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Nov 05

By Lynn Savage

What does it take to become a VIP of the research world — someone who, to most people, is miles ahead of anyone else in their scientific field? For the average citizen of the world, these things are measured by awards — not the number, but which ones.

Among all of the myriad ways a scientist may come into a modicum of public attention, none is more prominent than the Nobel Prize. Although there has been the occasional controversy throughout the century-plus that the Nobels have been awarded, winners of the Physics, Chemistry, and Medicine prizes well represent the drive, patience, hard work, and creative spark needed to break ground for entire new realms of discovery and progress.

Perhaps not too amazingly, the field of photonics has been extraordinarily well represented lately by Nobel Prize winners. In the past decade, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has deemed worthy of a Prize several light-driven discoveries, ranging from the creation of the charge-coupled device (CCD) to development of the quantum theory of optical coherence, and from the discovery and development of green fluorescent protein to the establishment of novel ways to see beyond the diffraction limit with powerful microscopes.

Amazingly, CLEO: 2015 will provide attendees the opportunity to hear no fewer than four Nobel Prize winners describe their research during the Plenary Session: Eric Betzig, Steven Chu, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura.

Eric Betzig, a co-winner of the Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry in 2014, will discuss his work in the field of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. A member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research

Eric Betzig

Eric Betzig, 2014  Nobel Prize Winner

Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, USA, Betzig will describe three distinctly different super-resolution microscopy techniques in his talk, “Imaging life at High Spatiotemporal Resolution.”

Betzig will focus on ways he and other researchers continue to seek ways to improve the ability of optical microscopes to see the most minute features of tiny biological structures. To exceed the formidable threshold of the diffraction limit of 200 nm, microscopists must juggle spatial resolution, speed and non-invasiveness. Betzig and his colleagues first broached the 200-nm resolution mark with a technique they dubbed photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM), one of the first successes at using fluorescent molecules to illuminate neighboring targets of interest to the viewers, such as individual cells. Betzig’s work earned him a share of the chemistry Nobel with Stefan W. Hell of Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen, Germany, and William Moerner of Stanford University in California, USA.

Steven Chu of Stanford University, California, USA, the US Secretary of Energy from 2009 to 2013, was also a Nobel Prize Winner. He, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Daniel Phillips were awarded the Physics Prize in 1997 for their work with laser-based cooling and trapping of atoms. In his plenary discussion, “Microscopy 2.0,” Chu will explore the evolution of imaging techniques that have improved biologists’ understanding of living systems at the level of genes and proteins.

According to Chu, “the visualization of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick led [to] a true understanding of the concept of genes, transcription, and translation. In recent years, the invention of new imaging technologies is having a profound impact on biological sciences.”


Hiroshi Amano, 2014 Nobel Prize Winner

Hiroshi Amano of Nagoya University, Japan, and Shuji Nakamura of the University of California, Santa Barbara, won (alongside Isamu Akasaki of Meijo University in Nagoya, Japan) the 2014 Nobel in Physics for work that gave the world blue light-emitting diodes. This was a culminated effort as complex as it is important to many industries, and Amano and Nakamura will lead discussions on the ultimate value to society of LED-based technology.

Amano’s talk, “Current and Future of Solid-State Lighting” will provide an overview of the technology and relate several of the ongoing technical challenges remaining to be solved. Nakamura will discuss the ways in which LED lighting systems can reduce global energy demand in his talk, “Energy Savings by LED Lighting.”

In addition, Tony Heinz of Columbia University in New York City, USA, will discuss “Electrons in Atomically Thin Two-Dimensional Crystals,” referring to graphene. He will describe the state-of-the-art of these 2-D lattices of carbon atoms, including the known properties of electrons confined to this single-atom-thick material, the interactions of light and matter along the surface of a sheet of graphene, and some of the potential applications for devices made of the material, which can work with wavelengths from UV to THz. He will also expand the discussion into other materials that have peculiar yet useful properties when made into monolayers, including dichalcogenides.

