobey of Coherent and Dennis Werth of Newport.

    In the laser session -- part of the SPIE Advancing the Laser 50th anniversary tribute -- panelists included Jackie Gish from Northrop Grumman, Allan Ashmead of Coherent, James Kafka of Newport Spectra-Physics, and Will Grossman of JDSU-Lasers; moderator was Andrew Brown of SPIE. Panelists pointed to eye surgery, entertainment, grocery store barcodes, and rapid prototyping as examples of how lasers have become part of our everyday lives.

    Gish described the status of laser programs used for defense purposes and showed a video of laser systems disabling or blowing up missiles and artillery rockets. "Lasers offer the promise of being able to defeat these incoming weapons without having them impact where they were intended to impact," she said.

    Ashmead said laser technologies driving future markets are OPSL, CO2, fiber, diodes, and OPSS.

    Nobel Laureate Charles Townes at SPIE Photonics West

     Nobel Laureate Charles Townes joins LASE Best Student Paper Awards recipients

     See video of Charles Townes presenting awards, and his thoughts on being a successful innovator

    Tuesday 26 January 2010

    OPTO Plenaries Showcase Latest Technology

     Shuji Nakamura delivers his OPTO plenary presentation. More photos are available in the Photo Gallery.
    LED pioneer Shuji Nakamura gave a plenary talk to a packed hall and outlined recent developments in blue and green laser diodes by his research group at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a nearby startup, Kaai.

    He explained a new packaging technology that has made transparent LEDs possible, and introduced cone-shaped surface LEDs, which have resulted in four times greater efficiency than typical designs. Nakamura said that Kaai's first products have been violet, blue, and green laser diodes. For emphasis he used a blue laser pointer and even showed a green one -- not too bright, but he said "after achieving lasing, it's easy to increase power."

    Posters, Exhibition, and Special Events

     The MOEMS-MEMS Poster Session
    Well-attended poster sessions, a busy exhibition, and the Laser Display were just some of the highlights of SPIE Photonics West on Tuesday. Exhibitors were happy with the large, steady crowds they saw all day in the two Photonics West exhibition halls, where nearly 200 new products are being launched this week. Product demos are running throughout the show, with 20 on Tuesday, and early 30 more scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

    A display of approximately 100 lasers and related devices and photos of luminaries from the past five decades evoked memories and stories from visitors to the Advancing the Laser + LaserFest anniversary booth (North 4000). Laser experts Jeff Hecht and Bob Hess are at the booth during the day to answer questions about the equipment and talk about the development of this important technology. Next door, at the American Physical Society LaserFest booth, comic book superhero "Spectra" is making afternoon appearance. Even more laser fun is the next booth over, with the World Khet tournament set for Wednesday afternoon.

    Visit the Photo Gallery for coverage of Tuesday's Member Reception, OPTO Plenary Session, Student Lunch with the Experts/Newport Grant Awards, and more.

    Monday 25 January 2010

    MOEMS-MEMS Plenaries Draw Large Crowds

     Thomas Bifano delivers his "Shaping Light: MOEMS Deformable Mirrors for Microscopes and Telescopes" plenary presentation
    MOEMS-MEMS Symposium Cochair Harald Schenk introduced an impressive trio of plenary talks opening the symposium on Monday morning. Yogesh Gianchandani, Univ. of Michigan and NSF, described critical research directions for application of microtechnologies in healthcare, infrastructure, homeland security, energy, and power. Wilfried Mokwa, RWTH Aachen Univ., gave an update on his lab’s research in MEMS technologies for artificial retinas and their potential for restoring sight. Thomas Bifano, Boston Univ., described notable advances in resolution and contrast in microscopes and telescopes based on MEMS-DM research that promise more economy and capability than current technology.

    Ocean Optics Young Investigator Award

     From left, Marek Osiński, Rob Randelman, and Cheng-An Lin
    This year’s Ocean Optics Young Investigator Award was presented to Cheng-An Lin by Marek Osiński, chair of Colloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications (Conf. 7575), and Rob Randelman, President of Ocean Optics. The award includes a cash prize for the winner and a company grant for his advisor at Chung Yuan Christian Univ.

    SPIE Announces 62 Fellows

     From left, new SPIE Fellow Chantal Andraud, SPIE President Ralph James, and SPIE President Elect Katarina Svanberg
    SPIE recognized the first group of the 62 new Fellows named this year, with SPIE President Ralph James and Vice President Katarina Svanberg presenting the awards. Luncheon speaker Jeff Hecht detailed the history of laser technology development that led to the demonstration by Theodore Maiman of the first laser in May 1960, a pulsed solid-state ruby device incorporating a photography flashlamp.

    BiOS Poster Session Draws more than 2000

    The BiOS poster session drew a huge, enthusiastic crowd of 2,200 to view a room full of papers with their authors at hand to discuss the work. Returning and first-time visitors both commented on the breadth and depth of the work being presented, and its useful connections for applications developers to the latest research.

