Photonics West ’08 to be bigger, better than ever

SAN JOSE, CA—North America’s largest photonics event, SPIE’s Photonics West 2008 in San Jose, CA (January 19–24) is again expected to draw record crowds.

SAN JOSE, CA—North America’s largest photonics event, SPIE’s Photonics West 2008 in San Jose, CA (January 19–24) is again expected to draw record crowds. Approximately 17,000 attendees from around the world will flock to four international symposia: Biomedical Optics (BiOS), emphasizing new developments in biomedical optics technology; Optoelectronics (OPTO) on integrated optoelectronic devices; Lasers (LASE), highlighting lasers and applications in science and technology; and Micro–optoelectromechanical systems–Microelectromechanical systems (MOEMS–MEMS), featuring advances in micro– and nano–fabrication and technology. The week–long event begins with BiOS on the opening weekend—the largest biomedical optics exhibition in the world—and the other three symposia running the rest of the week.

Organizers say the Photonics West exhibit floor will feature over 1100 companies, compared to 1000 last year, while the convention center halls will offer more than 3100 technical papers in no fewer than 85 conferences. A variety of all–symposium social networking events will be offered, including several designed for students and early–career professionals. Many companies schedule major announcements of products and technology annually at the show, revealed at their booths and in demonstrations.

SCHOTT (Jena, Germany) plans to announce a new material for wafer chip–size packaging and wafer–level optics, which extends their materials portfolio. SCHOTT will also demonstrate and discuss the use of Zerodur glass ceramic for the mirrors in large telescopes such as the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project of Caltech and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA), which recently received a $200 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Spectrum Detector (Lake Oswego, OR) will introduce their “deltΔ” line of optical detectors and analog/digital electronics configured for accurate measurement of optical power or energy from 0.2 to14 μm. Configured as a power or energy sensor, the detectors can be configured as a power or energy sensor of several types—pyroelectric, silicon, germanium, or indium gallium arsenide—for mating to their analog or digital (USB) power module.

The new laser products at the show will come in every color imaginable. MPB Communications (Pointe–Claire, QC, Canada) will showcase a new 1 W high–power fiber laser emitting in the orange part of the spectrum at 592 nm. Photonic Products (Hatfield Broad Oak, Herts, England) will present a green thermoelectrically cooled laser module for biomedical and laboratory use at 532 nm. And Kimmon Electric (Centennial, CO) will premiere its line of solid–state blue lasers operating at 408, 442 and 445 nm.

Throughout the conference, leading international experts will share their insight via numerous plenary and hot–topic sessions and industry perspectives panels. A focus on the telecom market can be found on Tuesday in two sessions: “Optical Components for Telecom Applications” by Daryl Inniss, VP and Practice Leader at Ovum RHK (London), and “OPTICS: The Foundation of Telco’s Transition to Multimedia Provider” by Steve Rago, Principal Analyst at iSuppli (El Segundo, CA). An industry forum on Wednesday, “Latest Developments in Broadband Access Communication Technologies” will further highlight economic issues, market dynamics, and trends in that field.

Beginning on Saturday, January 19, the BiOS conference alone will offer 1300 papers, more than any of the other three conferences at Photonics West. During BiOS, PennWell Corporation (Tulsa, OK) will launch BioOptics World magazine and digital brand, a new sister publication to Laser Focus World.

The MOEMS–MEMS Plenary presentations will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday with Michael Douglass of Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX), on “MEMS reliability: coming of age.” Randy Sprague of Microvision (Redmond, WA) will wrap up the MOEMS–MEMS Plenaries with a look at “High–resolution displays, one pixel at a time.”

The OPTO Plenary “Welcome” presentations happen Tuesday morning with Eli Yablonovitch of the University of California (Berkeley, CA) on “Nanophotonics: from photonic crystals to plasmonics.” The Plenary continues with Niyazi Serdar Sariciftci of Johannes Kepler University Linz, on “Organic ‘plastic’ optoelectronic devices.”

The LASE All–Conference Plenary session begins Wednesday morning with a presentation by Dieter Bäuerle of Johannes Kepler University (Linz, Austria) entitled, “Laser processing and chemistry: applications in nanopatterning, material synthesis and biotechnology.” Holger Schlueter, from the Farmington, CT, North–American subsidiary of Germany–based TRUMPF, continues the LASE Plenaries with his first–hand experience in his talk, “The long journey from idea to industrial success.”

On Wednesday afternoon, an executive panel made up of leaders in the industry will share their views and discuss “Market Direction and Implications for the World of Photonics.” Thursday will feature a presentation on “China: Competitor, Customer, or Conundrum?” given by Adonis Mak, publisher of Laser Focus World China, and Jeremy Chang, managing director of Edmund Optics, China.

The week following Photonics West, SPIE maintains the pace with the Electronic Imaging conference in the same location (see To preview and search the Photonics West advanced program or to register for any or all of the week’s events, visit

—Valerie C. Coffey

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