Nobody yet knows where the next Nobel-worthy effort will originate, but with all of the excitement being generated by optical and photonic research it doesn’t take a genius to keep looking toward the light.




Sep 08

By Lynn Savage

While I am sure that some people find that attending conferences can be a bit of a chore – something to get done as soon as possible before heading back to “real work” – that has never been true for me. And I don’t know you very well, but I’m guessing conferences aren’t a burden to you either, given that you’re here, reading about one that won’t arrive for months.

Of course, the one that we’re here to discuss is CLEO, one of the liveliest of all industry shows (and not just in the photonics industry). I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for CLEO; it was my first photonics conference ever (Baltimore, 2005, if you’re keeping score). The constant buzz of activity in the venue included a whirl of people and technologies that insisted on constant engagement. Academic researchers making last-minute adjustments to their presentations, post-docs

Technologies being showcased at CLEO

Technologies being showcased at CLEO

seeking their assigned spot in the poster area, salespeople seeking places to converse with clients, marketing reps setting up trade show booths, CLEO management show-runners scrambling to make sure everything from registration to AV tech to the coatrooms were operating smoothly — everyone with their individual missions and goals, gathered together to make sparks fly. It was a heady mix for any first timer, but I was thrilled to be there and dive in with my own, journalistic, goals.

Although my current avocation is science journalism, it has come via a path that began when I first trained to become a mechanical drafter. Although this never became a career, I really enjoyed the design process and the meticulous way one must consider form and function when laying designs out on paper. One of my favorite things about being a student of the drafter’s craft, though, was perusing catalogs filled with mechanical devices, from simple screws and bolts to advanced tools and heavy machinery. These catalogs informed me of a larger world of invention and craftsmanship that I wanted to tap into.

So, as exciting as it is to hear about advances in basic science and perhaps-someday-feasible technologies coming out of academic, government, and commercial laboratories around world, seeing the best of the lot make their way into the “real” world of applications is, frankly, often thrilling. It’s like watching your favorite minor league ballplayer break into the big leagues, finally earning a chance to swing the bat against the Clayton Kershaws of the world.

To support the idea that exciting developments are happening on the path from lab to market, CLEO is looking for even more input in 2015 from optical engineers, the people who take promising research results and translate them into amazing products.

For CLEO: 2015, the CLEO team is looking for presentations that will delight and inspire future developments, making sure that there is a steady spotlight on the pipeline of innovation in the optics and photonics world. Specifically, the organization hopes to see submissions in the following areas:

Biomedical applications

  • Biomedical spectroscopy, microscopy, and imaging
  • Neurophotonics and brain activity monitoring
  • Optogenetics and optical control of cells
  • Light sources and devices for biomedical imaging
  • Clinical technologies and systems

Industrial applications

  • New laser sources for industrial use
  • Micro/nanoprocessing and manufacturing
  • Sensing and process control
  • Ultrafast lasers

Photonic instrumentation and techniques for metrology and industrial processes 

  • Chemical sensing
  • Security applications
  • Process monitoring
  • Metrology

Lasers and photonic applications to energy and environment

  • New energy sources
  • Solar energy systems
  • Photonic instrumentation for energy and environment

CLEO is specifically seeking stories of evolving engineering efforts, including both maturing and already-implemented photonics technologies. Especially desired are introductions to and demonstrations of new products (without an accompanying overt sales pitch) or existing products with new capabilities; optical technologies at work in field situations, such as advanced sensors, metrology systems and the like; novel technologies useful to material fabricators and manufacturers; optical technologies useful in the design of system controls; and clinical applications of new or improved photonics-based sensors, cutting tools, or therapeutic approaches. The Society also is seeking exhibitions of optical engineering, especially hardware with new or significantly improved sensors, optical components and subsystems, optical designs for optical or electro-optical systems and subsystems; novel (or advancements to existing) optical system control/processing algorithms that enable new technical capabilities; new optics designs and measurement techniques; and advanced optics-based diagnostics systems.