    Women in Optics Reception

    SPIE Women in Optics hosted a wine and cheese reception on Monday night.

    The featured speaker was Priscilla Laws from Dickinson College. She presented “Educating Girls and Physics Teachers in Developing Countries - A Key to Sustainability.”

    Laws discussed why support for girls education in countries like Mozambique and the introduction of low cost active learning strategies for physics teachers in the developing world are extremely effective strategies for sustainable development.

    Cirque du Lasaire at the Welcome Reception

     See video of Cirque du Lasaire at the Welcome Reception
    Wow! Amazing! Fantastic! These were just some of the words used to describe "Cirque du Lasaire" at the All-Symposium Welcome Reception.

    Complete with acrobats, a laser light show, the “Laser Magician,” John Latimer, and sumptuous food and beverages, the 2400 attendees were treated to an SPIE reception like no other.

    Sunday 24 January 2010

    Product Highlights from the BiOS Exhibition

     Exhibitors and attendees interact at the BiOS Exhibition.
    Strength in the biomedical segment in face of the current economic downturn was reflected on the floor of the BiOS exhibition, where both new and returning exhibitors reported seeing good traffic and good leads. Exhibitors said they saw a good mix of current customers and new prospects, and deal-making was strong.

    Among several new products being shown were:

    Diode-pumped solid-state lasers at new wavelengths, in the orange and UV ranges as well as dual wavelength lasers sources. The new laser modules come in both free space beam output and fiber coupled.

    A fiber delivery Fourier domain OCT system that is FDA-approved for external use on the skin for preclinical trials on cancer detection.

    An EMCCD detector that operates in either a high sensitive amplified mode or the standard unamplified output mode. In the amplified mode there are a series of output shift registers each providing a small amount of gain. The key to providing uniform gain for each pixel is to control the both the timing and the shape of the clock pulses that trigger the gain stages. The unit has firmware that provides a unique series of clock pulses for each mode of camera use and pixel binning options.

    See more exhibition photos in the Photo Gallery or watch a brief video from the BiOS Exhibition.

    Student Lunch with the Experts
    The BiOS Student Lunch with the Experts kicked off SPIE student events happening all week at Photonics West. The room was full of attendees who took the opportunity to network with SPIE Board Members, Conference Chairs, and Fellows of the Society willing to share their experience and wisdom on career paths in biomedical optics. SPIE President Ralph James presented 21 students with travel grants supported by Newport Spectra-Physics.

    See Lunch with the Experts photos in the Photo Gallery.

     BiOS Lunch with the Experts Attendees

    Technical Conferences Get Under Way
    Several conferences started off Sunday with very full and busy sessions. Among them, the morning session in Practical Holography (Conf. 7619) on holography in video and LCD displays was very well attended. Paper topics covered holographic single image velocimetry and flow visualization for flow cytometry with holographic video microscopy.

     View video of Joseph Izatt discussing the OCT Conference that he cochairs
    Other packed rooms included a standing-room-only session on blood flow measurement and imaging in Dynamics and Fluctuations in Biomedical Photonics (Conf. 7563) and multiple sessions on quantum cascade lasers and applications in Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices (Conf. 7608).

    Among the papers of note was one by Joseph Lakowicz on plasmon controlled fluorescence: applications to sensing and single molecule detection.(7569-01). Exciting plasmon resonances in a metallic particle, by an irradiating laser spot, increases the particle cross-section for interaction with other agents. The increase is many times the physical size of the particle, which is a big advantage in localizing and enhancing rates of single molecule detection, because the interaction takes place before the molecule can decay to an unexcited state thru non-radiative processes. The Plasmon-excited metallic particle interacts through free-space and does not require contact or chemical bonding with the molecule.

    Professional Development Speaker Series

     Thomas Tongue, CEO of Zomega Terahertz Corp., speaks at the Professional Development Speaker Series Sunday afternoon
    Sunday afternoon's Professional Development Speaker Series provided volumes of practical information for its attendees. Thomas Tongue, CEO of Zomega Terahertz Corp., was a featured speaker. His talk, Peaks and Pitfalls of Professional Communication: Tips from a Technical Entrepreneur, came from an entrepreneur's perspective. Tongue covered techniques and tips that can help communicate thoughts, ideas, and enthusiasm to people who will form an integral part of a professional network.

    Saturday 23 January 2010
     The BiOS Exhibition floor received high turnout all day. See more photos in the Photo Gallery.

    First Day Attendance Exceeds Expectations
    The strong Biomedical Optics (BiOS) technical program, popular Hot Topics session, exhibition, and roundtable on standards provided a high-energy launch for the first Photonics West to be held in San Francisco. The number of papers and the number of exhibitors have grown since last year, and chairs reported seeing high-energy sessions with high-quality presentations.

