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SPIE Professional October 2011

SPIE Photonics West

The event that meets global challenges.

By Karen Thomas

SPIE Photonics West logo

Restoring vision with PV prostheses and detecting cancer with in-vivo nonlinear microscopy and coherence imaging are among the biomedical optics "hot topics" to be presented at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco, CA (USA), in January.

Making the world greener, brighter, and healthier is the goal of researchers and scientists working to advance light-based technologies across the globe. SPIE helps meet this challenge by connecting innovators in photonics technology with relevant markets and providing educational opportunities through its many technical conferences.

SPIE Photonics West is well known for cutting-edge research presentations, a standing-room-only session on biomedical technologies, and the largest exhibition in North America on light-driven technologies.

SPIE Photonics West will be held 21-26 January 2012 at the Moscone Center to showcase the many technologies, products, and researchers dedicated to making the world better through photonics.

Speakers at the BiOS "Hot Topics" session Saturday, 21 January, include:

  • SPIE Fellow Stephen Boppart, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign: Coherence imaging of cancer with novel optical sources
  • SPIE member Elizabeth Hillman, Columbia University: In-vivo microscopy for the brain
  • SPIE member Xingde Li, Johns Hopkins University: Scanning fiber-optic nonlinear endomicroscopy
  • Vasilis Ntziachristos, Technical University of Munich: Molecular imaging
  • SPIE member Daniel Palanker, Stanford University: Photovoltaic retinal prosthesis for restoring sight to the blind
  • SPIE member Adam Wax, Duke University: Early cancer detection with coherence imaging
  • SPIE member Brian Wong, Beckman Laser Institute at University of California, Irvine: Pulmonary medicine
  • Seok Hyun Yun, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital: Bio laser
Green Photonics symposium

The global community has long recognized the need for sustainable and renewable energy sources as well as the need to conserve resources and encourage economic growth. The Green Photonics virtual symposium at SPIE Photonics West contributes to this need by highlighting the latest photonics and optoelectronic tools and materials used to reduce power consumption, enable cleaner manufacturing, and create new energy generation for a broad range of applications.

This interdisciplinary symposium will highlight papers from all areas of Photonics West that feature technologies that impact energy sources, energy efficiencies, sustainability, conservation, and other "green" focused components. In keeping with the green theme of being easier on the environment, an online "venue" will allow researchers from all around the world to easily search relevant papers from OPTO, LASE, and MOEMS-MEMS.

Separate tracks will include discussions on 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.

SPIE Fellow Stephen Eglash of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford will chair the virtual symposium.


BIOS logoBiOS, the world's largest biomedical optics symposium, provides an environment for innovators in medicine and medical technologies to meet with business and market resources to make sure these technologies reach the people who need them.

Symposium co-chairs and SPIE Fellows James Fujimoto of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) and R. Rox Anderson of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard School of Medicine (USA) lead BiOS, an international forum in San Francisco for reporting and learning about the latest research and development, as well as for launching new applications and technologies. Special events will include "Hot Topics," a weekend biomedical optics exhibition, and industry-leading working groups and panels.

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


LASE logoFor more than 50 years, lasers and laser research have produced cutting-edge breakthroughs and continue to lead to new technologies. The LASE symposium will showcase the latest fundamental and applied research on new laser sources and applications.

Friedhelm Dorsch, head of process sensor systems at TRUMPF (Germany), and Alberto Piqué of the U.S. Naval Research Lab (USA) will chair this symposium, which presents the latest results in 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 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.

Plenary speakers for LASE 2012 will be:

  • SPIE Fellow Federico Capasso, Harvard University (USA)
  • SPIE Fellow Edward Moses, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (USA)
  • Peter Leibinger, TRUMPF (Germany)

OPTO logoOPTO 2012 will address the latest developments and advances in a broad range of optoelectronic devices and technologies and their integration for a variety of commercial applications. This symposium is a fast-growing networking forum where individuals from a wide spectrum of optical and optoelectronic endeavors come together to exchange information and share views. Many of the green technologies on the market today, as well as enhanced display screens, faster communication, and more efficient optical storage devices, sprang from ideas presented at an OPTO conference.

Symposium chair Klaus P. Streubel of OSRAM (Germany) says this year's event will cover optical interactions, optoelectronic materials, semiconductor lasers and LEDs, solid-state lighting, photonic integration, displays and holography, nanotechnology in photonics, photonics packaging, and optical communications.

Plenary speakers for OPTO are:

  • David D. Awschalom, University of California, Santa Barbara (USA)
  • SPIE member Erez Hasman, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
  • Connie J. Chang-Hasnain, University of California, Berkeley (USA)

MOEMS-MEMS SPIE Photonics West logoOne of the best places to see photonics technology in action is SPIE MOEMS-MEMS. This symposium 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.

SPIE members Harald Schenk of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Germany) and David Dickensheets of Montana State University (USA) will be co-chairs.

Plenary speakers for MOEMS-MEMS 2012 are:

  • Michael Roukes, California Institute of Technology (USA)
  • Samuel Schaevitz, Lilliputian Systems (USA)
  • Jonathan Cooper, University of Glasgow (UK)
Startup challenge

At last year's Photonics West, SPIE hosted its first Biophotonics Startup Challenge. In a "Dragon's Den" format, researchers were given two minutes to pitch their biophotonics product or small business startup idea to a group of experts and entrepreneurs. The technologies presented included optical drug delivery systems, wearable muscle oxygenation sensors, and a liquid-crystal pupil designed for prosthetic eyes.

The top three winners, aspiring biophotonics entrepreneurs working on potentially life-saving techniques for detecting cancer and malaria, were sponsored by Newport Spectra-Physics to attend the University of California, Davis, Biomedical Engineering Entrepreneurship Academy. This popular event packed the presentation room with exhibitors and numerous interested parties.

Based on last year's success, SPIE is adding an Optoelectronics Challenge to the schedule. This rapid-fire event will feature startup pitches from students and young professionals as they compete to take their ideas to the next level. Top winners will attend the Entrepreneurship Academy at UC-Davis. The five-day academy will help each winner construct a business case, analyze markets, and develop a network of connections to help drive their new venture.

Green venue

In 2010, Photonics West moved to San Francisco, an area known for its environmental activism, with great success. Committed to the idea of making less negative impact on the environment, the Moscone Center features a large rooftop solar panel array, an aggressive recycling program, and other earth-friendly choices. Located in the heart of downtown, the center provides easy access to the rich culture of San Francisco.

Third Annual Prism Awards

The 2011-12 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation will be presented by SPIE and Photonics Media at a banquet during SPIE Photonics West, Wednesday, 25 January.

Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, logoThis international competition recognizes cutting-edge products in 10 categories that break conventional ideas, solve problems, and improve life through photonics. The Prism Awards, also known as the Photonics Oscars, has grown to be an important event in the photonics industry.

Awards will be made for innovative products, processes, devices, systems, instruments, and technologies that are newly available on the open market in the following categories:

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

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

DOI: 10.1117/2.4201107.21

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