June 24, 2013
The Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO: 2013) was held in San Jose, CA, from June 9th to 14th. The conference is one of the world’s renowned forums for quantum electronics, laser science, and the application of laser and electro-optical technology to a wide range of fields.
The program included 3 invited Plenary talks, 172 invited talks, 1198 oral and 320 poster presentations, 35 postdeadline presentations, 20 short courses and 24 tutorials. In addition, the program highlighted 12 special symposia, which focused on transitioning work from the research communities to real world applications. Topics included “Advances in Extreme UV Science and Applications,” “Applied Optical Measurments in Fabrication Processes and Products”, and “Mid-infrared Laser Sources,” to name a few. The conference hosted many well respected researchers and experts from 46 countries, offering a unique atmosphere for the optical community to collaboratively tackle many global challenges.
One of the hot topics in the conference was silicon photonics. As more and more data needs to be processed and communicated, we need new technologies to tackle these big data challenges, especially regarding speed and energy efficiencies. Silicon photonics offers such a solution by transmitting light pulses instead of electrons. Dr. Yurii A. Vlasov from IBM TJ Watson Research Center offered a tutorial talk on integrated silicon nanophotonics. He described how chip-to-chip interconnects can be designed starting from devices up to a system level and how this technology can be a viable solution for the Internet data centers and high-performance computing systems. One of the bottlenecks for this technology is the lack of an on-chip silicon light source. Ke-Yao Wang et al. from Johns Hopkins University have utilized the strong optical nonlinearity in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) waveguides to build the very first silicon ultrafast tunable light source. Pumping near 1550nm, the optical parametric oscillator can be tuned anywhere from 1370 nm to 1810 nm. This silicon light source not only provides a robust ultrafast tunable light source with a bandwidth beyond typical telecommunication fiber lasers, but also represents a path toward monolithic integrated optical interconnects.
On the metamaterials front, many research activities have continually advanced this technology towards more practical optical applications. Jie Sun et al, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presented for the first time an 8 × 8 silicon nanophotonic antenna array, designed for λ=1.55 μm, capable of independent control over both phase and amplitude, a very difficult task for conventional holographic technology. In particular, the array’s phase distribution can be dynamically tuned by applying different voltages to each element. This technology opens up many possibilities in the fields of optical communications, optical tweezers, laser detection, and three-dimensional holography.
Continuing the theme of real world applications, the technology around quantum dots (QDs) has evolved beyond the realm of pure research. In early 2013, Sony launched its “BRAVIA” LCD Television, which incorporated QD Vision's Color IQ technology by using QDs to deliver brilliant and vibrant color. Dr. Seth Coe-Sullivan, Chief Technology Officer of QD Vision, presented a talk on pushing QDs towards commercialization in the displays and lighting markets.
Indeed, laser and electro-optical technology still have so many exciting applications yet to be explored. For many other interesting areas of research and summaries, visit the website of the conference at http://www.cleoconference.org/home/.
Yu-Ju Tsai presented "Metamaterial Polarization Multiplexed Gratings."
Abstract: We demonstrate a metamaterial grating that has two distinct diffraction periods for two orthogonal linear polarization states of illuminations at the wavelength of 1.55 μm. The proposed method not only demonstrates a precise method to engineer birefringence but also shows many useful applications in free space optical communications and novel optical imaging systems.