SPIE Photonics West 2017

Preview of the biggest event of the year, 28 January - 2 February 2017.

01 January 2017

SPIE Photonics West already the largest biophotonics, laser, optoelectronics, and industrial manufacturing event in North America, is growing again and will include a new executive forum on the biophotonics marketplace this year and 10 top speakers at a new plenary session on neurophotonics.

Photonics West 2017, 28 January through 2 February in San Francisco, CA (USA), encompasses more than 4500 presentations on light-based technologies across more than 95 conferences. It is also the venue for dozens of technical courses for professional development, the Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, the SPIE Startup Challenge, a two-day job fair, two major exhibitions, and a diverse business program with more than 25 events.

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The plenary and Hot Topics sessions at OPTO, BiOS, and LASE are usually filled to capacity each year, and the new plenary session on neurotechnologies will give attendees an additional forum for communicating and networking with leaders and innovators in the neurophotonics community.

LASE, with its 16 conferences, will have three plenary talks; OPTO, with 34 conferences, will have three plenary speakers; and the Hot Topics session at BiOS will have eight speakers.

image for BRAIN initiative The new neurophotonics plenary falls under the brain applications track at Photonics West, one of three technology applications tracks organized across the week-long event. The brain track will cover innovative techniques in optogenetics and neurophotonics to increase understanding of how the brain functions.

Rafael Yuste of Columbia University (USA), who was instrumental in launching the US Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative in 2013, will be one of the speakers at the neurophotonics plenary session, which is scheduled for 3:30 pm Sunday, 29 January.

Yuste will discuss the impact of novel neurotechnologies in science, medicine, and society. He and SPIE Senior Member David Boas of Massachusetts General Hospital (USA); editor-in-chief of the SPIE journal Neurophotonics, are cochairs for the brain applications track and organizers of the new plenary session.

Other neurophotonics plenary speakers and their topics are:

  • Adam Bauer, assistant professor in the Department of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (USA); mapping functional connections in the mouse brain to gain insight for understanding and treating disease
  • Robert Campbell, professor at University of Alberta (Canada); genetically encoded indicators of neuronal activity
  • SPIE member Valentina Emiliani, director of the Neurophotonics Department and leader of the wavefront engineering microscopy group at University of Paris Descartes (France); two-photon optogenetics with millisecond temporal precision and cellular resolution
  • SPIE member Maria Angela Franceschini, a pioneer of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), associate professor at Harvard Medical School, and a member of the optics division at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging (USA); clinical neuro-monitoring with NIRS-diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS)
  • SPIE Senior Member Francesco Pavone, director of the European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy and a professor at University degli Studi di Firenze (Italy); optical detection of spatial-temporal correlations in whole brain activity
  • SPIE Fellow Peter So, professor of mechanical and biological engineering and director of the Laser Biomedical Research Center at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (USA); strategy for monitoring synaptic activity across the full dendritic arbor
  • Edmund Talley of the National Institutes of Health (USA); opportunities and priorities in neurophotonics
  • Chris Xu, professor of applied and engineering physics and the Mong Family Foundation director of Cornell Neurotech at Cornell University (USA); 3-photon microscopy for deep brain imaging
  • Shaoqun Zeng, professor of biomedical engineering at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) (China) and founder of the Britton Chance Center for Biomedical Photonics, now a division of Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics; chemical sectioning: high throughput ex-vivo brain imaging.

image for SPIE industry events

The half-day executive forum on the biophotonics marketplace, 7 am to 12:30 pm Tuesday, 31, January, is one of several events in an expanded program for those working in optics and photonics businesses. The forum will be hosted by Stephen G. Anderson, director of industry development for SPIE, and include a new analysis of the global market for optics and biophotonics.

SPIE Fellow Bruce J. Tromberg, director of the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic at University of California (UC), Irvine (USA), and cochair of the translational research applications track at Photonics West, will deliver the keynote talk on the future of personal health management.