    Laser and optoelectronics conferences begin Sunday, and MOEMS-MEMS conferences on Monday. The three-day Photonics West exhibition starts Tuesday.

    Laser anniversary excitement begins at the front door, with a dynamic laser-light display by Coherent in the entrance to the Moscone North Hall. SPIE is marking the golden anniversary of the invention of the laser this year with activities at events such as Photonics West and special publications, as part of the Society’s Advancing the Laser  tribute. SPIE is also a Founding Partner and Sponsor of LaserFest, a collaborative celebration of the science community providing outreach and educational activities.

    BiOS Hot Topics Draws 900

     Tony Wilson (Oxford Univ.) talked about his group's work applying adaptive optics in microscopy. See more Hot Topics photos in the Photo Gallery.
    Approximately 900 people filled the Hot Topics room to hear the latest updates on breast cancer research, imaging techniques for more accurate and informative diagnostics, transition of OCT (optical computed tomography) to clinical practice, and other important trends. Reginald Birngruber, Medizinsches Laserzentrum Lübeck, was presented with Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in biomedical optics.

    A sampling of Sunday’s conference presentations included:

    Okihiro Nishi (Jinshikai Medical Foundation, Nishi Eye Hospital), the world’s leading medical researcher in the development of the accommodative intraocular lens, gave the keynote talk (7550-100) in the well-attended Ophthalmic Technologies conference on Saturday. In covering new developments and outlining the steps leading up to the current understanding of how the accommodative process works in the eye, Nishi noted that earlier theories implied that the relaxed intraocular lens material (matrix) and surrounding capsule where stretched by the including muscles to provide accommodation. The current theory is that there is a preexisting tension between the matrix material and the capsule that offsets some of the need for muscle activity. This understanding is necessary if the repair of cataract damage is to include some level of improved accommodation. The current surgical technique involves maintaining the existing capsule, filling it with a silicon lens matrix and providing a cover membrane to prevent leakage as well as preserve the capsule shape. This process improves the resultant return of accommodation.

    Optical microcavites offer an extremely sensitive tool for both detecting and identifying single molecules and viruses, according to an invited paper (7553-04) by Frank Vollmer, Harvard Univ., in the conference on Frontiers in Pathogen Detection. He presented results based on using a glass microsphere, on the order of 100 micron diameter, in which the lights is evanescently coupled from a drawn glass fiber. The light is trapped inside the sphere thru total internal reflection and low losses allow for very long transmission paths around the sphere providing a very high Q cavity. A single virus cell on the surface of the sphere interacts with the evanescent light along the surface of the sphere to displace the frequency resonant peak a detectable amount. In addition, the virus position can be tracked as it approaches the sphere giving an estimate of the size of the virus, in this way the virus can be identified. A new discovery in the process of performing this experiment is that the virus molecule is actually trapped in the electric field potential surrounding the sphere and is provided a force from the traveling wave nature of the light that propels the virus around the circumference of the sphere. A complete theoretical explanation of this phenomenon should provide a better measure of the size and therefore identity of the molecule.

    Two talks in the afternoon on Saturday stressed the advantages of multimodal imaging techniques.

    In Dynamics and Fluctuations in Biomedical Photonics, the keynote talk (7563-01) presented by Lihong Wang of Washington University in St. Louis stressed the advantages and capabilities of photoacoustic microscopy. A multimodal microscope that has both optical and photoacoustic imaging capability is providing detail images of vasculature (blood capillaries) inside small animal brains with submicron resolution, imaging thru the skull. This new tool has uncovered new discoveries in the how capillaries repair themselves after (surgical) damage, they not only generate new capillaries, but existing capillaries also split to cover more area.Photoacoustic imaging has the potential to provide consistent imaging over a scale from cellular to small-animal systems that no other single modality can provide. This should lead to much improved understanding of systems biology.

    An invited paper (7557-15) in Multimodal Biomedical Imaging by Brian Pogue of Dartmouth College outlined similarities, differences, and potential gains of combining x-ray and near-IR imaging. X-ray is very high contrast for dense elements, but not very good at imaging soft tissue. Recent developments in dual energy x-ray systems have provided enhancement for imaging soft tissue. Near IR imaging is limited by scattering and water absorption, but its spectroscopic capabilities provide unique imaging tools including fluorescence imaging with and without imaging agents, and Raman spectroscopy. A combined system was built that provides both micro-CT x-ray capability and near-IR fluorescence tomography, and was used to study ability to locate and identify brain tumors in small animals

    A well-attended keynote talk (7571-12) from Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Imaging by Xiaoliang (Sunney) Xie of Harvard Univ. dealt with the understanding we have developed of how a single DNA molecule in a cell can determine what function that cell eventually develops. Tools such as STORM (stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy) and the PALM ( photo-activated localization light microscope) are being used to study statistics of gene expression in e.coli bacteria.(Xie quipped that even after all this research he is not able to understand why his identical twin daughters have different personalities.)