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Photonics West 2020

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Photonics West puts focus on quantum, nanotech, materials, bio, and more.

Photonics West is set to take place Feb. 1-6 and boasts at least one Nobel laureate, more than 5000 presentations, 1350 companies, 10 new courses, and plenty of special events.

The exhibition, according to SPIE public relations manager Daneet Steffens, is on track to be even larger than last year’s, which had more than 1300 companies from around the world.

A large crowd gathers as the 2019 exhibition prepares to open. Courtesy of SPIE.


A large crowd gathers as the 2019 exhibition prepares to open. Courtesy of SPIE.

Nobel laureate Eric Betzig will present a plenary talk on the second night of the conference. Betzig was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in chemistry, along with Stefan Hell and William Moerner, for the development of an optical microscope that surpassed the Abbe limit.

Plenaries of the OPTO and LASE conferences will cover next-gen data centers, quantum computing, and other trending areas of photonics. OPTO will cover a broad range of optoelectronic technologies and their integration into a variety of commercial applications. Topics will include optoelectronic materials and devices, photonic integration, displays and holography, nanotechnologies in photonics, advanced quantum and optoelectronic applications, MOEMS-MEMS, and optical communications. Symposium chairs for OPTO include Sailing He of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Zhejiang University, Yasuhiro Koike of Keio University, Connie J. Chang-Hasnain of the University of California, Berkeley, and Graham T. Reed of the Optoelectronics Research Center.

Attendees have fun while experiencing and learning about the technology. Courtesy of SPIE.


Attendees have fun while experiencing and learning about the technology. Courtesy of SPIE.

LASE will showcase the latest fundamental and applied research on new laser sources and applications. Topics will include laser source engineering, nonlinear optics, beam guiding, laser manufacturing, laser micro/nano applications, and 3D manufacturing. The symposium will be chaired by Beat Neuenschwander of the Berner Fachhochschule Technik und Informatik, Xianfan Xu of Purdue University, Craig B. Arnold of Princeton University, and Takunori Taira of the Institute for Molecular Science.

Unique perspectives help develop new ideas and relationships. Courtesy of SPIE.


Unique perspectives help develop new ideas and relationships. Courtesy of SPIE.

Prism Awards, Startup Challenge

The BiOS exhibition alone accounts for more than 2300 papers, the largest program under the Photonics West umbrella. BiOS, which also holds the distinction of being the largest conference in the world covering biophotonics, will host Hot Topics, where speakers will cover machine learning for 3D microscopy, QPI (quantitative phase imaging), label-free imaging, and more. BiOS will be chaired by Jennifer Barton of the University of Arizona and Wolfgang Drexler of the Medical University of Vienna.

“Other BiOS technical presentations will focus on advances in translational biophotonics, brain research, and neurophotonics,” Steffens told Photonics Media.

Startup Challenge entrepreneurs at the Pitch Clinic conclude their morning by listening to a distinguished panel. Courtesy of SPIE.


Startup Challenge entrepreneurs at the Pitch Clinic conclude their morning by listening to a distinguished panel. Courtesy of SPIE.

Since 2008, Photonics Media and SPIE have celebrated the best new optics and photonics products with the Prism Awards. The Prism Awards, dubbed the “Photonics Oscars” by OptecNet Deutschland, are expected to take place on Feb. 5.

In its 10th year is the SPIE Startup Challenge, a high-stakes global competition where entrepreneurs are granted five minutes to pitch their businesses to a team of expert judges and vie for over $85,000 in cash, prizes, and promotion.

The ability to touch and feel products is a great way to understand options and ask questions. Courtesy of SPIE.


The ability to touch and feel products is a great way to understand options and ask questions. Courtesy of SPIE.

Special Events

Attendees can expect familiar special events such as the job fair and reception, as well as a few new ones, such as a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon and an LGBTQ+ Social.

Co-located with Photonics West is SPIE’s AR/VR/MR conference. The conference has grown from a single day of talks and hardware demos to a three-day event that will include an academic track showcasing the student Optical Design Challenge, technical talks, courses covering AR/VR/MR technologies, 40-plus industry leaders sharing trends and insights, and end-of-day networking receptions.

Last year’s Photonics West exhibition was a banner year, Steffens said, with more than 23,000 registered attendees, 1350 exhibitors, and 5200 papers.

For more information on the conference, visit www.spie.org.

Photonics Spectra
Dec 2019
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