Tromberg will also serve on a panel discussing wearable and wireless devices for point-of-care testing at the forum. Other panelists are SPIE Fellow Aydogan Ozcan of UCLA, a pioneer in telemedicine, lensless imaging, and mobile health; Gene Dantsker, director of business development at Qualcomm Life; and Brad Rice, vice president of engineering R&D at Profusa (USA).

Other events among the industry program include a Monday session on startups, with four entrepreneurs discussing how their optics and photonics startup “made it” in the commercial sector. Arun Chhabra, CEO of 8tree, a startup that won the SPIE Startup Challenge in 2013 with its 3D optical scanner and a finalist for the 2017 Prism Awards, will moderate.

Entrepreneurs on the panel will be SPIE member Graeme Malcolm, CEO and founder of M Squared Lasers; Bernardo Cordovez, president and cofounder of Optofluidics (USA); SPIE Senior Member Supriya Jaiswal, CEO and founder of Astrileux Corp. (USA); and Manuel Aschwanden, CEO and owner of Optotune (Switzerland).

On Tuesday, Leo Baldwin, principal engineer at Amazon (USA), will moderate a panel on the next optical challenges for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). SPIE member David Bohn, director of optical engineering at Microsoft HoloLens (USA), will be on the panel, along with Vinay Narayan, VR strategist and advisor with HTC VIVE (Taiwan), and Scott McEldowney, lead optics researcher at Oculus (USA).

There will also be panel discussions on solid-state lighting, silicon photonics, and one on how to navigate the “tides and storms of shifting international” policy waters.

The Photonics West Exhibition, 31 January to 2 February, will have more than 1300 companies showing laser systems, optoelectronic components, and numerous devices and technologies for photonics manufacturing and research.

A job fair will be Tuesday and Wednesday, and the BiOS Expo, with more than 200 companies, will be held 28-29 January.


Conferences during the week will cover everything from free-space laser communication to holography, plasmonics to optical coherence tomography (OCT), superconductors to nonlinear optics, and quantum optics to silicon photonics.

A new conference on imaging technologies for visualizing and quantifying drug distribution in tissue is chaired by SPIE members Kin Foong Chan, executive vice president of research and technology at BioPharmX (USA), and Conor L. Evans of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine (USA).

Conference presentations on selective laser melting, maser sintering, conformal photonics, and other innovative applications related to additive manufacturing technologies will fall under the third applications track, for photonics technologies in 3D printing. SPIE Fellow Henry Helvajian, senior scientist in the Micro/Nano Technology Department at the Aerospace Corp. (USA), is chair of the 3D printing track.

Papers accepted in BiOS, LASE, or OPTO and cross-listed in one of the three applications tracks are eligible for a “best paper” award in their respective track.


At LASE, three plenary speakers on Wednesday will include SPIE Fellow Alberto Piqué, who will report on his work with micro-3D structures. Piqué is head of the Materials and Sensors Branch in the Materials Science Division at the US Naval Research Lab.

SPIE member and laser scientist Hakaru Mizoguchi, CTO and vice president of Gigaphoton (Japan), will give a plenary talk on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, and Karsten Danzmann, director at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hannover and the Institute for Gravitational Physics at Leibniz Universität Hannover (Germany), will discuss his role in the successful international effort to detect gravitational waves in space.

Symposium chairs for LASE 2017 are SPIE Fellows Koji Sugioka of RIKEN (Japan) and Reinhart Poprawe of Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik (Germany). Cochairs are SPIE Fellow Yongfeng Lu of University of Nebraska, Lincoln (USA), and Guido Hennig of Daetwyler Graphics (Switzerland).


image for OPTO at Photonics West The OPTO plenary session will begin at 8 am Monday, 30 January, with the presentation of the 2017 SPIE Technology Achievement Award to multimedia security innovator Edward Delp of Purdue University (USA). (Read more in this issue of SPIE Professional.)

