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East Meets West at PICALO 2008

Photonics.com
Mar 2008
BEIJING, March 18, 2008 -- Opportunities for laser business in China and the impact of globalization on the laser industry will be two topics of discussion during PICALO 2008, a biennial event focused on new developments in lasers and applications in the Pacific region that is being held in China for the first time.

PICALO, the Pacific International Conference on Applications of Lasers and Optics, will take place April 16-18 at the Capital Hotel in Beijing. The two previous PICALO conferences, in 2004 and 2006, were held in Australia. It is presented by the Laser Institute of America in cooperation with the Laser Processing Committee of the China Optical Society (LPC-COS) and Tsinghua University in Beijing. The event will feature plenary presentations, technical conferences, poster sessions, an international business summit and a vendor showcase.

"The general aim of PICALO is to bring together researchers, engineers, equipment suppliers and industry personnel to hear the latest developments and progress in lasers and applications and to share knowledge, experiences and visions," said general conference chair Minlin Zhong of Tsinghua University in a statement on the PICALO Web site.

The event features two technical conferences: Laser Materials Processing, and Micro, Nano and Ultrafast Fabrication.

The PICALO Laser Materials Processing Conference features the latest developments worldwide in laser cutting/machining (metals, ceramics and glass, thick section), surface modification (marking, texturing, cladding, sintering, cold spray, melt injection, induction assisted cladding, laser-sol coating, combined cladding/shot peening), welding (alloys, plastics, fiber laser welding, welding dissimilar materials, hybrid welding), additive manufacturing (selective laser melting, direct laser deposition), lasers and systems (fiber laser, diode laser, CO2 laser, process sensing and control), modelling and simulation (fluid dynamics, temperature fields, FE and analytical modelling), drilling and forming, and industrial applications (aerospace, automotive, petroleum, energy, biomedical and process industries).

The presentations are given in 10 oral sessions with over 80 papers and a poster session. Invited speakers from leading research groups and companies worldwide are presenting their recent findings and future prospects.

According to event organizers, a special characteristic of the conference is the large number of participants from Asia, especially from China, providing an opportunity for the laser manufacturers, equipment suppliers as well as various industries and academics for the exploration of commercial and academic collaborations and businesses.

The Laser Micro, Nano, and Ultrafast Fabrication Conference is a global forum for engineers and scientists from a variety of industry segments and institutes to meet and discuss use of laser micro/nano/ultrafast fabrication and diagnosis as a key technology for a number of academic research and industry applications. Attendees will find innovative ideas and solutions for micro/nano/ultrafast fabrication in opto- and microelectronics, electronics, microsystems, material processing and biomedical industries.

The conference will highlight new and exciting achievements in structuring with highest precision using laser pulses from the nanosecond down to the pico- and femtosecond speeds. Special sessions are dedicated to fundamental science in laser-material interactions, near-field phenomena for nanoprocessing, laser microfabrication and micromachining, laser microwelding, laser-assisted device fabrication, laser direct writing, ultrafast processes in materials processing, laser synthesis and sintering of nanoparticles, and lasers application in bioengineering.

New to PICALO this year is the International Enterprise Summit, an opportunity for executives from the laser industry in China and those from laser and optics companies around the world to come together and discuss the impact of globalization on the laser industry. Expected to take part in the summit are top executives from companies such as Coherent, Rofin-Sinar Technologies, IPG Photonics, JDSU, Newport and GSI Group. China-based companies participating include: Golden Sky Laser, Unity-Prima, Huagong Laser, Chutian Laser Group and Boye Laser.

The summit will provide insight from industry experts, legal experts, and decision makers on how to do or expand business in China and on how the laser industry benefits from globalization during special panel discussions. The forum allows face-to-face interaction -- a great prospect for networking and relationship building.

Those planning to attend the summit might also want to take advantage of a pre-conference tour of laser companies in Wuhan, capital of the Hubei province, also known as China's Optical Valley. The tour will provide a rare chance to understand and explore the laser market in China and to find potential partners and cooperation, organizers said. The fee for the tour is not included in the PICALO registration fee.

A conference highlight is sure to be the plenary talks. Making the keynote presentation on ultra-intense laser-matter interactions with a 150-Terawatt power laser will be a team of researchers from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. They will report on their experiments using a 150-TW peak power laser system, the Diocles laser at the university, to study the relativistic interactions of ultrahigh-intensity light with matter. Also generated were bright pulses of energetic x-rays and charged-particle beams in femtosecond (fs) -duration pulses. They will also discuss their study of the damage to various diffraction gratings by ultrashort laser pulses (30 fs in duration) and how these results are relevant to the operation of the laser at a repetition rate of 10 Hz, and its planned upgrade to a 1-petawatt peak power level. The researchers will also cover applications of these unique radiation sources in the physical sciences, biomedicine, defense and homeland security.

Presenting new developments and trends in high-power laser materials processing will be Eckhard Beyer of the Fraunhofer IWS (The Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology) and the department chair for Laser and Surface Technology at the Institute of Surface and Manufacturing Technology, University of Technology, Dresden, Germany. The diode laser has become effective for materials processing applications that don't need extreme intensities. In his plenary presentation, Beyer will demonstrate actual applications of diode lasers for hardening, brazing and coating, as well as the applications of C02 lasers for cutting and 2-D welding and Nd:YAG lasers for 3-D welding.

He will discuss how high power, high brightness lasers represent a new generation of lasers for materials processing with their smaller size, lower cost and on-the-fly processing ability. Beyer will also talk about how laser materials processing will be pushed forward by the development of high-power fiber lasers, and how these lasers are replacing a number of conventional, established and new laser systems, even though CO2 lasers are expected to keeping playing an active role in processing synthetic materials and ceramics.

Xiang Zhang of the University of California, Berkeley, will discuss photonic meta materials, nanoscale plasmonics and superlens theory and their potential impact on applications such as nanoscale imaging, nanolithography and integrated nanophotonics in his plenary presentation.

Zhang will speak about experiments that have demonstrated a new class of meta structures made of engineered subwavelength meta "atoms" and "molecules" that enable unprecedented electromagnetic properties that don't exist in nature, such as the phenomena of artificial plasma, artificial magetism and a superlens that focuses far below the defraction limit. He will talk about how experiments he and his colleagues conducted confirmed the key proposition of superlens theory by using surface plasmon, and how they observed optical superlensing, which breaks down the so-called diffraction limit. Zhang will also discuss nanoplasmonics for imaging and biosensing.

The PICALO laser industry vendor program reception and tabletop display gives businesses another opportunity to showcase their companies and products to an international audience, and conference attendees the opportunity to discuss equipment, product ideas and applications with vendors in a relaxed setting.

The reception and display is being held April 17 at 5:30 p.m. and will include: Applied Photonics, GE Global Research, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing Purple Light Laser, SPI Lasers, Northrop Grumman Optronics, Precitec Group, and Swinburne University of Technology, as well as a number of laser companies from Wuhan.

For more information, visit: www.laserinstitute.org/conferences/picalo


GLOSSARY
cutting
The process of forming a lens to a given pattern, or of cutting a piece of glass along the line of scratch.
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