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Mar 30

(One of seventeen youtube shorts from the program chairs highlighting hot topics for CLEO 2012)

This post originally appeared on Jim’s CLEO Blog and is reproduced with permission from the author.

For a few years now CLEO conference organizers have been posting youtube shorts highlighting contributed talks, symposia, research trends, and any new or unique directions for the upcoming conference. This year there are seventeen videos from the program chairs, all worth watching. However, for those who prefer text over A/V, I thought it might be helpful to highlight the highlights here.

Conference Program Stats

-The 2012 program has been selected from a record number of submissions.

-In just its second year, CLEO’s new Technology and Applications Conference saw a 50 % increase in submissions.

-350 papers, 15 % of all submissions, live in the subcommittee sections “Nano-optics and Plasmonics” or “Micro- and Nano-Photonic Devices”

-Subcommittee section: “Fiber Amplifiers, Lasers and Devices” was the single committee that received the most submissions

CLEO Applications and Technology: Government and National Science, Security and Standards Applications

In his youtube short, subcommittee Chair Ian Mckinnie of Lockheed Martin Coherent Technologies briefly discusses the two tracks of this subcommittee: 1) Ultrafast Laser Applications and 2) Instrumentation and Sensing.

Mckinnie talks about how the ultrafast program covers a broad range ultrafast laser applications spanning those performed at large facility-class systems to those on a bench top or operating table. These are exemplified by the tutorial talk, AW3J1, “Enabling Science at the Advanced Light Source X-ray Facility” that will be given by Roger Falcone of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory from 4:30-5:30 pm on May 9, and the invited talk AW3J4, “Applications of Ultrafast Lasers” by Mike Mielke of Raydiance Inc., also on May 9, but from 6:00-6:30 pm

The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a large synchrotron source that produces laser light over an extremely broad spectrum including the hard-to-reach soft x-ray region. Falcone will be discussing the use of the coherent radiation at this user-facility for applications such as precise material processing and biomedical research.

On the other hand, Mielke will be discussing the use of compact fiber systems for micromachining and laser surgery. See blog post “Machining with Ultrafast Pulses” for some stunning videos and more information on these compact micromachining systems.

On the remote sensing side, Massayuki Fujita, from the Institute of for Laser Technology in Osaka, will be giving an invited talk on an application of remote sensing not typically found in the CLEO conference program- nondestructive inspection for heavy industrial processes. Fujita’s talk, ATuG3 “Nondestructive Inspection for Heavy Construction” can be heard on Tuesday May 8, at 2:30 pm.

CLEO Applications and Technology: Industrial Applications

In his video short, subcommittee chair Eric Mottay of Amplitude Systemes discuses the two major trends of the Industrial Applications subcommittee: 1) micro- and nanofabrication techniques and 2) applications of graphene.

Talks in the latter category can be found in a joint session with CLEO: Science and Innovation subcommittee six in session “Graphene and Carbon Advanced Photonic Materials” which will be held form 11:00am-1:00 pm on May 8. This session will host talks presenting graphene-based devices such as detectors, modulators, and tunable resonators. Recall that Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize for showing the “exceptional” properties of graphene such as it being simultaneously the thinnest and strongest material, having better electrical conductivity than copper, better heat conduction than all other known materials, and having nearly 100 % transparency yet an extremely high density (so dense helium atoms cannot pass through). Be sure to see how this “magical” material is being translated into devices that may be on the market in the next three to five years.

On the other hand, the invited talks for this subcommitee all center around micro- and nano- fabrication processes. Arnold Gillner of the Fraunhofer Institute will discuss how ultrafast lasers can be used for surface processing at the micro- and nanoscale level for applications in light guiding, fabrication of low friction surfaces, or wear-resistant surfaces. His talk, ATu3L1, “Micromanufacturing and nano surface functionalisation with ultrashort pulsed lasers” is scheduled for May 8, at 4:30 pm. Additionally, Paul Webster from Queen’s University will be discussing online monitoring during fabrication, particularly concerning the control of depth, in invited talk ATu3L5, “Inline Coherent Imaging: Measuring and Controlling Depth in Industrial Laser Processes,” on May 8, at 5:45 pm and Rick Russo from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will be speaking about real-time spectroscopy of a sample after it has been turned into a plasma through laser ablation in talk, AW1H3 “Laser Plasmas for Spectrochemistry” on May 9, at 11:00 am.

CLEO Applications and Technology: Energy and Environment

In his video short, subcommittee chair Christian Wetzel from Rensselaer Polytechnich Institute discusses two trends… click here to read the full original post

Oct 03

Left: Reflection images of a histopathology slide corresponding to skin tissue using a low-cost, portable, lens-free off-axis holographic microscope. Right: Conventional reflection-mode microscope image of the same specimen using a 4X objective lens (NA: 0.1). Image from Biomedical Optics Express.

This post originally appeared on Jim’s CLEO Blog and is reproduced with permission from the author.