Submitted papers are reviewed, with an eye toward “uniqueness, impact of the work, and how the work advanced the state of the art.”

So, if you have a choice bit of technology you’d like to show off to a wide-eyed group of people at next year’s meeting, heed the call for papers (http://www.cleoconference.org/home/submissions/) being requested by CLEO. The deadline is 16 December at 17.00 GMT.


Aug 27

Read about the latest advances in  Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) also known as photobiomodulation (PBM), as presented at the OSA Incubator held in August.

By Guest Blogger, Elieza Tang, The Optical Society Blog

LLLT/PBM describes the use of light therapy in the visible and near-infrared spectrum for stimulating biological responses. Extensive laboratory experiments and clinical trials have demonstrated PBM to be efficacious in tissue regeneration including the skin, muscle, nerves, bone, spinal PBM has been shown to produce an analgesic effect, anti-inflammatory effect and promote angiogenesis. The results from these controlled clinical trials and laboratory studies provides

Low light therapy example

Low light Therapy

exciting and convincing evidence for the use of PBM as an efficacious, noninvasive treatment modality in the clinical setting. Many of these studies have demonstrated improved results and recovery with conditions such as traumatic brain injury, chronic wounds, spinal cord injury and many other injury models.However, PBM has yet to be adopted by mainstream medicine. Why you ask? There are different answers based on who you ask. Read More »

The full 3 part blog series covering the technology presented at the Low Level Light Therapy Incubator can be found on The Optical Society Blog.


Jun 14

By Howard Lee

The poster sessions that I have attended over last 3 days at CLEO have been great (the only recommendation I might add is that it would have been really nice  if they taken place closer towards the end of the day). The quality of the posters are very high, I enjoyed them immensely.

Another important highlight of the conference today was the postdeadline session where scientists present their latest and most impressive results in a 10 minute time frame. Here are a few that I heard:

Optical Broadband Angular Selectivity (JTH5B.2)

Yichen Shen from MIT presented their results on achieving broadband angular selectivity of light. The principle behind is to use the generalized Brewster angle by making 1D photonic crystal (multilayer structure made with SiO2 and Ta2O5) with different periodicity. He showed that a complete transparency of the structure at only one angle and the light reflects at other angles. The works are published at Science 343, 1499 (2014).

Silicon-Chip Mid-Infrared Frequency Comb Generation (STH5C.6)

Researcher from Cornell presented a first on-chip integrated mid-infrared frequency comb with 750nm-wide comb centered at 2.6um. Due to the large nonlinear loss of silicon from the three-photon absorption followed by free carrier generation, it was typically difficult to generate an efficient comb at mid-infrared region using silicon waveguide. The design of silicon waveguides with a ring resonator embedded in a PIN structure significantly reduce the free carrier lifetimes and allow the generation of mid-infrared frequency comb for the first time (see figure below).

Silicon-Chip Mid-Infrared Frequency Comb Generation

(Top) Optical microscope image of ring resonator with metal contacts and false colored SEM image of the silicon waveguide, doped regions, and metal contacts. Inset: simulated optical mode at 2.6 um, showing highconfinement. (Bottom) FTIR scans showing the full extent of the MIDIR frequency comb (corrected for the filters spectral response). [STH5C.6]

Gain from Helium-Xenon Discharges in Hollow Optical Fibres at 3 to 3.5 um (STh5C.10)

Researchers from Bath University discussed the first detected gain on laser transition in hollow core photonic crystal fiber gas discharges. They used an anti-resonant guided hollow core fiber for this discharge experiment as this fiber allow good transmission in IR range. They used fiber with length between 0.5-1m and high DC voltage up to 40kV to discharge the Helium-Xenon gas inside the fiber. They observed strong emission line from the discharge and found that the emission was stronger with longer fiber length, indicting the presence of net gain from the discharge. Their goal of the project is to make the first electrically excited fibre-based gas laser.

