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SPIE Optical Metrology 2017 news and photos

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SPIE Optical Metrology

SPIE Optical Metrology: in the conference rooms

Presentations included reports on the latest research in optical measurement systems, modeling, videometrics, machine vision, and optical methods for inspection, characterization, and imaging of biomaterials. Wolfgang Osten served as symposium chair.


Putting a spin on photons: Jörg Wachtrup plenary talk

Efficient matter-photon interfaces are key ingredients of quantum technology, noted Jörg Wachtrup, head of the 3rd Institute of Physics at the University of Stuttgart, in his Laser World of Photonics Congress-wide plenary talk on Monday morning. While quantum communication relies on photo storage and processing, spin photon interfaces can also increase the sensitivity of quantum sensors, Wachtrup said.

The talk began a week of intriguing insights and updates on important research from around the world.


History of industrial apps for optical metrology

John Bruning

John Bruning

In the opening talk Monday morning in the Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection conference, John Bruning (Corning Tropel, retired) provided a historical perspective of the use of optical metrology for industrial applications focusing on the impact of laser technologies in driving advances in the field (10329-1).development of a critical component such as the laser can provide in moving the field forward.

In the 1960s, the laser was a research tool, and industrial optical metrologists relied upon test-glasses for verification. This picture changed with the development of reliable He-Ne lasers providing high contrast fringe patterns, and this capability drove the use of phase measurement interferometry in characterizing optical components.

Additional schemes such as grazing incidence interferometry advanced the field into new application spaces in semiconductor and LCD manufacturing.

Today, the wide variety and tunability of laser sources provides pathways for refining existing uses and developing new applications.  Bruning's talk provided good historical context for the field of industrial interferometry and highlighted the importance that the development of a critical component such as the laser can provide in moving the field forward.


Learning tomography for imaging cells

In a keynote presentation Monday morning for the Optical Methods for Inspection, Characterization and Imaging of Biomaterials conference (10333-5), Demetri Psaltis (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) described the use of a new tomography technique, learning tomography, for the imaging of cell clusters and tissues — a powerful new method for image reconstruction in dense, strongly scattering media. The technique uses a beam propagation technique to account for multiple scattering events within the sample and, as such, improves upon conventional linear approximation methods.

Psaltis presented experimental results demonstrating that learning tomography compares favorably to performance achieved with the traditional Born and Rytkov approximations.


High-radiance singlemode output

Patrick Uebel of Phillip Russell's lab at Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light reported Monday afternoon on developments involving hollow-core photonic crystal fibers (HC-PCF) resulting in the generation of high-radiance single-mode output in the deep ultraviolet (DUV) through the near infrared (NIR) range of the spectrum. He spoke in the conference on Modeling Aspects in Optical Metrology (10330-5).

Placing the HC-PCF in a gas environment and pumping the fiber with a femtosecond laser source produces spectral output superior to what can be achieved with traditional discharge and plasma lamp sources. The use of different gases such as argon and krypton allows for output across the DUV through NIR spectral range. The result is a light source suitable for use in semiconductor wafer metrology and wafer inspection applications.


Safe autonomous navigation of drones, robots

Max Ruffo

Max Ruffo

The safe autonomous navigation of drones and fast-moving robots is the mission of Terrabee, a company evolved from work done at CERN, explained Max Ruffo in his presentation Tuesday morning describing a promising technology which has emerged from questioning the standard paradigm in the field (10332-14). Ruffo spoke in the conference on Videometrics and Range Imaging.

The company's technology looks to provide the accurate positioning, robust anti-collision performance, and intelligent autonomous positioning required - and to do so utilizing a different paradigm than that typically employed in the field.

By sampling fewer points than what is conventionally done in such cases but doing so at higher refresh rates, the technology, which uses nonrotating LiDAR sensors, is capable of delivering realtime collision avoidance and navigation.


Overcoming limitations with interference microscopy

The field of interference microscopy continues to develop and adapt to address new challenges. In a keynote talk, Gabriel Popescu of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign described advancements in his lab to overcome limitations presented by photobleaching and phototoxicity in conventional fluorescence imaging (10333-23). He spoke Tuesday morning in the conference on Optical Methods for Inspection, Characterization, and Imaging of Biomaterials.

The report demonstrated that white-light microscopy can offer high phase sensitivity and that adaptations to conventional imaging methods can provide improved imaging conditions for both thin and thick samples.

Popescu described a label-free spatial light interference microscopy arrangement which extends traditional phase contrast microscopy and enables dynamic studies of microtubules in gliding assays. These results demonstrated that microtubules decelerate over the 20-minute sampling period.

