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SPIE Professional January 2009

SPIE Photonics West

The essential photonics event of the year opens 24 January.

The inaugural Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation; the largest optics and photonics exhibition in North America; more than 3000 technical presentations; and numerous special events will bring more than 17,500 of the world’s leading researchers and innovators to Silicon Valley 24-29 January for SPIE Photonics West.

This essential photonics event will see its last run in the San Jose, CA (USA), Convention Center; SPIE Photonics West moves to San Francisco’s Moscone Center in January 2010.

Exhibitors from more than 40 German optics companies networked at SPIE Photonics West 2008. From left to right: Joachim Giesekus, manager of technology consultation at SPECTARIS, Christian Seebode, Germany’s deputy Consul General, and Hans-Jurgen Hartmann, of Kompetenznetze Optische Technologien. Photo by Kathy Sheehan

The highly regarded technical program, featuring presentations from top academic and industry researchers, is divided into four symposia:

Biomedical Optics and Imaging (BiOS)

Laser Devices and Materials (LASE)

Optoelectronic Technologies and Applications (OPTO)

Micro- and Nanofabricated Electromechanical and Optical Components (MOEMS-MEMS)


The synergies among the technical and industry programs as well as the exhibitions are an important value for those who attend.

“This is a great event because it’s a gathering of many new technologies and ideas,” said Petrie Yam, senior product manager at KLA-Tencor. “The exchange in technology discussions really helps to innovate new technologies and that’s what we need with emerging markets. There are a lot of new problems to be solved.”

Indeed, winners of a global competition for the most innovative products and processes that solve many of those problems will be feted at an awards ceremony 28 January at SPIE Photonics West. The first annual Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, sponsored by SPIE and Laurin Publishing, will honor the best innovative products and processes that were brought to market between September 2007 and September 2008.

The list of award winners in categories ranging from lasers to life sciences will be announced at spie.org/spieprofessional and elsewhere on 29 January.

Other industry programs include an optics and photonics cluster summit and four special sessions Tuesday and Wednesday featuring top industry leaders discussing high-impact issues.

Three panels of photonics executives (including Intel Fellow and SPIE member Mario Paniccia, recently named R&D Magazine’s Scientist of the Year) will explore silicon photonics and optical interconnects, applications of high-power solid-state lasers, and general business issues in the world of photonics. An industry perspectives session will cover the hot solar market.

Thirty-six conferences with more than 1500 technical papers are organized into five program tracks at BiOS and includes extensive programs on Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Photons Plus Ultrasound, Optical Tomography, Multiphoton Microscopy, and other topics. More information is available about the Hot Topics session on Saturday night.

A conference on Emerging Applications of Digital Mirror Devices and Related Technology is new this year and is one of ten conferences with more than 200 technical papers at MOEMS-MEMS. The plenary session, Monday, 26 January, features:

Massively Parallel Soft Pen Nanolithography, Chad Mirkin, Northwestern University (USA), 9:10 a.m.

The High Versatility of Silicon Based Micro-Optical Modulators, Harald Schenk, Fraunhofer Institute Photonic Microsystems (Germany), 10:20 a.m.

Subwavelength Optical Elements and Nanoimprint Technology for Chip Integration of Optical Systems and MEMS, Stephen Y. Chou, Princeton University (USA), 11:10 a.m.

Conference proceedings papers will be published in the SPIE Digital Library as soon as they are approved after the event. Access the SPIE Digital Library at spiedigitallibrary.org.

Twenty-five conferences with more than 1060 technical papers are organized into seven program tracks at OPTO. A three-conference program on Optical Communications: Systems and Subsystems is new this year.

Symposium Chair James G. Grote, Air Force Research Lab (USA), and co-chair E. Fred Schubert, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA), will moderate a plenary session featuring three international leaders in the field on Tuesday, 27 January, in the Montgomery Theater. They are:

Klaus H. Ploog, Paul Drude Institute for Solid State Electronics (Germany), Challenges and Prospects of Conventional and Dilute III-Nitrides for Light Emitting Devices, Solid State Lighting, and Silicon Photonics, 8:05 a.m.