Research performed in the Ozcan group at UCLA holds a unique place in the field of optics and photonics. Besides the typical pursuit of advancing optical technology, another major initiative of this photonics group is solving problems of global world health, particularly in resource-poor countries.

Early September marked a milestone for the UCLA group as they published work on a compact, low-cost (~$100 USD of parts), dual-mode microscope with 2 micron resolution in Biomedical Optics Express (also written up in a recent OSA press release). The key to making such a low-footprint, low-cost, lab-grade device is using holographic microscopy. The image information stored in a hologram (the interference of the reflected or transmitted light from the specimen with a reference beam) requires no lenses, drastically reducing the weight, size, and overall expense of the device. A computer reconstructs the wavefront reflecting from (or transmitting through) the sample instead of a lens (see fig below). The impact to world health will be increased blood-diagnostics, water quality tests, tissue screening and analysis, and other imaging diagnostics in areas where microscopes currently are not available due to cost and/or remoteness of location. Getting more microscopes into the hands of health workers may have large impacts for heading off disease outbreaks as well as treatments for individuals.

The idea of using holograms in microscopy is not new. In fact it was the quest for higher resolution in electron microscopy which prompted Dennis Gabor to devise wavefront reconstruction by holography in 1948. Gabor coined the word “hologram” which translates “whole message” to emphasize the amount of information that is stored in this very special interference pattern. For a brief history of holography from its roots in microscopy, its development through radar, and its boom in mainstream art and media in the 60′s and 70′s , see Jeff Hecht’s 2010 OPN article.

Schematic of the 200 gram microscope developed by the Ozcan group in reflection mode. LD: laser diode, PH: pin hole, BC: Beamsplitting Cube. Note the two AA batteries as the power source as well as for scale. Image from M. Lee, O. Yaglidere, and A. Ozcan, Biomedical Optics Express, 2, 2721 (2011).

What makes the Ozcan group’s work so special is not the use of a fundamentally new technique, but clever and impressive engineering. This holographic microscope is small, inexpensive, and can work in both transmission and reflection mode. The transmission mode of the current device is similar to an earlier work by the Ozcan group- a cell-phone microscope. In the summer of 2010, the UCLA group published work in Lab on a Chip demonstrating a clever attachment to an ordinary cell-phone which could convert it into lab-grade microscope (see the youtube short below). By employing digital holographic microscopy, the group was able to produce a 38 gram attachment without any lenses, lasers, or bulky optics, which when incorporated with the cell phone camera, produced hologram on the cell phone detector array. The idea is that the hologram data would be sent over the same cell phone to the closest hospital/analysis station, a computer would process the hologram to extract the image information, and then the image would be sent back to the same phone, all within seconds of placing the sample to be analyzed into the device.

Though the current device cannot be so easily integrated onto a phone, the additional benefit of reflection-mode operation makes up for its “bulkiness.” By operating in reflection-mode, the new microscope is additionally suited for imaging optically dense media like tissue, something not possible using in-line transmission holography due to spatial distortions in the reference wave…  To read the full original post, click here.

Jan 30

U.S. President, Barack Obama, following-up his state-of-the-union message at energy technology firm Orion Energy Systems in Manitowok, WI on January 26. Photo from Orion Energy Systems

This post originally appeared on Jim’s Cleo Blog and is reproduced with permission from its author.

Just this past Tuesday, U.S. president, Barack Obama, invoked science and innovation in the State-of-the-Union-Address, as the silver bullet to heal an ailing U.S. economy and crumbling infrastructure. U.S. statesmen and -women alike got up out of their seats repeatedly to give applause for science. Specifically, Mr. Obama, cited three optics-related areas of research to which he will try to allocate U.S. federal funding: 1) biomedical research, 2) information technology, and 3) clean-energy technology. Mr. Obama proposed to send a budget to congress in the next few weeks that would help the U.S. “…reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the Space Race.” To that aim, CLEO will be hosting contributed papers in these three areas, and if Mr. Obama is successful in his budget requests, perhaps we will be seeing more submissions and exhibitions in these fields in the near-future.

Entire sessions devoted to Obama’s first research area, biomedical research, can be found under two-topic categories CLEO:Applications and Technology 1: Biomedical and CLEO: Science and Innovation10: Biophotonics and Optofluidics. The former will contain research already in the clinical-trial stage, whereas the latter will hold emerging research that is “pre-pilot.” One of the many sub-categories in these topics includes optical biopsy. The goal of optical biopsy is to diagnose tissue during a medical procedure in vivo with photons rather than extracting it invasively with a knife (to be analyzed later in a lab). This is the aim of many biomedical techniques such as diffuse optical tomography (DOT), optical coherence tomography (OCT), and multiphoton microscopy (MPM). These techniques use light in clever ways to extract information from deep inside tissue which typically scatters away all the light you want. Be sure to attend these sessions for the latest on these and other emerging biomedical techniques.

Sessions for Mr. Obama’s second research area, information technology, can be found …for the full original post, click here.

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