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SPIE Photonics West Wrap-up

Photonics.com
Feb 2012
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 3, 2012 — Enthusiasm was high, and there was synergy between conference rooms and the exhibit floor at SPIE Photonics West 2012, held Jan. 21-26 at the Moscone Center.

The premier international photonics conference and exhibit, which had just more than 20,000 registered attendees, featured more technical papers, exhibiting companies, professional development courses, exhibit visitors and even more networking than last year.

“It’s very impressive,” said Matthias Machnig, minister of economy, labor and technology for the German federal state of Thuringen. Machnig was at Photonics West to talk during the laser symposium plenary session. He cited the “good balance” between the exhibition and the scientific base provided by the technical sessions.

The BiOS Expo pulled in more than 210 exhibiting companies, while the three-day Photonics West exhibition featured more than 1200. The frequently reported exhibitor experience of heavy traffic and strong leads offered compelling signs that the photonics industry continues to grow even in the midst of uncertainties elsewhere in the global economy, SPIE reported.

“The number of sales leads was much more than last year, almost 50 percent up in our booth,” said Kevin Heher, sales manager for imaging solutions at BAE Systems.

Strong sales leads weren’t the only positive feedback from the show. The conference chairs praised the quality of papers they heard, and offered particularly outstanding examples from among the approximately 4200 presentations. A sampling included:

     • Stefan Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry described work on superresolution microscopy for imaging the living brain.

     • Aydogan Ozcan of the University of California, Los Angeles, described the latest work in his lab’s development of a portable microscope that uses a cell phone as a wireless platform for transmitting medical data via a holographic reconstruction imaging method.

     • Guillermo Tearney, of Massachusetts General Hospital, explained how applications of cardiovascular imaging to pathology are changing the views of the medical community on the cause-and-effect relationship between plaque and thrombosis that may lead to coronary events.

     • Toshikuni Kaino of Tohoku University presented findings on using photonic polymers for communications networks to power energy-efficient displays, allowing face-to-face communications in disaster areas.

     • Rainer Erdmann and Felix Koberling of PicoQuant described the role of ultraviolet microscopy and detection of intrinsic fluorescence of biological samples in a first commercial step toward development of new label-free fluorescence microscopy.

Other technical highlights included plenary talks on lasers, optoelectronics, MOEMS-MEMS and nanobiophotonics, and hot topics papers on biomedical optics.

Robert Alfano of City College of New York was presented with the first-ever Britton Chance Award in Biomedical Optics (See: Alfano First Recipient of Britton Chance Award), and James Coleman of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was presented with the 2012 SPIE Technology Award.

Two startup challenge competitions sponsored by Jenoptik helped aspiring entrepreneurs move their ideas for new products closer to the market, and several industry panels helped focus expert attention on issues such as integrated photonics and green technology.

Green Photonics Awards were presented to the top papers in each of four categories for the advancement of green photonics as part of a virtual symposium, underscoring another theme in current photonics R&D supporting transition to renewable and sustainable energy and manufacturing worldwide. (See: SPIE Presents Green Photonics Awards at Photonics West)

Nine companies were honored with Prism Awards for photonics innovation Wednesday evening at a gala banquet sponsored by Photonics Media and SPIE. (See: 2011 Prism Award Winners Announced)

Accepted papers from the conference will be made available in the SPIE Digital Library as soon as they have received approval. They will also be published in print volumes and digital collections.

For more information, visit: www.spie.org  


GLOSSARY
optoelectronics
A sub-field of photonics that pertains to an electronic device that responds to optical power, emits or modifies optical radiation, or utilizes optical radiation for its internal operation. Any device that functions as an electrical-to-optical or optical-to-electrical transducer. Electro-optic often is used erroneously as a synonym.
ultraviolet microscopy
The study and photographing of microscope specimens in ultraviolet light; using an optical microscope containing fluorite and quartz components to efficiently image wavelengths much shorter than the visible spectrum. The short wavelength operation provides high-resolution study resulting in high contrast observation and detection of semiconductor surface imperfections below the diffraction limit of visible light.
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