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Mar 26

Taking a look around an airport, bus station, or waiting room, you’re likely to notice a few differences between the scenes now as compared to those of ten or so years ago. One thing that might strike you is that the papery time killers that filled lounging areas from the past are now replaced with personal electronic devices. Thanks to a great number of innovations, including the sophistication of LCDs, LEDs, electronic ink, and microprocessors, portable devices for reading purposes and beyond are becoming ubiquitous.

However, you might notice another striking difference between then and now with respect to these typeface transporters. It’s probably a tiny daily burden you’ve learned to cope with over the years: you can’t exactly roll up your electronic device like your morning newspaper. And I wouldn’t recommend trying it, but go for it if you don’t believe me (disclaimer: I’m not buying you a new phone, tablet, e-reader, or whatever you just broke).

Luckily, there are always smart folks who see these issues, as well as a handful of others: Why can’t I wear my electronics and photonics on my skin? Why can’t I cram my devices into any arbitrary space I want? Why should I have to look at these things but not through them?

Thanks to many forward-thinking materials researchers, the answer to the above questions seems to be, “No reason, let’s make it happen!” So here we are in the age of developing flexible electronics and photonics. The difficulty in making devices flexible is probably pretty obvious: most materials we conventionally use are not flexible! However, that doesn’t mean we can’t make a materials change for some things. For example, polymers are very flexible, so any pieces we can make out of those types of materials could be very helpful. And it turns out for photonics, you can make emitters, modulators, filters, and waveguides out of such materials as well as other organic and inorganic materials.

Nevertheless, if you’re like me, you have a hard time parting with semiconductors. They’re just so good at what they do and doing it efficiently. Well, there’s not necessarily any reason to abandon our band-gap-having, crystalline friends. It’s just that they need to trim down a little, to relieve a bit of the strain. The amount the most stressed crystalline layer needs to stretch or compress upon a deformation is related to how many layers away it is from the neutral plane, where there is no strain. Translation: make the layer thin.

So now you can bend your semiconductor, and you have an efficient source flapping in the breeze. Unfortunately, if you left it just like this, it would fall apart in an instant, its thickness being measured in units of nanometers (hence, nanomembranes). That’s why techniques have been developed to put these membranes on more stable yet flexible substrates. Enter again polymers. Two methods dominate at this time: transfer printing and direct patterning. Transfer printing is a process in which devices are fabricated and then bonded to the flexible substrate. This allows one to put a multitude of different devices, possibly made of different materials, on a single substrate. On the other hand, direct patterning utilizes deposition of a material on the substrate and then etching steps to define the devices. Although often less versatile than transfer printing, direct patterning is another robust method of making this flexible hybrid platform.

General process illustration for crystalline semiconductor membrane release, transfer and stacking. (a) Begin with source material (e.g., SOI, GeOI, III-V multi layers with a sacrificial layer). Metallization can be applied here, if needed. (b) Pattern top layer into membrane (or strip forms) down to the sacrificial layer. (c) Release membrane by undercutting the sacrificial layer. (d) Fully released membrane settles down on the handling substrate via van der Waals force (“in-place bonding”). Direct flip transfer: (e1). Apply glue on host (e.g., flexible) substrate and attach it to the handling substrate. (f1) Lift-up the host substrate and flip to complete the transfer. Glue can be dissolved if needed. Stamp-assisted transfer: (e2) Bring a stamp (e.g., Polydimethylsiloxane, or PDMS) toward the handling substrate, press and lift-up. (f2) Apply the stamp with membrane attached to a new host substrate (which can be coated with glue, but not necessary). (g2) Slowly peel off the stamp or remove the stamp with shear force, leaving the membrane to stay on the new host substrate. Multiple layers can be applied by repeating (a)-(f1) or (a)-(g2). (Juejun Hu, Lan Li, Hongtao Lin, Ping Zhang, Weidong Zhou, and Zhenqiang Ma, "Flexible integrated photonics: where materials, mechanics and optics meet [Invited]," Opt. Mater. Express 3, 1313-1331 (2013))
 http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ome/abstract.cfm?URI=ome-3-9-1313)

General process illustration for crystalline semiconductor membrane release, transfer and stacking. (a) Begin with source material (e.g., SOI, GeOI, III-V multi layers with a sacrificial layer). Metallization can be applied here, if needed. (b) Pattern top layer into membrane (or strip forms) down to the sacrificial layer. (c) Release membrane by undercutting the sacrificial layer. (d) Fully released membrane settles down on the handling substrate via van der Waals force (“in-place bonding”). Direct flip transfer: (e1). Apply glue on host (e.g., flexible) substrate and attach it to the handling substrate. (f1) Lift-up the host substrate and flip to complete the transfer. Glue can be dissolved if needed. Stamp-assisted transfer: (e2) Bring a stamp (e.g., Polydimethylsiloxane, or PDMS) toward the handling substrate, press and lift-up. (f2) Apply the stamp with membrane attached to a new host substrate (which can be coated with glue, but not necessary). (g2) Slowly peel off the stamp or remove the stamp with shear force, leaving the membrane to stay on the new host substrate. Multiple layers can be applied by repeating (a)-(f1) or (a)-(g2). (Juejun Hu, Lan Li, Hongtao Lin, Ping Zhang, Weidong Zhou, and Zhenqiang Ma, “Flexible integrated photonics: where materials, mechanics and optics meet [Invited],” Opt. Mater. Express 3, 1313-1331 (2013))
 http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ome/abstract.cfm?URI=ome-3-9-1313)

With these methods, one can make a number of photonic (and electronic devices). And there are some interesting avenues for exploration. For example, despite the strain-mitigation provided by thinning semiconductor membranes, it does not provide strain-elimination. The presence of strain alters the electronic and photonic properties of semiconductors, and therefore one can make tunable devices through flexing the material. However, this isn’t always a good thing; it creates a tough problem to solve when you want an extremely stable device under bending stress.

