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Photonics West Brings Together Industry’s Best, Brightest

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With three conferences — BiOS, LASE and OPTO — and two exhibitions, SPIE Photonics West is the world’s largest annual event for the photonics, laser and biomedical optics industries. And it’s just around the corner — Jan. 27 through Feb. 1, 2018, in San Francisco.

More than 20,000 leaders, researchers and engineers from around the world in industry and academia attend the show each year. The latest research is presented, as are the latest devices and systems that can enable advancements in translational biophotonics, global health care, understanding of the brain, lasers for manufacturing, 3D technologies, photonics-based consumer products and more.

As 2018 is fast approaching, photonics industry leaders, researchers, engineers, students and others are preparing for SPIE Photonics West.

As 2018 is fast approaching, photonics industry leaders, researchers, engineers, students and others are preparing for SPIE Photonics West. Courtesy of SPIE.

From plenary presentations to networking opportunities, Photonics West offers an expansive, comprehensive look at the photonics industry.

BiOS: Biophotonics, Biomedical Optics & Imaging Conference

Touted “the most important biomedical optics conference you can attend in 2018,” SPIE BiOS is the largest of the three Photonics West conferences. It will feature nearly 2500 papers and presentations on topics such as biomedical optics, diagnostics and therapeutics, biophotonics, new imaging modalities, optical coherence tomography, neurophotonics, optogenetics, tissue optics and nano/biophotonics.

BiOS is separated into six tracks:

• Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics

• Neurophotonics, Neurosurgery and Optogenetics

• Clinical Technologies and Systems

• Tissue Optics, Laser-Tissue Interaction and Tissue Engineering

• Biomedical Spectroscopy, Microscopy and Imaging

• Nano/Biophotonics

Sessions within the tracks include Endoscopic Microscopy; Neural Imaging and Sensing; Design and Quality for Biomedical Technologies; Photons Plus Ultrasound; Single-Molecule Spectroscopy and Superresolution Imaging; and Plasmonics in Biology and Medicine.

Plenary sessions within BiOS will include “Shaped Light for BioNanophotonics: A New Chapter in Imaging,” presented by Kishan Dholakia of the University of St. Andrews (U.K.) and “Super-resolution Post-Nobel,” presented by Stefan W. Hell, a 2014 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, from the Max Planck Institute Gottingen.

BiOS also highlights the best papers by students and researchers in various specific sessions; these are judged based on scientific merit, impact and clarity. There are several “best student paper” awards to be presented, as well as the Pascal Rol Award, the Seno Medical best paper award, the Picoquant Young Investigator Award, and the Ocean Optics Young Investigator Award.

Scheduled for Jan. 27, the Hot Topics program will feature opening remarks by BiOS symposium chairs James Fujimoto of MIT and R. Rox Anderson of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard School of Medicine. Presenters include Hillel Adesnik (University of California, Berkeley), Qingming Luo (Britton Chance Center for Biomedical Photonics at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology), and Katarina and Sune Svanberg (Lund University and South China Normal University).

LASE: Industrial Laser, Laser Source & Laser Application Conference

Top players in the lasers field will present courses, plenary sessions and talks about the latest research and developments in laser manufacturing; laser materials processing; micro/nano packaging; fiber lasers; diode lasers; solid-state lasers; laser resonators; ultrafast, semiconductor lasers; LEDs; and 3D fabrication technologies. This conference is organized into four tracks — Laser Sources, Nonlinear Optics and Beam Guiding, Micro/Nano Applications, and Macro Applications.

Photonics West offers myriad networking events, in addition to professional development opportunities, workshops, plenaries and more.

Photonics West offers myriad networking events, in addition to professional development opportunities, workshops, plenaries and more. And the Photonics West exhibition offers attendees a look at new products and product demonstrations by the some of the world’s top photonics and optics companies. Courtesy of SPIE.

Plenary sessions during this conference will include “Gigahertz Laser Frequency Combs and Dual-Comb Spectroscopy,” presented by Ursula Keller of ETH Zurich; “Optical Lattice Clocks: Reading the 18th Decimal Place of Frequency,” presented by Hidetoshi Katori of the University of Tokyo and RIKEN; and “Advanced Industrial Laser Systems and Applications,” presented by Berthold Schmidt of Trumpf Photonics. 

OPTO: Optoelectronics, Photonic Materials & Devices Conference

Led by symposium chairs Connie J. Chang-Hasnain (University of California, Berkeley) and Graham T. Reed (Opto-electronics Research Center, U.K.) and co-chairs Jean Emmanuel Broquin (IMEP-LAHC, France) and Shibin Jiang (AdValue Photonics Inc.), this conference focuses on research in silicon photonics, photonic crystals, optoelectronics, semiconductor lasers, quantum dots and nano-photonics. It also features the latest developments in optoelectronic technologies and integration for a variety of commercial applications.

OPTO is organized into eight tracks:

• Optoelectronic Materials and Devices

• Photonics Integration

• Nanotechnologies in Photonics

• MOEMS-MEMS in Photonics

• Advanced Quantum and Optoelectronic Applications

• Semiconductor Lasers and LEDs

• Displays and Holography

• Optical Communications: Devices to Systems

Among the scheduled plenary speakers within these tracks are Andrew G. Rickman, Rockley Photonics Ltd.; Pallab K. Bhattacharya, Center for Photonics and Multiscale Nanomaterials at the University of Michigan; and Min Gu, Laboratory of Artificial-Intelligence Nanophotonics at RMIT University.