Speakers at the OPTO plenary session are:

  • SPIE Fellow Shanhui Fan of Stanford University (USA). His research group studies the theory and simulation of photonic solid state materials and devices for telecom and information technology applications. He will give a talk on non-reciprocal photonic gauge potential and non-equilibrium thermal metaphotonics for the control of light and heat.
  • Dieter Bimberg, founder of the Center of Nanophotonics at Technische University Berlin (Germany). He will give a 25-year perspective on quantum-dot-based photonics for energy-efficient and secure information systems.
  • Harald Haas, a pioneer in light fidelity (LiFi), a form of visible light communication. Haas is chair of mobile communications and director of the LiFi Research and Development Center at University of Edinburgh (UK). He will talk about creating full LiFi networks and using the technology with solar panels.

OPTO conferences cover a broad range of optical, optoelectronic, and MOEMS-MEMs devices, displays, materials, systems, and technologies, and there will be keynote talks in almost all of them.

SPIE Fellow Paras Prasad, a professor at University at Buffalo (USA) and the recipient of the 2016 SPIE Gold Medal, will give a keynote talk on nonlinear optical and multiphoton processes for in situ manipulation and conversion of photons for energy and healthcare applications on Monday in a conference on organic photonic materials and devices.

Eli Yablonovitch of UC, Berkeley is scheduled to give a keynote talk on high-efficiency solar cells in a conference on optical and electronic cooling of solids, and SPIE Fellow Alan Willner of University of Southern California is set to deliver a Wednesday keynote on high-capacity optical communications using multiplexing of multiple orbital-angular momentum beams in the complex light and optical forces conference.

SPIE member Lionel Kimerling of MIT, who heads a program in education and workforce development for the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), is giving a keynote on mid-IR silicon photonics sensor platforms in a conference on optoelectronic integrated circuits.

Chairs for the OPTO symposium are SPIE Fellow Shibin Jiang of AdValue Photonics (USA) and Jean-Emmanuel Broquin of Institut de Microélectronique Électromagnétisme Photonique/Lab. d’Hyperfréquence et Caractérisation (IMEP-LAHC) in France. Connie J. Chang-Hasnain of UC, Berkeley and SPIE Fellow Graham T. Reed of University of Southampton (UK) are symposium cochairs.


image for BiOS at Photonics West Program tracks at BiOS are biomedical spectroscopy, microscopy, and imaging; clinical technologies and systems; nano/biophotonics; neurophotonics, neurosurgery, and optogenetics; photonic therapeutics and diagnostics; and tissue optics, laser-tissue interaction, and tissue engineering.

The nano/biophotonics track will have a plenary session on Tuesday morning, with Michael J. Sailor of UC, San Diego (USA), giving a talk on the chemistry and photochemistry of luminescent porous silicon.

Eight speakers for the popular Hot Topics session on Saturday night will follow the presentation of the 2017 SPIE Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award to molecular imaging pioneer Christopher Contag, professor emeritus of Stanford University (USA) and founding director of a new biomedical research institute at Michigan State University (USA) (See page 8).

Speakers and their “Hot Topics” are

  • Robert Alfano, professor at City College of New York/City University of New York (USA); noninvasive optical biopsy
  • SPIE Fellow Zhongping Chen of UC, Irvine (USA); functional optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • SPIE Fellow Alberto Diaspro of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italy); developments and techniques with the “Extra Microscope”
  • Emilia Entcheva of George Washington University (USA); cardiac optogenetics
  • Enrico Gratton of UC, Irvine (USA); fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy to image live cells
  • Hideaki Koizumi of Hitachi (Japan); instrumentation and applications for optical topography (functional NIRS)
  • SPIE member Richard Levenson of UC, Davis Medical Center (USA); UV surface excitation for slide-free tissue microscopy
  • Lev T. Perelman of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard University (USA); biomedical imaging and spectroscopy with scattered light

Symposium chairs for BiOS are SPIE Fellows James Fujimoto of MIT and R. Rox Anderson of the Wellman Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School (USA).

Read more about SPIE Photonics West 2017.

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