Gain from Helium-Xenon Discharges in Hollow Optical Fibres at 3 to 3.5 um Experimental setup. b) Signal in a 20 nm bandwidth at 3.5 μm, with discharge current 0.25 mA at 12 mbar pressure, for different lengths Inset: Optical micrograph of the fibre. Spectra for 1 m length (solid) and 0.5 m length (dashed) discharges with a discharge current of 0.25 mA and 20 nm resolution. (STh5C.10).

This has really been an enriching experience with great research in a number of areas.  I look forward to seeing everyone next year, 10-15 May 2015.

Jun 12

By Howard Lee

I was happy to spend most of my time today at several CLEO events; Plenary talk, technical talks, poster session and market focus. This morning’s Plenary session  was on the topic “Fibres and the future” by David Payne. Prof. Payne  gave a great overview on the works of fiber amplifier. Using cladding-pumped microsturctured fiber, amplifier with high output power at telecommunication wavelength or IR can be realized. Prof. Payne also suggested an idea that these kinds of fiber-laser would be designed as a powerful laser for next accelerator for CERN! This idea may be realized by using array of fiber lasers combined with multicore fibers to confine to a high power output laser and finally delivery by hollow core bandgap fiber.

I also attended another nice tutorial talk in the morning given by Prof. Nikolay Zheludev (University of Southampton) on “Optical Properties on Demand: Reconfigurable and Coherently Controlled Metamaterials” (FW1K.1). Prof. Zheludev starts his presentation by comparing the citation number between metamaterial and laser (when it was starts invented in 1962), showing the rapid development on the field of metamaterial since 2000 (see figure below). He then pointed out the importance of developing tunable and reconfigurable metamaterials, in which would allow precise control of electromagnetic responses of the materials at nanometer scale. He presented several new materials of metamaterials (e.g., grapheme, nitride, conducting oxide, silicon and topological insulator) and tunable mechanisms studied by his group and other groups. One particular important example of reconfigurable metamaterial he presented is utilizing electromagnetic force (Lorentz force) to functionalize the metadevice (see structure below). Finally, he mentioned three “killer applications” which metamaterials would potential take place: 1) tunable lasing spaser, 2) mobile dynamic 3D display and 3) space division multiplexing in fiber networks. After the talk, I talked to Prof. Zheludev and asked him how would we keep growing the field of metamaterial and impacting our life using metamaterial as what the laser can do. He said that everyone working in this field (metmaterials) should work hard and one day we will see the high impact of metamaterials.

The next photonic revolution: Metamaterials

(Images: Courtesy of Nikolay Zheludev) (FW1K.1) http://www.nanophotonics.org.uk/niz/niz_talk.pdf

The MarketFocus: The Future of “Enabling” Photonics Innovation at 2-4pm today is an interesting event. As mentioned in the previous posts by Shamsul Arafin, there are a lot of discussions on how to enable photonics technology, including the support required from industry, academic university and government. To summarize the event, the chair Jason Eichenholz (CEO, Open Photonics Inc) asked the panel speakers what will be most important area of photonics for the next 15 years. Different speakers have different opinions, but  health care, security, energy recourses (e.g. solar energy), vision (sensing, imaging) and environmental issue (e.g. clean water) are the top  areas where they think photonics can play a high impact role in the near future. Nevertheless, the government support is one of the most important issues on enabling photonic innovation.

By the way, if you are OSA student, I suggest you to have a look at the OSA student membership booth. What they (OSA) provide you is the set of “big bang theory” where you can get some coffee, relax a bit or even play table tennis on the optical table. Also, there are some free OSA T.shirts and Newport snacks. So I hope you get the chance to check it out!

The OSA Student Lounge

Two more days to go till the end of CLEO conference; so take your time to learn as much as you can  these last two days!