Popescu also described label-free imaging of thick samples which his group has accomplished by extending differential interference contrast microscopy through the use of a gradient analysis approach deemed "gradient light interference microscopy." The technique was applied to image cow embryos with high resolution.

A recent development in the lab has been the application of a Hilbert transform scheme to eliminate halo effects in images.


Aydogan Ozcan in ECBO plenary session

Aydogan Ozcan (above) and Ed Boyden presented plenary talks at ECBO.

New applications of light for healthcare: Ed Boyden and Aydogan Ozcan plenary talks

Ed Boyden of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Aydogan Ozcan of the University of California, Los Angeles, spoke before a packed room Tuesday afternoon on new tools for healthcare, in two plenary talks for the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics, co-sponsored by SPIE and OSA.

Boyden, professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at the MIT Media Lab and the MIT McGovern Institute, covered tools for seeing and controlling biological systems utilizing expansion microscopy.

Essentially a new way of imaging at the nanoscale, expansion microscopy uses of polymers to pull molecules apart, creating polymeric threads that can more easily be seen at the nanoscale, thus creating transparent and enhanced images. This technique was published just two years ago by Boyden's group at MIT.

Ozcan, Chancellor's Professor, head of the Bio- and Nano-Photonics Laboratory, and Associate Director of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA and an HHMI Professor with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, covered computational microscopy, sensing, and diagnostics - with an emphasis on democratizing powerful tools accessible to everyone with a smartphone. His aim is to fully employ the technologies that make up the smartphone, as a platform for delivering telemedicine. The result is an efficient diagnostic tool that is cost-effective and surprisingly robust in its capabilities, particularly for global health applications.

Because he uses existing platforms such as the smartphone, improvements in cell phone imaging technologies continually push the boundaries of what can be achieved using the integrated tools that incorporate machine learning.

Ozcan's groups are also working on diagnosing anti-microbial resistance, and monitoring air quality and other environmental markers.


Photoacoustic spectroscopy: promising alternative to FTIR

The use of photoacoustic spectroscopy in standoff detection for security and defense applications was described Tuesday afternoon by Huan Liu of the Nanyang Technological University (10329-37), in the conference on Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection.

Tradtionally, photoacoustic imaging has been limited to laboratory applications due to sample preparation and measurement limitations. However, the use of a quantum cascade laser (QCL) excitation source coupled with a laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV) detection method provides the opportunity to utilize the technique in open environments.

Results presented showed that in the mid-IR wavelength range provided by the QCL output the LDV method resulted in a spectral output that compared well with that produced by the traditional FTIR method used for this application.

High sensitivity and use of lasers outside the visible range make this technique a promising alternative to these traditional methods.


Controlling the wavefront with metasurface diffractive optics: Federico Capasso plenary talk

Bernard Kress, Federico Capasso, Jim Oschmann at SPIE plenary session

From left, SPIE Digital Optical Technologies chair
Bernard Kress of Microsoft, plenary speaker
Federico Capasso of Harvard University, and SPIE
Vice President Jim Oschmann of Ball Aerospace

Metasurfaces based on subwavelength patterning have major potential for arbitrary control of the wavefront of light by achieving local control of the phase, amplitude, and polarization, thereby allowing greater functionality and more compact devices, said SPIE plenary speaker Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at Harvard University.

In his fascinating talk Wednesday morning, Capasso described high-performance metalenses for the visible, achromatic lenses, axicons, vortex plates, holograms, ultracompact spectrometers, and polarimeters, and discussed the potential of this technology for a wide range of applications.

Metasurfaces enable the generation of wavefronts with arbitrary phase profiles, a property which be utilized to construct a number of interesting optical components.

By varying the polarization of the incident light, it is also possible to program multiple functions into a single metasurface.

Capasso reviewed a number of results from his laboratory. Planar lenses demonstrating diffraction-limited focusing and subwavelength resolution imaging were described as was a scheme for coma correction using doublet metalenses with a Schmidt corrector plate.

The multifunctionality of metasurface structures was stressed and demonstrated through multispectral chiral imaging and meta-spectrometer examples.

Capasso shared some of the latest results from his lab including an immersion lens with NA 1.1 and tunable lenses using dielectric elastomers, showing that metasurfaces are not only interesting for their properties and behavior but can also be utilized to design useful and unique optical components in a manufacturable and practical fashion.

There can be little doubt, as Capasso implied, that such components will find their way into optical systems in the near future.


