• About the Society
  • Community Support
  • Advocacy
  • Get Involved
  • International Day of Light
  • Awards Programs
  • Press Room
  • Media Contacts
    Press Registration
    SPIE Logos and Name
  • Jobs at SPIE
  • Online Donation
Print PageEmail Page

SPIE Photonics West is set to grow -- again -- in 2012

03 October 2011

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- New biomedical optics treatments for cancer and other diseases and for restoring sight, the latest green photonics enabling sustainable energy solutions, and laser innovations for manufacturing, communications, and much more are on the program at SPIE Photonics West next January in San Francisco, California.

Photonics West -- already the world's largest international conference and exhibition on industrial and medical applications of optics, lasers, and photonics -- will be larger than ever in 2012, with more papers and expanded exhibition space. Dates are 21-26 January at the Moscone Center.

More than 19,000 attendees are expected for technical sessions, industry panels, two exhibitions, and other events covering advances in medical therapeutics and diagnostics, semiconductor, gas, fiber, and diode lasers, micro/nanofabrication, MEMS, optoelectronic materials and devices, displays, communications, and related topics.

Must-attend exhibitions

The Photonics West exhibition, with more than 1,150 exhibiting companies, has become the industry's must-attend event. Features include new product announcements, international pavilions from several countries, booths from photonics clusters from four U.S. states, product demonstrations, and the SPIE Job Fair.

More than 195 exhibiting companies are expected for the BiOS Expo on the opening weekend. Product demonstrations and new product announcemetns are scheduled both days.

Paper submissions are up approximately 6% over 2011, with a total of 4,220 papers scheduled in the event's four symposia:

  • Biomedical Optics (BiOS), with 1,795 papers
  • Lasers (LASE), with 710 papers
  • MOEM/MEMS, with 220 papers
  • Optoelectronics (OPTO), with 1,495 papers.

Accepted papers will be published in the SPIE Digital Library as soon as approved after the meeting, and in print volumes and digital collections.


Featured sessions will begin with the popular BiOS Hot Topics session facilitated by Sergio Fantini (Tufts Univ.) on Saturday night. Speakers and topics include:

  • Daniel Palanker (Stanford Univ.), " Photovoltaic retinal prosthesis for restoring sight to the blind"
  • Brian Wong (Beckman Laser Institute, Univ. of California, Irvine), "Emerging applications for optical coherence tomography in the head, neck, and upper airway"
  • Adam Wax (Duke Univ.), "Early cancer detection with coherence imaging"
  • Xingde Li (Johns Hopkins Univ.), "Scanning fiber optic nonlinear endomicroscopy"
  • Stephen Boppart (Univ. of Illinois/Urbana Champaign), "Coherence imaging of cancer with novel optical sources"
  • Vasilis Ntziachristos (Technical Univ. Munich), "Advances in fluorescence and opto-acoustic imaging"
  • Elizabeth Hillman (Columbia Univ.), "In-vivo microscopy: a new window on the brain"
  • Seok Hyun Yun (Harvard Univ. and Massachusetts General Hospital), "Bio laser."

W. E. Moerner (Stanford Univ.), plenary speaker in the Nano/Biophotonics track, will discuss "Single-molecule active control microscopy for nanoscale 3D cell images."

A new conference has been added this year on Optical Techniques in Pulmonary Medicine, and sessions on optogenetics have been added to conferences on Photons and Neurons and on Optical Biopsy.

Program tracks are on photonic therapeutics and diagnostics; clinical technologies and systems; tissue optics, laser-tissue interaction, and tissue engineering; biomedical spectroscopy, microscopy, and imaging; and nano/biophotonics.

James Fujimoto (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and R. Rox Anderson (Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard School of Medicine) cochair the BiOS symposium.


LASE, showcasing the latest fundamental and applied research on new laser sources and applications, is cochaired by Friedhelm Dorsch (TRUMPF) and Alberto Piqué (U.S. Naval Research Lab). Topics cover basic laser device and materials research, semiconductor lasers and LEDs, device and system engineering for emerging nanotechnologies, microelectronic and photonic manufacturing, and free-space communications.

Highlights will include laser conferences on fiber, solid state, disk, and ultrafast lasers plus the world's largest concentration of semiconductor laser/LED content at one event. Applications include lasers for free-space communications, industrial, and biomedical use.

A new conference this year is on High-Power Laser Materials Processing: Lasers, Beam Delivery, Diganostics, and Applications.