Jun 12

By Sheng Liu

Note: Most of the following materials are cited from the material distributed in the meeting

On June 2, 2014, Department of Defense (DoD) announced a Request for Information (RFI) Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation, RFI-RQKM-2014-0022.

The DoD wishes to consider input from Industry and Academia as part of an effort to select and scope the technology focus areas for future Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMIs). These IMIs will be regionally centered Public Private Partnerships enabling the scale-up of advanced manufacturing technologies and processes with the goal of successful transition of existing science and technology into the marketplace for both Defense and commercial applications. Each Institute will be led by a not-for-profit organization and focus on one technology area. The Department is requesting responses which will assist in the selection of a technology focus area from those currently under consideration, based upon evidence of national security requirement, economic benefit, technical opportunity, relevance to industry, business case for sustainability, and workforce challenge.

The Technical Focus Areas currently under consideration are:

  • Flexible Hybrid Electronics
  • Photonics
  • Engineered Nanomaterials
  • Fiber and Textiles
  • Electronic Packaging and Reliability
  • Aerospace Composites

Therefore, optics and photonics will be competing directly with other technology areas for a possible DoD-sponsored IMI.

The opportunity to form a new IMI for photonics would benefit the entire industry by focusing federal and private sector investment and innovation through collaboration. The DoD is committing $70 million in federal funds with a minimum 1:1 non-federal cost share. Securing an IMI would confirm the importance of optics and photonics to the future of American manufacturing and the American work force, and it would continue to reinforce the foundational role of optics and photonics in virtually all sectors of the economy.

Therefore, active responses from optics and photonics communities to RFI is very important!!!

THz Science and Spectroscopy

While THz spectroscopy has served as an extremely useful tool for probing carrier dynamics for decades, it still surprises us today how far THz technology can extend to. There are two sections that researches presented their work on the generation of strong THz field (SW1F) and how THz are used for spectroscopy and sensing (SW3F).
Rupert Huber group from University of Regensburg continue surprises us how the strong THz pulses (multiple 10 MV/cm) can perturb electronic structure. After publishing the work of using 72 MV//cm THz pulse to drive coherent interband polarization combined with dynamical Bloch oscillations in semiconducting gallium selenide (generating phase-stable high-harmonic transients, covering the entire terahertz-to-visible spectral domain between 0.1 and 675 THz), today they present photoluminescence of GaAs driven by THz pulses which is only 1/400 photon energy of the bandgap of GaAs.

THz Science and Spectroscopy
(this figure comes from http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/v8/n2/full/nphoton.2013.349.html)

Tobias Kampfrath from Fritz Haber Institute reviewed the progress of strong THz radiation resonantly and sensitively probing electron transport, spin precession and ion vibration in solids in the past few years. Strong THz radiation indeed serves as a powerful tool for us to explore the most fundamental physics.

Jun 12

By Shamsul Arafin

On the Wednesday morning, CLEO 2014 started with an excellent plenary talk on Fibers and the Future given by the inventor of erbium-doped fiber amplifier, David Payne (University of Southampton, UK), which featured the recent advancements and developments of optical fibers and its associated technologies such as fiber lasers, modulators, detectors or its relevant applications in telecoms and sensing. In his presentation, he showed different type of novel fiber design concepts including multielement fiber, multi-core fibers, anti-resonant hollow core fibers and the pros and cons of each design in terms of the transmission capacity, cross-talk noise reduction capability and suitability of interconnection technologies.

