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Mar 10

by David Norris,  Guest post

This is part 2 of a 3 part series post on the Controlled Light Propagation Incubator meeting at OSA headquarters in Washington, DC

Is it possible to look inside an object using only light reflected off the front?  Can you transmit more light through an attenuating medium by making it even thicker?  Could a bank verify your identity using the pattern of light scattered off your teeth?CT Scan image of brain

These tantalizing scenarios were among many presented during today’s meeting.  Though the focus remains on developing non-invasive deep imaging techniques for biological tissue, in particular using cameras and modulators placed only on the front side of a sample, the discussion also addressed more general questions on the theoretical limits of beam control and applications of scattering media to wide-field sensing.

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Re-posted from The Optical Society Blog

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Mar 07

by David Norris,  Guest post

This is part 3 of a 3 series post on the Controlled Light Propagation Incubator meeting at OSA headquarters in Washington, DC

After a final session of talks on new developments in 3D imaging methods and funding opportunities, our host Jerome Mertz presented a timely summary of outstanding problems and possible solutions identified during this week’s IncubatorPropagationmeeting meeting:

  • The main challenge remains increasing the signal from a point of interest in the face of a large background of diffuse light. Tools such as spatial light modulators can impart a signal gain up to the number of pixels, but no further.  Multi-photon techniques hold promise but require compensation of both spectral and spatial degrees of freedom.
  • The utility of the so-called “memory effect” for scanning a focus across a sample was much discussed, but without clear consensus on whether it can work in the completely diffusive regime.  An alternative is sampling at multiple separated spots, either sequentially or in parallel.

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Re-posted from The Optical Society Blog

Mar 07

by David Norris,  Guest post

This is part 1 of a 3 part series on the Controlled Light Propagation Incubator meeting at OSA headquarters in Washington, DC

example of biomedical imaging

Example of Biomedical imaging -source: wikipedia commons

The application of adaptive optics techniques–namely, optical wavefront shaping and phase modulation–to correct aberrations arising from highly scattering and disordered media holds tremendous promise for in vivo fluorescence imaging of biological tissue, and in particular the functional imaging of neural circuits. This topic has experienced an explosion of research activity in recent years, driven in large part by funding and interest from the BRAIN initiative, the Presidential focus aimed at mapping and unlocking the inner workings of the human brain. Following previous Incubator meetings in Optogenetics and Adaptive Optics, the organizers see today’s meeting as a natural next step.

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Re-posted from The Optical Society Blog

Feb 24

By Howard Lee

If you work in Optics and Photonics, more than likely you have heard about the CLEO US conference. I have been working on Optics and Photonics research for almost 10 years, and have heard from everyone in the community that CLEO is a great peer-reviewed conference. However, because of issues in the past with my visa, I have never been to the CLEO-US conference. This is one of the reasons why I’m very excited about attending CLEO-US this year!

I spent several years in Germany as a graduate student in Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light so I have been to CLEO-Europe twice in 2009 and 2011. The conferences were excellent, and I enjoyed almost everything there, including the short courses, tutorial talks, invited talks, poster sessions, welcome reception and the beer. (yes, German beer is definitely good).

Now I am in US working as a postdoc at California Institute of Technology, and have been invited as a scientific blogger for CLEO-US 2014 in San Jose this year. The first thing I looked up on the CLEO: 2014 official website is the short courses. This is the best place for you to learn something fundamental if you are not very familiar with a particular topic. Scanning through the list of the short courses provided, I find that we have very high-quality speakers lined up this year. As my research focuses are nano-photonics and plasmonics, I am particular interested in the courses of:SCoursePostcard

  • Silicon Photonic Devices and Applications from Michal Lipson (Cornell Univ.)
  • Transformational Optics from Ulf Leonhardt (Weizmann Inst. of Science in Israel)
  • Plasmonics from Mark Brongersma (Stanford Univ.)
  • MetaMaterials from Vladimir M. Shalaev (Purdue Univ.)
  • Quantum Cascade Lasers: Science, Technology, Applications and Markets from Federico Capasso (Harvard Univ.)
  • Nano Photonics: Physics and Techniques from Axel Scherer (Caltech)

Prof. Brongersma’s lectures are the only ones I’ve ever attended amongst the above. According to my personal experience, I would recommend you to attend his short course if you are interested in learning something on plasmonics. I have taken his short courses twice in CLEO-Europe. Prof. Brongersma always gives an excellent course from the basic knowledge to new and interesting ideas about plasmonics. Of course, I believe all courses will be excellent and the choice is all up to you depending on your preferred topic and research interest!