LASE plenary speakers are:

  • Federico Capasso (Harvard Univ.), "Plasmonics for beam shaping and wavefront engineering"
  • Ed Moses (Lawrence Livermore National Lab), "The National Ignition Facility and progress towards inertial fusion ignition"
  • Peter Leibinger (TRUMPF), "Successful technology approach for lasers in manufacturing."


MOEMS/MEMS  presents the latest research in micro- and nanofabricated electromechanical and optical components for mass-produced miniaturized products and systems, which range from automated body monitors to car safety devices to laptop computer parts. Conference topics will include micro- and nano-optics, microfabrication, microfluidics, BioMEMS, medical microsystems, displays and imaging, and adaptive optics.

Harald Schenk (Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems) and David Dickensheets (Montana State Univ.) are symposium cochairs.

MOEMS/MEMS plenary speakers are:

  • Michael Roukes (Caltech), "Large-scale integration of nanosystems"
  • Samuel Schaevitz (Lilliputian Systems), "Powering the wireless world with MEMS"
  • Jonathan Cooper (Univ. of Glasgow), "New optical, acoustic, and electrical technologies for developing real-world diagnostics."


Chaired by Klaus P. Streubel (OSRAM), OPTO will address topics including optical interactions, optoelectronic materials, semiconductor lasers and LEDs, solid-state lighting, photonic integration, displays and holography, nanotechnology in photonics, photonics packaging, and optical communications, and their integration for a variety of commercial applications. Many of today's green technologies, along with enhanced display screens, faster communication, and more efficient optical storage devices, sprang from ideas presented at OPTO conferences.

New conferences this year are on:

  • Physics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices
  • High Contrast Metastructures.

OPTO plenary speakers will include:

  • Erez Hasman (Technion-Israel Institute of Technology), "Spinoptics: spin degeneracy removal in nanostructures"
  • Connie Chang-Hasnain (Univ. of California, Berkeley), "High-contrast metastructure for integrated optics."
  • David Awschalom (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara), Engaging spins in semiconductors for quantum information processing."

Green Photonics

A Green Photonics virtual symposium will highlight papers from all areas of Photonics West in technologies applied in energy sources, energy efficiencies, sustainability, conservation, and other green components. Track topics include solid-state lighting and displays; laser-assisted manufacturing and micro/nano fabrication; communications; and renewable energy generation through photovoltaics. Awards will be presented for the best papers in each of these areas.

Stephen Eglash (Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford Univ.) chairs the symposium.

The technical program includes more than 60 technical short courses and professional development workshops. Topics span the four major technical areas at Photonics West as well as courses on fundamental optics, optical engineering, and manufacturing.

Focus on industry

Several panel discussions and workshops on industry concerns are among activities focused on the business side of photonics. Panel topics are:

  • Recent changes in U.S. patent law
  • Silicon photonics and photonic integrated circuits
  • Diagnostic opportunities for nonlinear optical microscopy
  • Executive perspectives on the world of optics and photonics
  • Photonics for energy and the environment: an industry perspective
  • Crosslight software tutorial on optoelectronic device simulation.

The Entrepreneurship Start-up Challenge will return to Photonics West with Biophotonics and Optoelectronics divisions, giving young researchers an opportunity to pitch their products or small-business startup ideas to a panel of experts and entrepreneurs. Jenoptik is joining SPIE in sponsoring this year's challenge.

The top presenters and their ideas will be sponsored to attend the highly rated Entrepreneurship Academy at the University of California, Davis. The academy coaches participants in constructing business cases, analyzing markets, and developing networks of connections to help drive new ventures.

The 2011-12 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation will be presented by SPIE and Photonics Media at a gala banquet during SPIE Photonics West. The international competition recognizes cutting-edge products that break conventional ideas, solve problems, and improve life through photonics.

Awards will be made in 10 categories:

  • Defense and Security
  • Detectors, Sensing, Imaging, and Cameras
  • Green Photonics/Sustainable Energy
  • Industrial Lasers
  • Information and Communication
  • Life Sciences and Biophotonics
  • Optics and Optical Components
  • Other Light Sources
  • Scientific Lasers
  • Test, Measurement, Metrology.

For more on SPIE Photonics West, visit SPIE.org/photonics-west.xml.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 180,000 constituents from 168 countries, the Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. SPIE provided over $2.3 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2010.



Web version of this release: SPIE.org/x57476.xml

Photonics West 2012 event website: SPIE.org/photonics-west.xml

Photonics West 2012 press kit: SPIE.org/x57345.xml


Media Contact:

Amy Nelson
Public Relations Manager
+1 360 685 5458