After the Plenary Session, CLEO: Market Focus program continued like yesterday which provided a platform to discuss about Operational Strategies for the Laser and Photonics Industry. The session, conducted by, Scott Dunbar, (Chief Operating Officer, AdValue Photonics, USA), started with a reasonable number of audiences and primarily addressed four successful companies’ operational strategies which are mainly based on in-house vs external manufacturing and on-shore vs. off-shore manufacturing. The first presentation was made by Mark Holman (A.T. Kearney, USA), covering the value-chain, levels and abilities in outsourcing/off-shore manufacturing for the photonic components, the unique challenges to realize such components due to the necessity of sophisticated cleanroom/fabrication facilities, high-skilled workers, qualities, etc. compared to standard electronics as well as the best practices to ensure corporate success. The next speaker, Nat Mani (CEO, Bestronics, USA) described the merits and demerits of contract manufacturer (CM) vs original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and explained how his company has become successful out of in-house/ on-shore manufacturing strategies. Then Kurt Weingarten (JDSU, Switzerland) introduced the strategies for his Time-Bandwidth products, a provider of high-powered and ultrafast lasers for the industrial and scientific markets. Finally, Andrew Willse (Director of Director of DPSS operations, Coherent, USA) described the effectiveness of outsourcing/off-shore manufacturing strategies by introducing several operational best practices for a successful Dual-Factory implementation.

Look for more  information on hot topic research tomorrow.

Jun 11

By Shamsul Arafin

The third day of CLEO: 2014 started with the Honorary Award Distribution Ceremony which was followed by Plenary Sessions, consisting of two talks. The first one was on Quantum Coherent Networks, presented by Gerhard Rempe from Max-Planck-Institut fur Quantenoptik, Germany. Rempe’s talk initially covered the fundamentals of quantum-coherent networks, an exciting but challenging field of science and technology which allows a new approach to the processing of information for long-distance quantum communication and large-scale quantum simulation applications. He then described how Fabry-Perot cavity quantum electrodynamics with single-atoms trapped in high-finesse optical resonators could be employed for the realization of such quantum networks. The second talk, titled as Photonic Integrated Circuits as Key Enablers for Datacom, Telecom and Sensor Systems, given by Larry A. Coldren from UC-Santa Barbara, USA, addressed that why PICs are desirable for modest to high volume communication, sensing and instrumentation functions, where size, weight, power and cost are of major concerns.


Audience attending CLEO symposium


The special symposium on Laser Processing for Consumer Electronics included an invited talk from Keiji Nomaru, Disco Corporation, Japan that addressed the use of lasers in their semiconductor manufacturing process, such as grinding, cutting and polishing. In his presentation, he discussed the benefits of utilizing ultrafast lasers in the processing and microfabrication of the sapphire wafers with a precise process depth-control and a good cutting-surface quality. Also, Manjusha Mahendale from Rudolph Technologies, USA drew a crowd with her invited talk on Opaque Film Metrology using picosecond ultrasonic laser sonar (PULSE) Technology that is currently being used for the thickness and density evaluation of metal and opaque films as well as for the characterization of multi-layer bumps in advanced packaging applications.

On tap tomorrow, more symposiums and another great plenary.

CLEO: 2014 is being held 8-13 June 2014 in San Jose, CA.



Jun 10

The San Jose Convention CenterBy Howard Lee

I arrived to the nice city of San Jose to attend the CLEO 2014 conference for the first time. Upon entering the convention center, I found a sea of people at the front desk getting conference materials and registering. Despite the crowd, everyone looked excited about the program today! After making my way through all the people, I headed over to session SM2N “Modes in fibers”.

Studying Optical activity in photonic crystal fiber

One of the exciting talks of the session is presented by Dr. Gordon Wong from Philip Russell’s group in Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Germany (which is also the group I obtained my PhD from). Gordon presented their latest results on studying optical activity (namely circular birefringence and circular dichroism (CD)) in a special kind of fiber, which is helically twisted photonic crystal fiber (PCF). Different from other metallic spiral plasmonic structures, the twisted PCF provide a novel platform to study light properties in a twisted space with relatively long interaction length where metallic structure cannot be achieved. In such twisted fiber, additional phase matching is allowed to couple the core mode to the orbital angular momentum resonances, leading dips in transmission. At the resonance, they observed strongly enhanced circular dichroism. The important point here is that the CD could potentially be enhanced by varying the twisted rate and the fiber’s microsctructure, providing extra degree of freedom for altering the angular optical properties without any metal or nanofabrications required. (SM2N.1)[Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 143903 (2013), J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 30, 2921–2927 (2013)].