As hopefully you can see, this is a very exciting and active area of research. There are many open research questions and progress is continuing. If this topic catches your interest and you’re attending CLEO 2014, a great opportunity to learn more is from an expert! John Rogers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be giving a tutorial on flexible photonic devices. So be sure to check it out!

 

Disclaimer: Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Government and MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Mar 21

Applications & Technology (A&T) is a key conference at CLEO: 2014, exploring the evolution of newly discovered technologies previously reported in CLEO: Science & Innovations as they are perfected and further developed to meet system and application requirements. New components, optoelectronics, and laser systems are demonstrated in real-world environments where innovative commercial technologies emerge.

Yu Chen, University of Maryland, Program Co- Chair provides an overview of this year’s A&T symposium and paper highlights.

CLEO Team:

Discuss the exciting lineup of symposia that are A&T related? What are some of the hot topics being covered?

Yu Chen:

This year we have organized a series of exciting symposia. The first two are focused on biomedical applications. The first one is Advances in Neurophotonics, organized by Drs. Nick Iftimia and Jin Kang. This symposium highlights the photonics technologies that enable mapping of brain function.  This is an important research area as highlighted by President Obama’s recent BRAIN Initiative. We have invited leaders in this field to share their frontier research. Topicscovered include optical coherence tomography and multi-photon microscopy for neuroimaging, high-resolution imaging of brain networks and diseases, and optogenetics.

Patient undergoing MEG. Wikipedia Commons

Patient undergoing MEG. Source: Wikipedia Commons

The second area of application is Molecular Imaging, which is an interdisciplinary area intersecting photonics technology and molecular medicine, with great potentials for early disease detection and personalized treatment. This year’s symposium, organized by Drs. Xavier Intes and Ali Azhdarinia, contains two sessions: one focuses on novel optical molecular imaging techniques, including near-infrared fluorescence imaging, Cerenkov radiation imaging, and photoacoustic imaging. The other session focuses on molecular probe development and clinical translation. The speakers are renowned scientists, clinicians, and industrial leaders that set the trend in this field.

The next two symposia are more technology oriented. The first one is Novel Light Sources and Photonic Devices in Optical Imaging, organized by Drs. Charles Lin, Nick Iftimia, and Ben Vakoc. This symposium highlights the advanced development of novel light sources and photonic technologies that enable biomedical imaging. Topics include novel light sources for nanophotonics-based OCT, as well as deep tissue multiphoton imaging and manipulation.

The next symposium has similar theme, but more focuses on Ultrashort Pulse Laser TechnologiesOrganizedby Drs. Ilko Ilev and Emma Springate, this symposium highlights the recent state-of-the-art development in ultrafast laser technologies for biophotonics and nanobiophotonics. Topics include ultrafast compact fiber lasers; tunable ultrafast visible, near- and mid-IR lasers; plasmonic nanobuble based integrated theranostics, and ultrafast laser induced ion beams for proton therapy.  

The next hot topic is Optofluidic Microsystems, organized by Drs. Ian White and Andreas Vasdekis. This symposium aims to highlight emerging trends in optofluidics and their application in microsystems.  This year’s program will feature an overview of the last ten years of optofluidics by one of the founding fathers of the field, Dr. Dmitri Psaltis, and will also project into the future by talks from current leaders in the field. Topics include optofluidic lasers and resonators, optofluidics for energy, and optofluidic particle manipulations.

CLEO Team:

What exciting papers did you receive for Applications & Technology?

Yu Chen:

We have a large affluence of papers for the light sources, resulting from the success of last year’s symposium on novel light sources. We also have papers focused on Neurophotonics, as stimulated by this year’s symposium. Our program includes new developments in OCT, multiphoton microscopy, and photoacoustic imaging, as well as clinical translation. Some of the example hot topics include adaptive optics for ophthalmology, point of care devices based on smart phones, minimally-invasive imaging technologies for disease diagnosis and therapy guidance, endomicroscopy, as well as multi-modal imaging combining OCT with fluorescence/confocal.

CLEO Team: Thank you


The CLEO Conference, sponsored by APS/Division of Laser Science, IEEE Photonics Society and the Optical Society received record-breaking submissions this year. The Conference takes place in San Jose, CA, USA, 8-13 June 2014.

For more information on CLEO: 2014 and the A&T program please visit www.cleoconference.org.

 

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.

Read more>>

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.

Read More>>

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 CLEOconference.org 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 www.cleoconference.org 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 http://www.cleoconference.org/home/submissions/.

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

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