Multimodal imaging and cultural heritage

John Delaney, Optics for Arts, Architecture, Archaeology

John Delaney
Marta Castillejo, Optics for Arts, Architecture, Archaeology

Session chair
Marta Castillejo, CSIC

John Delaney of the U.S. National Gallery of Art described the use of a multimodal imaging approach to study works of art, in the opening talk Wednesday morning for the conference on Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology (10331-1). Delaney demonstrated the value of using photonics characterization techniques for cultural heritage studies.

Combining reflective imaging spectroscopy, fluorescence imaging spectroscopy, and x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy enables data capture across a wide spectral range and allows for both molecular and elemental composition studies. Delaney described research employing these methods along with a specially designed easel capable of moving samples with 20 micron positioning accuracy over a 1.5 meter square surface.

The multimodal approach was applied to study manuscripts, Old Master, and modern paintings and provided insight not only into the pigments used but also the processes utilized by artists to create their works.


Hybrid nanoparticles for cancer studies and tumor treatment

Jesús de la Fuente of the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Aragon described the design of hybrid nanoparticles for use in cancer studies, in a talk Wednesday morning in the conference on Optical Methods for Inpsection, Characterization, and Imaging of Biomaterials (10333-42). The work provides insight into the value of nanoparticles and nanoparticle engineering in treating disease.

Gold nanoparticles are a popular choice for biological studies due to their low toxicity but they absorb at 515-530 nm - problematic because tissue, and in particular, water within tissue, absorbs at this wavelength.

By devising a process to manufacture triangular gold nanoparticles, de la Fuente's team was able to move the nanoparticle absorption window to the 700-1100 nm range thereby allowing the nanoparticles to absorb laser radiation and release it as heat to the surrounding material.

This allows for use of the nanoparticles to both image and treat cancer tumors as demonstrated in work on animal models.


Advancing surface metrology

Paul Montgomery, Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection

Paul Montgomery

Microsphere-assisted microscopy has been shown to improve lateral imaging resolution. Paul Montgomery of the University of Strasbourg described in an invited talk Wednesday morning in the conference on Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection the use of glass microspheres in combination with a Leitz-Linnik interference microscope (10329-43). The aim is to improve lateral resolution while obtaining nanometer level axial sensitivity.

Using 24 nm microspheres and a square profile (RS-N) reference grating as a sample, results presented showed the ability to resolve to 300 nm pitch structures indicative of a NA 1.92 system. A 3.2-fold improvement in lateral resolution was demonstrated over the cases where microspheres were not used and a magnification of 4.2 was achieved. The results demonstrate the feasibility of using microspheres with interference microscopy and the potential of this technique for advancing surface metrology.


Terahertz for nondestructive 3D internal reconstruction of centuries-old stucco

The use of terahertz (THz) imaging for cultural heritage studies was the topic of a presentation given by David Giovannacci of Laboratoire de Recherche des Monuments Historiques Thursday morning, in the conference on Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology (10331-19).

Giovannacci reported on his team’s work in studying a 15th-century stucco relief, rendering 3D internal reconstruction via the use of THz time-domain imaging.

The long wavelength of THz radiation provides a nondestructive probe with good penetration depths and a broad spectral range. The team’s work showed that THz time domain spectroscopic imaging is able to detect fine relief in surfaces and to locate internal layers and boundaries, demonstrating the potential of THz radiation as a tool for cultural heritage studies.


Laser technology to meet the challenge of mapping cave paintings

Painted caves provide unique challenges for cultural heritage researchers and preservationists. Open to the environment and subject to high humidity and CO2 levels that vary due to vegetation levels, they can be found in remote locations off the power grid. Hence, analysis tools must be portable, energy independent, and resistant to water and condensation.

Stephanie Touron of the Laboratoire de Reserche des Monuments Historiques described Thursday morning, in the conference on Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology (10331-21) the potential of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for use in such an environment.

LIBS instrumentation provides a fast, portable tool capable of providing depth profile analysis and element mapping. Touron demonstrated that LIBS can detect pigments such as black manganese and red ochre under calcite deposits and is promising for detection of carbon black.

While the method’s overall use may be limited to selected cases, as it does ablate the sample, the research demonstrated the potential value of adapting laboratory-based tools for use in the field for cultural heritage studies.


Aligning cameras for driver-assistance systems

Raziyeh Arimian-Farsani, Automated Visual Inspection and Machine Vision

Raziyeh Arimian-Farsani

Camera modules used in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) utilize sensors with focusing ranges on the order of micrometers and are therefore sensitive to mechanical adjustment. This invites the question of how best to align and test the cameras in the production line.

