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1st Photonics21 Student Award

Photonics.com
Jun 2009
MUNICH, Germany, June 15, 2009 – As part of today's opening session of Laser 2009's World of Photonics Congress in Munich the first ever Photonics21 Student Award was handed over to PhD student Yannick Chassagneux. The award was presented by Jan Ostoja-Ostaszewski, member of the European Union Directorate Information Society and Media, and Dr. Martin Goetzeler, CEO of Osram and president of Photonics21 network.

Chassagneux, working at the Institut d'Electronique Fondamentale (IEF) of the Université Paris Sud, received the highest marks from the jury for his work on "Terahertz quantum cascade lasers with ultimate control of mode pattern and divergence." He studied the Physics and Technology of THz semiconductor lasers and utilized photonic crystal technology to make them simpler. The jury picked the work from 44 submissions, emphasizing that the work demonstrate a novel, highly effective photonic technology to control and spectral spatial output properties of THz semiconductor lasers, with results not only having been published in Nature, but also expected to have significant impact on applications of these devices.

Laser2009_Photonics21.jpg
The first Photonics21 student award was presented during the opening of the LASER World of Photonics 2009 in Munich by Martin Goetzeler, CEO of Osram(right)and Jan Ostoja-Ostaszewski, Member of the Cabinet of the European Union (left). In the center, from left to right – 1st place winner, Chassagneux; 2nd place winner, Jechow; and 3rd place winner, Stone.

The award is sponsored by companies Adva Optical Networking, Laserline, Trumpf and Zeiss, facilitating a prize of €5000 (roughly $6885) going to the winner.

A second prize went to Andreas Jechow from the University of Potsdam, Germany, for his work entitled "Tailored light from external cavity enhanced broad area diode lasers – enabling new applications." It improves the spatial beam quality of broad semiconductor emitters so that they can be used for nonlinear optical applications, such as generating so-called 'entangled photons.' Again, simplicity was a key feature of the innovation.

James Stone form the University of Bath in the UK took third place with his work on "Blue-to ultraviolet-enhanced optical supercontinuum sources." Prior to the award ceremony Ostoja-Ostaszewski, speaking for EU commissioner Viviane Reding, emphasised the importance of Photonics to help address some of the main challenges the world is facing, i.e. 'green photonics' in the form of solar and other technologies helping to mitigate the climate change, Biophotonics and medical applications offering better diagnostics and treatment, and optical communication supporting the future internet.

Further speakers at the opening sessions included Klaus Dittrich, managing director of Munich's Fair Company and Professor Peter Loosen, president of the World of Photonics Congress Steering Committee. The keynote plenary talk was given by MIT Professor Erich Ippen, who gave an overview of history and perspectives of femtosecond pulses and associated laser technology, which followed the award presentation. Students with ambitions to win the next price should, however, not wait until the next LASER show in 2011; the next award will already be presented next year. For more information, visit: www.photonics21.org  

Joerg Schwartz
j.schwartz@europhotonics.com


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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