CONFERENCE PREVIEW: CLEO/IQEC 2009: a hub of knowledge, activity

April 1, 2009
Because of its diversity and leading-edge technological nature, photonics as a profession has shown itself to have a built-in resilience.

Because of its diversity and leading-edge technological nature, photonics as a profession has shown itself to have a built-in resilience. This is in evidence particularly at photonics trade shows, which remain founts of both technical and commercial activity, and continue to be extremely well attended. Medical optics, IR systems, optical interconnects, ultrafast phenomena, and the many other topics highlighted at these shows provide a solid foundation indeed for the future of photonics.

The Optical Society of America’s 29th Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics and the 27th International Quantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/IQEC 2009; May 31 to June 5, 2009; Baltimore, MD) is the place to go to experience this energizing activity. In addition to a full schedule of technical sessions and symposia, the conference offers tutorials, short courses, a full-featured exhibit, and many social events. PhotonXpo, the exhibit at CLEO, will have 350 participating companies and the exhibits will be complemented by free on-floor programming and presentations. The Photonic Applications, Systems and Technologies (PhAST)/Laser Focus World Innovation Awards Program will honor outstanding leadership and significant contributions to optics and photonics.

Conference program

Plenary talks will be given by Edward Moses of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA) on technical capabilities and directions at the National Ignition Facility; Federico Capasso of Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) on the physics and applications of the quantum-cascade laser; and Alain Aspect of the Institut d’Optique (Palaiseau, France) on quantum information technology. Technical sessions will be held throughout the five-day conference, and will include invited, tutorial, and contributed presentations. CLEO/IQEC will conclude with postdeadline sessions, highlighting up-to-the-minute research.

For example, an invited talk given by Vladimir Stojanovic and his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) and the University of California, Berkeley, “Manycore Processor Networks with Monolithic Integrated CMOS Photonics,” details the tight coupling between the logical and physical implementations of silicon-photonic “core-to-core” and “core-to-DRAM” interconnects, in which, for example, optical waveguides, ring resonators, modulators, photodetectors, and waveguide crossings are implemented in standard bulk CMOS in a hybrid electro-optical shared-memory network for a 256-core processor that has ten times higher throughput than that of an optimized all-electrical network. (Keep in mind that integrated-silicon electronics was the necessary precursor to phenomena such as the Web and Google; silicon photonics, especially the on-chip variety, could well be the next “transformative” technology.)

Among the invited talks, Jeff Squier and his group at the Colorado School of Mines will discuss a photon-counting microscope that simultaneously captured these single-harmonic-generation mosaic images of crystalline cellulose at two orthogonal polarizations of the excitation beam. (Courtesy of Colorado School of Mines)
Click here to enlarge image

Jeff Squier and his group at the Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO) will give an invited talk on a new photon-counting microscope that they developed; the instrument simultaneously images multiple focal planes using multiple techniques (for example, two-photon excitation fluorescence, second-harmonic generation, and third-harmonic generation). With a femtosecond laser as the light source and multiple photomultiplier tubes as the photon counters, the microscope can take 18 simultaneous images (six focal planes, three techniques) at video rates. Alternatively, orthogonal excitation polarizations can be imaged at the same time (see figure). The data consists of true photon counts, resulting in images with quantitative intensity contours. The hardware can be installed on existing multiphoton microscopes, and will enable new ways to study microbiology in motion.

In a contributed talk, Daniel Mittleman and his group at Rice University (Houston, TX), along with researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, NM) and Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM) describe the operation of a 4 × 4 electrically driven terahertz metamaterial spatial modulator that will enable high-speed terahertz imaging in a single-pixel system (see for their previous research). Gabriel Biener and fellow researchers from the College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL) and the Biomolecular Science Center at the University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL) give a contributed talk on guiding the motility of single cells by optical torques exerted by polarized light; the torque actually affects the actin network within the cell, which is responsible for the cell’s movement.

Many other invited and contributed talks cover the full range of topics in optics, photonics, and quantum phenomena, such as a 35 W peak-power surface-emitting photonic-crystal laser; a terahertz subwavelength-fiber-based near-field microscope; frequency conversion in silicon waveguides over two-thirds of an octave; CMOS-integrated germanium waveguide detectors for optical interconnects; and much more.


To help attendees plan, the event coordinators for the CLEO exhibition, PhotonXpo, have categorized the exhibits by type of offering (product or service). The category with the heaviest concentration is Lasers, Laser Accessories, and Laser Systems, which has double the number of exhibitors as any other category. Test & Measurement Equipment is second, followed by Passive Components (Lenses, Filters, Multiplexers, Isolators, Coatings); Fiber Optic Components; Active Optical Components; Imaging & Sensing Equipment; Infrared Sources, Detectors, Systems; and Semiconductor Lasers & Detectors. Other major categories are: Laboratory Equipment, Light Sources (Incoherent), Materials, Micro-manipulators/Positioners-Manufacturing Equipment, Optical Fiber/Cable, and Optoelectronic Components.

Another popular part of CLEO is the on-site job fair, to be held in the exhibit hall. Employers and recruiters can showcase their companies with exhibits; post jobs online; review resumes before, during or after the conference; create alerts to keep abreast of new submissions and openings; and interview candidates during the event. CLEO says that space is limited.

The fair gives job candidates the ability to search hundreds of job postings; post a resume online confidentially; and network and schedule interviews. Registration for job seekers will be available online in mid April 2009. If you would like OSA to e-mail you when the registration opens–or if you have other questions–please e-mail [email protected].

PhAST Innovation Awards

The fourth annual PhAST/Laser Focus World Innovation Awards program will honor PhotonXpo exhibitors at OSA’s CLEO/IQEC who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and made significant contributions in advancing the field of optics and photonics.

PhAST is the Photonic Applications, Systems, and Technology track at CLEO/IQEC, which features an additional “Market Focus” series of sessions that will be held on the exhibit floor this year, free to all attendees. More than any other conference track at CLEO/IQEC, PhAST highlights the actual products and services that are commercially available today and are crucial in driving the applications of tomorrow.

The 2009 winning entry (deadline was March 27) will receive the PhAST/Laser Focus World Innovation Award in a special presentation during the CLEO/IQEC Plenary Session on Monday, June 1. In addition, the chosen entry’s submitter will participate in the CLEO/IQEC Press Luncheon with other prominent speakers at the conference. Four honorable mentions will also be acknowledged during the Plenary Session. All winners will be highlighted in official conference materials on-site (Conference Program, Exhibit Buyers’ Guide) and in a CLEO/IQEC and PhAST press release. All finalists will be recognized on signage at the conference. For more information on the Innovation Awards program, go to and be sure to enter your product for the 2010 award.
Laser Focus World staff

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