Future light-wave technologies

Thursday 18th July 2013
Lightwave global spread EANTC’s Carrier Ethernet World Congress 2009 multivendor interoperability showcase. Courtesy: http://www.lightwaveonline.com/articles/print/volume-26/issue-11/applications/interoperability-unlocks-carrier-ethernet-20-floodgates.html. Below: photonic gel developed at Rice Uni & Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Strathclyde and St Andrews University expertise in light-wave photonics domains is scheduled to emerge at the IEEE Photonics Conference (IPC-2013) being held near Seattle, Washington in September. The gathering, like December's IEDM event, is among the world's elite forums for scientists and engineers to exchange expertise and research on the use of light to address many technological challenges.

Photonics technologies and applications include lasers, bio-photonics, displays, photo-detectors, sensors, imaging systems, integrated optics, photovoltaics, opto-electronics, interconnects, microwave and nano-photonic devices and systems, non-linear and ultra-fast optics, optical fibre communications, planar waveguide technology and optoelectronic materials.

Around 600 or so scientists, engineers and technical managers  are gathering at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue Hotel, Seattle, from September 8-12.for an IPC-2013 program of invited talks, paper presentations, panel sessions, special symposia, networking opportunities, and a product showcase.

This year the conference comes in the wake of a spring launch of the  USA National Photonics Initiative, a collaboration betwee industry, academia and government experts to raise awareness of photonics impact on the everyday, and the field’s compelling business opportunities, as well as its potential barriers to growth.

“While more than a thousand companies have sprung up in recent years to produce the photonics devices and systems we all depend on, there’s a need to overcome financial and other barriers to growth in order to enable continuing progress, and that’s what this initiative is all about” says (right) Richard Linke, executive director of the IEEE Photonics Society, sponsor of IPC-2013 and co-sponsor of the National Photonics Initiative along with four other leading industry groups.

​“The IEEE Photonics Conference represents a fusion of cutting-edge scientific research and leading industrial innovations for photonics engineers, technologists and suppliers from around the world,” says Professor. Martin Dawson, (left)  IPC-2013 Program Chair and, director of Photonics Research at Scotland's University of Strathclyde, as well as head of the new Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics, housed symbiotically with Strathclyde University.

“Thought-provoking technical talks, numerous special events and a product exhibition will provide attendees with the insights and ideas they need to advance the use of light to address many of today’s most important technological challenges.”
For example, one of the plenary talks, to be given by Dr. John Rogers of Illinois University,  professor, business entrepreneur and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship (aka “genius grant”), Dr. Rogers is one of the world’s leading experts in flexible circuitry.

His talking is Digital Cameras in Bio-Inspired Designs: from humans to Flies. Such biological imaging systems exploit design principles that enable fields of view, uniformity in illumination, sensitivity to motion and visual patterns that are difficult or impossible to realise with conventional technologies.

The talk will describe work on cameras with structures inspired by the eyes found in mammals and insects, explaining the underlying materials science and mechanics of such approaches, illustrating the imaging characteristics through modelling and experimental studies, and demonstrating the ideas with working cameras, in geometries that mimic human and fly eyes.

The other plenaries cover Lab-on-Chip and Point-of-Care Applications of Silicon Photonics by Roel G. Baets, Ghent University/IMEC, Microwave Quantum Optics in Superconducting Circuits by Yasunobu Nakamura, University of Tokyo and The Flexibility of Coherent Optical Transceivers by Kim Roberts, Ciena.

Tutorials, which provide a broad view of a photonics field starting from basic, are  scheduled at various times through the conference on the six topics:

Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers: Ivan Andonovic, (left) University of Strathclyde 
VCSELs for Green High Performance Computers and Computer Interconnects: Dieter Bimberg, TU Berlin
Photonic Microwave-to-Digital Conversion Thomas Clark, Johns Hopkins University
Optical Sensors  Life Science & Medicine: Brian T. Cunningham,
UIUCOptical Micromanipulation:  Kishan Dholakia, (right) University St Andrews
Nonlinear Propagation Effects in Multimode Transmission by Antonio Mecozzi, University d’Aquila

Two panel discussions will address Silicon Photonics and Photonics in the Pacific Northwest  and there  will be three Special Symposia at various times during the conference on: Optical Data Storage, Optogenetics and.  inescapably, The Internet of Things.

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