SPIE Startup Challenge

This annual event is “a high-stakes, global competition” in which entrepreneurs are given five minutes to pitch their light-based technology product ideas to a team of business development experts and venture capitalists.

Semifinalists each receive feedback from photonics industry leaders on their business model, a networking lunch with mentors and investors, and product demonstration time on the floor of the Photonics West exhibition. The best pitches are awarded cash prizes — $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second and $2,500 for third — and can attend an entrepreneur boot camp that will allow them to refine their ideas and network further with experts.

Taking first place in 2017 was Cellino Biotech, for developing nanodevices for cellular therapy. IC Touch was the second place finisher with its tactile vision device, and Lumedica took third place for its OQ EyeScope.

Industry Events

Panel discussions, speakers and workshops allow researchers and companies to discuss topics impacting the industry:

“How Global Investment Is Bringing Quantum Technologies to the Marketplace,” will be a panel discussion featuring Mark Farries of Gooch & Housego, Rishiraj Pravahan of AT&T Foundry, and Robert Rölver of Bosch. This panel will be moderated by Anke Lohmann of Anchored In Ltd.

“Recent Developments Affecting IP Protection and Trade Compliance with China: Key Things to Know” will be presented by Kerry Scarlott of BakerHostetler and Don Fischer of Fischer Associates.

“Laser Optics and Polarizers, from Pulsed Lasers to White Laser Light, and IR Detectors,” is a workshop to be presented by Barbara Herdt of Laser Components and André Volke of CODIXX. This one-day workshop will cover how to specify high-power laser optics and polarizers, high-power laser optics and theory of polarization, and polarizer types and utilization.

Photonics West will also present numerous program tracks covering a wide range of industry topics, from photonic therapeutics and diagnostics, laser sources, and imaging to nonlinear optics and beam guiding, and advanced quantum and optoelectronic applications. Workshops will comprise basic topics such as laser materials processing and some more advanced topics including photodetectors, Raman spectroscopy and SiPMs versus PMTs.

There will be several two-hour “snapshot” courses, as well:

• Basic Optics for Non-Optics Personnel

• The Very Least You Need to Know about Optics

• Fundamentals of Optical Engineering

• Introduction to VR, AR, MR and Smart Eyewear: Market Expectations, Hardware Requirements and Investment Patterns

• Additive Manufacturing of Metals — Powder Bed Fusion and Directed Energy Deposition


More than 1300 companies from around the world will attend the expansive Photonics West exhibition, ready to showcase their latest products, tools and applications. The exhibition offers attendees face-to-face access to the world’s top suppliers, hiring companies and business sessions. New product launches will complement daily product demonstrations in various technologies and applications such as fiber optic components and systems, optical detectors, IR sources and detectors, and metrology.

Specifically and notably, some of the new products slated for reveal are:

• The DIAMOND E-2000 PSm and DMI PSm — modular fiber optic connectors for power solution applications — from Diamond USA Inc.

• ThermoTek Inc.’s T257P-20 thermoelectric, recirculating chiller

• Annular Quadrant Backscatter Detector, a silicon (Si) quadrant detector, from OSI Optoelectronics

• The COLOR-SHADES Multispectral VIS/NIR CMS Camera by Silios Technologies

• Vayu HD — a full HD, uncooled 1080p thermal imager for perimeter security, rugged military imaging and airborne reconnaissance — from Sierra-Olympic Technologies Inc.

A separate BiOS Expo will be held during Photonics West, focusing on technologies such as biomedical optics components; products; instrumentation and applications; lasers; molecular imaging; therapeutic lasers; nano/biophotonics; biosensors; and spectroscopic/microscopic imaging.

Special events during the Photonics West show include the Welcome Reception, the Women in Optics and Diversity & Inclusion Program and Reception, and a Speed Networking Social. The annual Prism Awards (co-sponsored by SPIE and Photonics Media) will be handed out, as well. Touted the “Oscars of the photonics industry,” the annual awards recognize the world’s top innovators.

For more information about Photonics West 2018, visit

Photonics Spectra
Dec 2017
A discipline that combines optics and genetics to enable the use of light to stimulate and control cells in living tissue, typically neurons, which have been genetically modified to respond to light. Only the cells that have been modified to include light-sensitive proteins will be under control of the light. The ability to selectively target cells gives researchers precise control. Using light to control the excitation, inhibition and signaling pathways of specific cells or groups of...
A two-electrode device with an anode and a cathode that passes current in only one direction. It may be designed as an electron tube or as a semiconductor device.
The study of how light interacts with nanoscale objects and the technology of applying photons to the manipulation or sensing of nanoscale structures.
quantum dots
Also known as QDs. Nanocrystals of semiconductor materials that fluoresce when excited by external light sources, primarily in narrow visible and near-infrared regions; they are commonly used as alternatives to organic dyes.
SPIEPhotonics WestBiOsLASEOPTObiomedicalopticssensingSan FranciscoBiophotonicslasersmanufacturing3DimagingneurophotonicsoptogeneticsOCTspectroscopyMicroscopyPicoquant Young Investigator AwardOcean Optics Young Investigator Awardmaterials processingdiodesolid stateLEDsnanophotonicsquantum dotsSPIE Startup ChallengebiosensorsPrism AwardsFeatures

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