Ray Beausoleil, HP Laboratories (USA), Photonics for Novel High-Performance Computing, 8:40 a.m.

Paras N. Prasad, State University of New York at Buffalo (USA), Photonics’ Pivotal Role in the Nano/Bio/Info Revolution: New Interfaces to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century, 9:20 a.m.

LASE Symposium Chairs Don Harter, IMRA Corp. (USA) and Peter Herman, University of Toronto (Canada), along with co-chairs Henry Helvajian, The Aerospace Corp. (USA), and Friedrich G. Bachmann, ROFIN-SINAR Laser GmbH (Germany), will preside over 12 conferences with 550 technical presentations in four program tracks. Solid-State Lasers and Fiber Lasers conferences drew a large number of paper submissions this year. Program topics are on Laser Source Engineering, Nonlinear Optics, Semiconductor Lasers and LEDs, and Laser Micro-/Nanoengineering and Applications.

The plenary session on Wednesday for LASE includes:

Fiber Laser History and Technological Innovations, David Payne, University of Southampton, Optoelectronics Research Center (UK), 10:30 a.m.

Tailored Light: Innovation by New Laser Concepts and New Applications, Reinhart Poprawe, Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT (Germany), 11:10 a.m.

Laser Processing for Thin-Film and Wafer-Based Silicon Photovoltaics, Peter Borden, Applied Materials Solar Business Group (USA), 11:50 a.m.

Networking and Jobs

SPIE Photonics West offers 75 short courses and workshops spanning topics across all four symposia. The educational program is the largest and most comprehensive in the world and features an expanded roster of business and professional development offerings to complement the technical courses.

Photonics West will also offer networking opportunities and social events, including activities organized especially for students, early-career professionals, women, SPIE members, and technical-interest groups.

On Monday, new SPIE Fellows will be introduced at a noontime luncheon, and a members-only reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the nearby California Theatre. An all-symposium welcome reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel.

Don’t forget to pick up your free SPIE Women in Optics calendar at the Women in Optics presentation by Persis S. Drell, director of the Stanford University Linear Accelerator Center, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, 27 January.

Professional development opportunities for students will include a panel composed of representatives from academia, government, and industry and a presentation on Wednesday on “The Power of Procrastination” by Jorge Cham, creator of the comic “Piled Higher & Deeper.” A second panel of hiring managers will offer ideas on how to get hired in the current job market.

Employers and prospective employees can connect at the SPIEWorks Career Fair Tuesday and Wednesday, with approximately 20 companies recruiting on site and hundreds of jobs posted online.

“Photonics West is an ideal place to interact with the next generation of students, who will be our customers and could be future employees,” said Jason Eichenholz, CTO at Ocean Optics.

2 Exhibitions

The SPIE Photonics West exhibition, 27-29 January, will include more than 1100 companies showing components, systems, lasers, and applications for optics and photonics manufacturing, electronic imaging, IR sources and detectors, optical detectors, fibers and materials, cameras and displays, and other innovations.

This exhibition has become the preferred venue for product launches, and dozens of companies will demonstrate products each day. Regional clusters will be represented in eight national and five state pavilions showcasing each region’s optics and photonics industry.

The weekend Biomedical Optics exhibition, 24-25 January, has more than 140 companies showing components, sensors, instruments, and applications for molecular and spectroscopic/microscopic imaging, biomedical optics, and nano/biophotonics.

Both exhibitions are free.


The professional education program at SPIE Photonics West includes more than 75 technical courses and professional development workshops on foundational and emerging topics in optics. They include introductory seminars on patents, ITAR, and IP, intermediate-level courses on nanoplasmonics, holography, and liquid crystals, as well as advanced sessions on OCT and microscope design. Go to spie.org/pwcourses for more information about SPIE courses.

For information on a course at SPIE Photonics West covering international export regulations, see the article about ITAR.

As with conference registration fees, SPIE members receive discounts on courses.

Have a question or comment about this article? Write to us at SPIEprofessional@spie.org.

DOI: 10.1117/2.4200901.08

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