Other than the short courses, I suggest you also look up the titles of the tutorial and invited talks now and find out the exciting talks which are related to your field. I also look forward to seeing the full program schedules and at that time we can go through more carefully all the interesting contributed talks in different topics and all the events.

Let me know if you find any particularly interesting talks at CLEO this year.  I wish I could  attend all of them!  Luckily, CLEO is recording a significant portion of the CLEO technical program.  Full conference registrants can purchase on demand viewing of these talks as an option for only $45 when registering online.

By the way, my name is Howard Lee. I look forward to seeing you at CLEO: 2014 to discuss  the science and  research interests in photonics. Don’t forget to arrange for  registration, hotels, visa etc. in advance, as the US visa application may take 1-2 months depending on the country.

Jan 31

By Shamsul Arafin

Since its successful and effective arrival in 1967, the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) has emerged as one of the biggest leading platforms for the researchers to be updated with recent progress in research and technology, especially with the latest worldwide advancements in optics and laser science. During such a long journey, CLEO has maintained the international prominence through its tradition of unparalleled and long standing excellence and leadership in showcasing the most significant scientific research milestones from laboratory to marketplace. Like every year, CLEO: 2014 (8-13 June in San Jose, CA, USA) is  getting ready to show its real glamour and activities for downtown san josethe optics researchers all around the world.

Just a few words to introduce myself: I am Shamsul Arafin, a postdoc working at UCLA. My research expertise is primarily in the area of semiconductor lasers, nanophotonic devices and heteroepitaxial growth of III-V on Si. I am a official blogger for CLEO: 2014. There are plenty of reasons for my excitement about this conference. These are so many that I’m not sure whether I can fit them all into this post.

First of all, CLEO: 2014 will not limit itself only to feature high quality research in the areas of: QELS- Fundamental ScienceScience & Innovations and Applications & Technology for six days, but also arrange  for special symposia, tutorials and business programming, all highlighting the latest research applications and market-ready technologies in all areas of lasers and electro-optics. In addition, this year CLEO will gather approximately 300 companies from around the globe introducing new products and demonstrating cutting-edge innovations.

Anything else? Yes, CLEO: 2014 will also provide opportunities for attendees to have some fun, catch up with fellow attendees, and meet new contacts in the industry. This is certainly a great opportunity to network and learn how to get the most out of the conference. Moreover, this event will bring together industry executives to share their business experience with young professionals and students.

Outside of the conference, one can discover the great Silicon Valley lifestyle, wide array of recreational options and experience several wonders that surround lovely Downtown San Jose, California.

You will not want to miss out on these limitless opportunities.  Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Jan 29

By Ken Tichauer – reposted from The Optical Society Blog
For decades biomedical optics has been touted as an ideal tool for diagnosing, monitoring and/or treating a vast array of health conditions owing to low-cost instrumentation, use of non-ionizing radiation, and incomparable sensitivity. All great characteristics; nonetheless, adoptions of optical devices in the clinic have been few and far-between. One could blame regulations, the high cost of clinical trials, and provider inertia; but these hurdles would be behind us if the optical approaches on health and healthcare costs made more more significant impact. We’re not there yet.

But we should remain unabashedly optimistic about the future of biomedical optics. Why? Read the full article.

Dec 24

By Art Agrawal, re-post from The Optical Society Blog

How can we open Open Access even further?

It is fair to say that Open Access (OA) publishing has significantly changed research and scholarship. There has been much debate OpenAccessabout OA, but the principle remains the same: allow everyone access to the published research. Its effectiveness in allowing everyone to publish is perhaps less straightforward. Yet, the trend towards OA is like the arrow of time, pointing in one direction only.

What does it hold for the future?

Simply more OA journals? New and competitive business models? The real future of OA may lie outside the debate outlined above. It may well be to enfold many more things in the embrace of Open Access!

Read the complete post at The Optical Society Blog.

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Nov 21
IMage of CLEO Program Co-Chair Eric Mottay

Eric Mottay, Amplitude Systemes, France, CLEO Program Co-Chair

Submit applications-related advancements in optics & laser science


The CLEO:2014  marketing team sat down with Eric Mottay, CLEO: Applications & Technology (A&T) Program Co-Chair to gain insight on the type of research presented at the A&T conference, the scope of the meeting and the benefits of submitting cutting-edge research to this high-quality, peer-reviewed conference.

CLEO Team:   What is the purpose of Applications and Technology Conference?

Eric Mottay:  Well, the Application and Technology Conference basically builds on the core strength of CLEO, which is the high scientific content, and  explores potential new applications which have the capability to extend into the industrial or commercial domain.  So it sits really at the frontier between the science and the application development work.

