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Photonics West: show preview

11 Jan 2007

SPIE's well-established annual Photonics West exhibition and conference takes place in late January at the San José Convention Center, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Photonics West (PW) is arguably this industry's key event in the US, at which scientists, engineers and business leaders gather to share ideas, talk technology and research and inspect the latest products. With more than 1000 exhibitors packed into two huge exhibition halls, PW 2007 will showcase more optics, photonics and imaging technology than any event worldwide. This year's event is forecast to play host to 15,000 delegates and exhibition visitors.

Besides the exhibitions there are many world-leading photonics, laser and optics specialists reporting on their latest work. This year's star speaker is undoubtedly Nobel prizewinner Charles Townes, of the University of California at Berkeley, who will open the LASE plenary session. Townes, who has a lifetime of laser innovation behind him, will give a talk with the deceptively straightforward title "The laser – its origin, development and possible future".

For those making the significant investment in exhibiting, travel and accommodation, the organizer, SPIE, asserts that PW 2007 should provide a worthwhile return for both technical and commercial reasons. "Seeing what is new, hearing the latest research, identifying new products and having discussions with suppliers will more than justify the trip to San José," Peter Hallett, SPIE's manager, Industry Relations, Exhibitions and Sales, told optics.org. "There are many opportunities to boost your knowledge and the skills of your team with conferences, workshops and training courses on almost any photonics-related topic."

PW sold out all available booth space in less time than ever before, and exhibitor numbers are well above 1000. Each of the technical conferences is delivering more presentations, papers and panel sessions than in previous years. Altogether, more than 2800 technical papers will be presented during the technical programs: BiOS (1300 papers); OPTO (950); LASE (550) and MOEMS-MEMS (210). More R&D results are being presented and more attendees are expected than in 2006.

While around 650 of the exhibitors hail from the US, the exhibition has a strongly international flavour. This year there are expanded pavilions from Germany and China besides the regular pavilions from the UK, France and Switzerland. There will be around 350 international exhibitors accounting for one-third of the grand total. US-based exhibitors include groups from the North American regional clusters of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New York and the Carolinas.

Throughout the six-day event a full roster of demonstrations will be taking place in special zones in the exhibition areas. Other significant events to look out for are a series of "industry perspectives" sessions that are open to all attendees (see Essential Information box). Sessions include a repeat of last year's successful Executive Panel, in which C-level exhibitors from the business share their ideas, moderated by a venture capitalist.

"Our goal is to deliver important information every day of the exhibition to the business strategists and product managers who help set market direction," Hallett said. "The executive panel lets everyone hear expert views on what is going on from senior executives of the leading photonics companies. The solid-state lasers/displays talk and the biophotonics market analysis in particular reflect some of the biggest boom areas in the business right now."

There are several free commercial and industrial presentations and panel sessions considering such issues as market analysis, technology reviews and ideas for business. Open to all exhibition visitors, exhibitors and technical conference attendees, these sessions give you the opportunity to hear industry experts' views on the opportunities, innovations and applications that impact on strategy, planning and implementation in photonics and related sectors.

The BiOS exhibition features a record-breaking 140 exhibitors this year, making it a significant event for the biomedical optics and biophotonics communities. Once again, the number of papers (1300) and attendees (SPIE expects at least 1400 dedicated visitors) will both be greater than ever.

Papers galore

During PW 2007 there will be hundreds of presentations, panel discussions, short courses and industry workshops. Here is SPIE's selection of some of the papers covering the most cutting-edge, potentially lucrative and exciting areas of photonics research:

• Conference 6440 Thermal treatment of tissue: Energy delivery and assessment of IV Iron oxide nanoparticle hyperthermia and radiation treatment of breast cancer. Many forms of heat have been tried as modes of treatment to kill breast cancer cells. Lasers were used in some of the early studies, as well as cryotherapy and microwaves, but with limited success. This paper looks at the use of iron nanoparticles that specifically target cancer cells. When placed in an electromagnetic field, the particles heat and kill the cancer cells, while sparing surrounding normal cells. This is novel work with great potential as a therapy for breast cancer.

• 6466–9 MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems VI. This paper looks at ultra-compact laser projection systems based on two-dimensional resonant micro-scanning mirrors. By means of a micro-scanning mirror, a projector the size of a sugar cube is presented. With applications in the field of automotive head-up displays, wearable displays and even projection displays for mobile phones, the topic is of great interest.

• 6436 Complex Dynamics and Fluctuations in Biomedical Photonics IV: In vivo integrated lymph and blood flow cytometry for real-time monitoring of cell blood–lymph traffic. In vivo laser and optical cytometry is a new approach that allows for monitoring and quantitative estimation of parameters of blood and lymph moving cells in living organisms.

