Optics + Photonics conference sees nano and solar future (WATCH THE VIDEO)

Sept. 11, 2007
September 11, 2007, San Diego, CA--Attendance was up and the San Diego weather was pleasant as usual for the Plenary-rich 2007 SPIE Optics + Photonics show held August 26-30.

September 11, 2007, San Diego, CA--Attendance was up and the San Diego weather was pleasant as usual for the Plenary-rich 2007 SPIE Optics + Photonics show held August 26-30.

"Optics + Photonics is proceeding on the right track with its emphasis on nano and solar technologies, which are immensely important to our future," said Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Charles Godfrey Binder professor of engineering science and mechanics at Pennsylvania State University (State College, PA) and editor-in-chief of SPIE's Journal of Nanophotonics, an online-only journal that focuses on the fabrication and application of nanostructures that either generate or manipulate light from the infrared to the ultraviolet regimes. Lakhtakia continued, "But this emphasis on the nano and solar future has its feet firmly planted in the past glories and ongoing research in optics and photonics, a foundation from which all future technologies emerge." Lakhtakia was among the Plenary speakers at Optics + Photonics and also chaired two sessions in the Photonic Metamaterials conference within the NanoScience + Engineering symposium.

Compared to previous SPIE Optics + Photonics shows, this year's technical conference was neatly divided into four topical areas: NanoScience + Engineering, Solar Energy + Applications, Photonic Devices + Applications, and Optical Engineering + Applications--tabbed boldly in the Technical Program guide as NANO, SOLAR, PHOTONICS, and OPTICS for easier navigation by conference attendees.

Optics + Photonics 2007 attendance was around 5100 individuals--a healthy increase over the 4400 attendees in 2006. In addition, last year's offering of 2600 technical presentations grew to over 3100 technical presentations.

Plenary sessions
The All-Conference Plenary--presented Sunday night to a crowd of approximately 500--consisted of two presentations; the first on "Technology to Enable our Solar Technology Future" by Thomas Feist, manager of the Thin Films Laboratory in Micro and Nano Structures Technologies at GE Global Research (Niskayuna, NY), the second on "The Concept of the Photon: Updated" by Marlon O. Scully of Texas A&M and Princeton University. Feist explained that nobody wants their solar-electricity system to look like it was installed by Radio Shack, making the point that the adoption of new solar-energy technologies will be speeded by building-integrated solar systems that seamlessly integrate with existing building architectures such as the use of photovoltaic (PV) roof tiles and organic PV window glass.

The six NANO Plenary sessions began on Monday morning with a visually exciting presentation on "Optically Driven Mechanical Micro/Nanosystems in Classical and Quantum Realms" by professor Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, head of the School of Physical Sciences and a Director of the Centre for Biophotonics and Laser Science at the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia). Her many videos displayed in real time the optically induced rotation of birefringent calcium carbonate nanoparticle spheres and other nanomachines within fluids by using the orbital angular momentum of light (WATCH THE VIDEO).

For a more detailed Optics + Photonics Conference review, see the September 1, 2007, issue of the Optoelectronics Report business newsletter.

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