Measured (colored dots) and calculated (solid curve) response in the vicinity of an OAM resonance

(Left) Measured (colored dots) and calculated (solid curve) response in the vicinity of an OAM resonance at 770 nm for linearly polarized input light and a sample length of 9 mm. (a) The polarization rotation angle ψ measured experimentally (green dots) and calculated numerically. The rotation angle of the core light, calculated analytically using symmetry properties and perturbation theory [1,2], but ignoring OAM resonances in the cladding, is shown as a dashed line. (Right) Schematic of the twisted photonic crystal fiber. [SM2N.1]

Sensing for chiral molecule using metasurfaceSensing for chiral molecule using metasurface

A really interesting talk I found in the afternoon was presented by Dr. Yang Zhao (FM3K.6). As there is serious demand to determine the chirality of molecules for achieving an enantiomer-pure chiral drug, many researches have been carried out to use chiral EM wave (optical chirality) for sensing such chiral molecules. However, when the amount of molecules is small, using optical chirality for sensing is normally not efficient. Zhao discussed in her talk how they use a near field chiral enhancement in a metallic metasurface to detect those molecules through circular dichroism (CD). The multilayer metasurface is made of gold by multiple Ebeam lithography steps. The second layer of pattern is twisted with certain angle with respect to the first layer (see figure on right), which leads to the origin of the CD. Using an analytical approach together with a careful design and fabrication of the metasturcture, they demonstrated a measurement of the CD signal for monolayer of protein and shows the metasurface providing an ultra-sensitive probe to enhance CD measurements, in which typical optical materails/structures cannot be achieved.

My day has not disappointed so far – I am looking forward to what the rest of the day has to offer.



Jun 09

By Shamsul Arafin

shortcoursesetting14Warm greetings from San Jose, CA. CLEO: 2014 has just gotten off to a great start with a number of short courses on a wide range of hot topics including ultrafast optics, nonlinear optics, metamaterials and nanophotonics. I was really excited about this event for so many reasons- all of which I’m not sure can fit in this one post. The main reason, of course, was to get familiar with current, groundbreaking research on my areas of expertise as well as to increase my industry knowledge on the latest advancements of these particular fields.

There are a number of enthusiastic attendees who showed up early morning for the short course, titled as Nanophotonics: Physics and Techniques. This course was conducted by a leading industry and academic expert with a great personality. He is none other than Prof. Axel Scherer from Caltech. It was really one of the most amazing and informative scientific talks I have ever attended.

What did he cover in his lecture? Prof. Scherer started his presentation describing the necessity of the device miniaturization and its current status worldwide. He then presented several types of micro/nano-resonators to realize high­performance lasers. He also explained how the basic concepts of microwave engineering discovered back to 1950s lead him to develop such resonators in optics/photonics areas. One of the greatest parts of his course which I was amazed with is the contribution he has/will made/make in the area of silicon photonics and its integration with the electronic circuits. Not only this, his lecture also covered how indirect bandgap material, e.g. silicon could be turned into direct bandgap and its evidence by showing his latest results on silicon LEDs. Wow! Isn’t that fascinating?

On the same day, the point of another great attraction was the short course on ‘NanoCavity Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) and Applications’ taught by Prof. Jelena Vuckovic from Stanford. In fact, NanoCavity QED is an exciting field of science and technology that aims to better understand the effect of solid-state light-matter interfaces in order to develop a scalable architecture for quantum communication. After having it highlighted and explained the fundamentals of atom-electromagnetic field interaction, Prof. Vuckovic showed some relevant results her group achieved on nanocavity QED by employing InAs/GaAs quantum dots in photonic crystal nanoresonators. This was a pretty interesting talk, indeed.

Looking forward to the main technical program starting today.

CLEO: 2014 runs 8-13 June 2014 at San Jose Convention Center, CA, USA. Registration is available onsite.


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