• 6478 US National Security Agency-sponsored Optical Interconnect project. The first 16-channel optically interconnected computing system based on photopolymer-based waveguide holograms has been shown to have an aggregated bandwidth of 2.4 Gbit/s. The ultimate goal is to reach 1 Tbit/s. The unit has now been delivered to the US National Security Agency for further evaluation.

• 6431 Multimodal Biomedical Imaging: Multimodality Imaging. This series of four papers deals with optical imaging techniques already applied in human studies with clinical results that show their value. Novel optical techniques are used as efficient complements to already established imaging modalities such as X-Ray and MRI. These techniques bridge the gap between today's widely used imaging modalities and the promise of molecular imaging.

• 6432 Endoscopic Microscopy: In vivo peptide-mediated detection of colonic dysplasia with confocal fluorescence microendoscopy. The paper reports the first instance that molecule-specific (peptide) probes have been administered in human subjects and demonstrated to bind to pre-malignant tissue with a confocal microendoscope. This result opens up a new frontier for in vivo optical imaging that targets molecules associated with disease, and may be a very powerful tool for the early detection of cancer.

• 6446 Biomedical Applications of Light Scattering: Low coherence light scattering (session) comprising three papers. The first invited talk by Young Kim will describe a novel light scattering modality that promises to change the way we screen for colon cancer. The second invited talk by John Pyhtila presents a new optical biopsy method based on light scattering that can uncover invisible pre-cancerous lesions in the oesophagus. Finally, there is a contributed talk which describes a new method for processing OCT images which will greatly impact on this field.

Photonics West 2007 blog on optics.org

During PW, OLE and optics.org editors will be visiting exhibitors and attending many of the presentations. A daily blog will be published on optics.org. If you have late-breaking news or other points of interest to share you can contact the team from IOP Publishing (Optics & Laser Europe and optics.org) at booth 1109.

General information
Where: San José Convention Center, San José, California, US.
When: 20–25 January 2007.

Where: Exhibition Hall 1.
When: 20 January, 1.00–5.00 p.m.
21 January, 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.

Where: San José Convention Center and South Hall.
When: 23 January, 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
24 January, 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
25 January, 10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.

What's on: Saturday 20 January
• BiOS technical programme starts.
• BiOS exhibition opens 1.00–5.00 p.m.
• BiOS Hot Topics session 7.00–9.30 p.m.

What's on: Sunday 21 January
• LASE technical programme starts.
• OPTO technical programme starts.
• BiOS exhibition 10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
• 15 short courses are running throughout the day, including "Basic optics for engineers", "Fundamentals of biochips" and "Quantum dot LEDs and laser diodes".
• MOEMS-MEMS short courses start with "Introduction to ultrafast technology".

What's on: Monday 22 January
• MOEMS-MEMS plenary session 9.00 a.m. – 12 noon. Fabrication; optics and medical.
• MOEMS-MEMS technical programme starts.
• MOEMS-MEMS panel discussion 7.30 – 9.00 p.m. The session will cover "Progress and prospects and microfluidics".
• 20 short courses and four industry workshops are running throughout the day.

What's on: Tuesday 23 January
• OPTO plenary session 8.30–10.00 a.m.
• Market seminar 2.00–3.00 p.m. Executive Panel: "Market direction and implications for the world of photonics". Leaders in different aspects of the marketplace will share their insights regarding trends in optics and photonics. Moderated by Steve Eglash, principal at Worldview Technology Partners.
• BiOS poster session 6.00–7.30 p.m., to be held in the Parkside Hall.
• BiOS round table session Optical Microscopy for Biomedical Applications 7.30–9.00 p.m.
• BiOS Technical Group Meeting IBOS International Biomedical Optics Society 7.30–9.00 p.m.
• Photonics West exhibition
10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
• LASE panel discussion: "Quantifying high power diode laser lifetime" 6.00–7.30 p.m.
MOEMS/MEMS round table discussion "Optical microscopy for biomedical applications" 7.30–9.00 p.m.
22 short courses will run throughout the day.

What's on: Wednesday 24 January
• LASE plenary session 10.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.
• Market seminar 2.00–3.00 p.m. "Impact of solid state devices on the display business" (Room: A7–A8, Conference Center). Paul Semenza (iSuppli) will discuss revenue growth and profitability in the display business.
• OPTO/LASE/MOEMS-MEMS poster session 6.00–7.30 p.m., to be held in the Parkside Hall • Photonics West exhibition
10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
• 18 short courses plus two professional development courses.

What's on: Thursday 25 January
• All four technical conference programmes draw to a close
• Market seminar 9.15–9.45 a.m. "Trends and opportunities in biophotonics". David Krohn (Lightwave Venture) describes the developments in the rapidly expanding field of biomedical photonics.
• Photonics West exhibition 10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
• Five short courses will run throughout the day.

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