CLEO Team:    What type of work is submitted to Applications and Technology?

Eric Mottay:  Well – there are broad categories of research or applied research which can be submitted to the Application & Technology.  It can be industrial development, new emerging industrial applications.  It can also relate to new fields of interest like Bio Photonics or bio applications, for instance.  And also government-funded science, large projects, everything that is basically turning pure science into the application field.

CLEO Team:  What are the benefits of presenting your work at CLEO: 2014?

Eric Mottay:  CLEO: 2014 is a unique place where science meets applications, so by going to this conference, you’ll have some indications of the future of industry while being able to interact with the people making the science that will be the basis for these future directions.  So in this sense, it’s a fairly unique forum. There is a strict review process which ensures that all papers are of really top quality and there are not that many places where in a few days you can have such a broad view of science and emerging applications.

Note: Another important benefit to add is that every accepted paper is published in OSA’s digital library, Optics InfoBase, the largest peer-reviewed collection of optics and photonics. Presented research is also submitted to IEEE’s Xplore Digital Library and indexed in Ei Compendex, Scopus and several other indexing service partners.

 CLEO Team:    When is the deadline for the call for papers?

Eric Mottay:   The deadline for the call of papers for this conference is 22 January 2014, 17:00 GMT.  So it’s not that far off, so we can only encourage scientists, industry people, and Applications-oriented professionals to submit to this exciting conference. Just go to the website and you’ll be walked through it.  It’s a fairly easy process.

CLEO Team:      Wonderful.  Will the special symposia be accepting contributions during the call for papers period?

Eric Mottay:      As part of the Application and Technology Conference, we have a number of symposia, and symposia consist both of invited papers and selected number of contributed papers.  So some of the contributed papers can be accepted in various symposia in field as diverse as microphysics, lasers for consumer electronics, government, funded projects, et cetera.

CLEO Team:    As past subcommittee chair for the industry – industrial category, can you provide examples of prior submissions that were outstanding?

 Eric Mottay:      The privilege of serving as the committee chair for the industrial applications is that you get some advance knowledge of fascinating emerging applications.  So who would have thought – who would have thought, as I saw in a recent invited conference, that cold atoms and quantum gravimeters could lead to industrial applications in oil discovery or geology, for instance, or can you imagine building tiny devices out of glass which combine optical, mechanical, electrical, and photonic functions all on a single glass chips?  That’s just two examples of what the Application and Technology Conference can provide on the latest advancements.

CLEO Team:     CLEO also holds an Expo which provides timely business programming called Market Focus. Can you tell us why this type of programming would be of interest to CLEO: Applications & Technology attendees?

Eric Mottay:   Market Focus can indicate some future large areas or large directions that the technology or the industry should follow while the application and technology builds on the scientific background to explore new ways to go into these future directions.

CLEO Team:     Thank you.

Visit to submit your research to CLEO: Applications & Technology. CLEO is also accepting research in QELS-Fundamental Science and Science and Innovations.For additional benefits on submitting and presenting your research to CLEO, visit

View the Video for more insight on submitting to CLEO, the leading peer-reviewed conference on lasers and electro-optics.

Sep 27

By Arti Agrawal – Re-posted from The Optical Society Blog

The latest innovation that has caught the imagination of the world at large is 3-D printing. As many of you may know (see the OPN article - where we found the image below) 3-D printing isn’t a single technology but several different technologies (almost all use Optics) that have been around for a decade or so. The technology has many applications, some of which make people rather nervous.

There have been discussions on the advantages of 3-D printing and the problems it may bring to us as a society. The former include immense creative freedom, the ability to make prototypes for ideas, specialist devices not suited to high volume manufacture, give a great tool to research and many more.

Yet there are problems too: what happens to the Intellectual Property (IP) if anyone can produce a 3-D copy of a device or parts? People could make weapons and use them illegally. The legal machinery in different countries probably does not have laws that explicitly pertain to additive manufacturing or 3-D printing.

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Sep 23

Tom Hausken, Senior Advisor, Engineering and Applications at the Optical Society provides a brief update of the Industry.

National Photonics Initiative (NPI). The National Academies report, Optics & Photonics, Essential Technologies for Our Nation, recommended an industry-academia-government effort to promote photonics in the U.S, called the National Photonics Initiative. Many people worked over the winter to make it happen, and the NPI was officially launched on May 23 in a webcast. With the launch was the publication of a white paper intended to gather industry’s inputs and blessing to the overall effort. OIDA led the effort for the white paper on optical communications policy. Next, the Podesta Group (a leading lobbying firm in Washington) will help promote the NPI to policymakers.

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