Raziyeh Amirian-Farsani of Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen and Robert Bosch GmbH on Thursday morning in the conference on Automated Visual Inspection and Machine Vision described an approach which improves upon the current modulation transfer function measurement method (ISO 12233) on slanted-edge targets (10334-3).

The method replaces the line-by-line shift scheme with a single 3D rotation and representation with separate measurements of pixel classes.

Results demonstrated the method delivered higher accuracy and improved repeatability over traditional methods. As such, the work provides a path to an improved and more robust method for ensuring camera alignment in a production environment and performance in the field.


welcome reception

Making connections, gaining knowledge

Networking events and opportunities for gaining knowledge at SPIE activities spanned the week in Munich; above, attendees enjoy the SPIE welcome reception.


Leadership skills for real life: Student Chapter workshop

Student Workshop

Approximately 36 SPIE Student Chapter leaders from around the world gathered on Saturday for a full day of leadership training, in advance of SPIE conferences in conjunction with the Laser World of Photonics Congress.

The Student Chapter Leadership Workshop, moderated by Jean-luc Doumont, Principiae, (below right) focused on the qualities of good leaders and how to apply those in leading their chapters.

Students had the opportunity to problem-solve real-life chapter problems and network with other students from 16 countries and 21 different chapters.

student leadership workshop moderator Jean-luc Doumont


Let's do lunch: students and Fellows connect

student and Fellows luncheon scholarship winners, student and Fellows luncheon

It was a great afternoon for networking in Munich. Students and SPIE Fellows had the opportunity to enjoy lunch together Monday while exchanging career stories at the Fairgrounds Restaurant Seeblick. Fellows offered career advice and gave insight into various optics and photonics career paths, while students shared personal experiences and grew their professional networks.

Two SPIE scholarship recipients, (from left, in photo at right above) Jordi Morales-Dalmau of ICFO — Institut de Ciències Fotòniques and Bobin Varghese of Lab Hubert Curien, CNRS, Université de Lyon, were recognized by SPIE Vice President  Jim Oschmann of Ball Aerospace at the luncheon.


Optical Metrology Welcome Reception

For opening night: beer and pretzels — and networking!

Conference attendees and guests gathered in the congress center Monday evening to enjoy a light meal and beverages, and the opportunity to unwind and network after a day of attending presentations.

SPIE Optical Metrology Welcome Reception SPIE Optical Metrology Welcome Reception
SPIE Optical Metrology Welcome Reception SPIE reception


SPIE Optical Metrology and Digital Optical Technologies poster session

Connecting in the poster halls

The week’s three poster sessions for SPIE Optical Metrology and SPIE Digital Optical Technologies were topicallly aligned with conferences, covering areas such as videometrics, machine vision, and optics for arts, architecture, and archaeology.


Top papers recognized with SPIE awards at ECBO

Songfeng Han, ECBO 2017 Best Student Paper Award

Songfeng Han
Richard Haindl, ECBO 2017 Best Student Paper Award

Richard Haindl

SPIE Best Student Paper awards were presented on Tuesday to ECBO authors Songfeng Han of the University of Rochester and Richard Haindl of the Medical University of Vienna.

Han’s paper was “Diffuse correlation tomography reveals spatial and temporal difference in blood flow change among murine femorial grafts.”

Haindl won for “Dual modality optical coherence and photoacoustic microscopy with an akinetic acoustic sensor for direct reflection mode imaging.”


Magnus Bengtsson, Hagar Edelstain, and Gary Hayes

Career questions: should I stay or should I go?

Academia or industry? Stay in my current job, or make a career transition?

A Career Choices panel discussion on Wednesday afternoon addressed some of the many critical career choices and decisions that face new graduates in optics and photonics, and explored some potential career pathways in photonics.

Panelists offering solid advice in a wide-ranging discussion on how to translate knowledge, abilities, and interests into meaningful work were (from left), Magnus Bengtsson, Vice President Strategic Marketing, Coherent; Hagar Edelstain, Optical Engineer, HoloLens Microsoft; and Gary Hayes, CEO/General Manager, Laser Components USA.


SPIE welcome reception

Welcome, in Munich style

SPIE attendees and guests enjoyed an evening reception at the Ratskeller am Marienplatz Wednesday evening near the close of the event week.

SPIE welcome reception SPIE welcome reception
SPIE welcome reception


News coverage

Capasso gives illuminating metasurface plenary, (28 June 2017)

Laser World of Photonics preview: exciting, Laser Focus World (11 June 2017)


Press release

New conference on Digital Technologies joins SPIE Optical Metrology in Munich (7 June 2017)


All photos © SPIE unless otherwise noted.

SPIE Optical Metrology

25 – 29 June 2017
Munich, Germany

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