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SPIE Photonics Europe pulls a big crowd to Strasbourg

11 Apr 2024

Highlights from Monday’s meetings co-located with SPIE Optical Systems Design and exhibitions.

by Matthew Peach in Strasbourg

The Palais de la Musique et des Congrès, Strasbourg, France, has this week hosted two conferences SPIE Photonics Europe and SPIE Optical Systems Design alongside an associated expo of more than 100 exhibiting companies and industry groups.

This combination, along with a diverse academic and business-focused program of presentations attracted a significant increase in attendance over SPIE Photonics Europe 2022. The organizers expressed satisfaction that numbers of visitors had exceeded all expectations.

Monday morning

SPIE Photonics Europe got underway on Monday morning with a welcome from Paul Montgomery, who is a senior research scientist working for the CNRS and head of Photonics Instrumentation and Processes at the ICube Lab, at the University of Strasbourg.

After that, Hot Topics presentations were opened by Stefanie Barz of the Center for Integrated Quantum Science and Technology, at the University of Stuttgart. Her talk was entitled “Photonic quantum technologies: from unraveling quantum foundations to advancing quantum integration and developing applications in quantum networks and computing.”

She explored various facets of photonic quantum systems and their application in photonic quantum technologies. She highlighted how “the distinguishability and mixedness of quantum states influence the interference of multiple single photons – and demonstrated novel schemes for generating multipartite entangled quantum states.”

She also considered photonic quantum computing, photonic quantum networks, and outlined how photonic integration facilitates the scalability of these systems and discussed the associated challenges.

Second up on Monday was Malte Gather of the Humboldt Centre for Nano- and Biophotonics, at the University of Köln, Germany, who spoke about organic photonics for biomedical research and next generation displays.

He said, “Joining the photo-physics of organic light-emitting materials with the sensitivity of optical resonances to geometry and refractive index enables a plethora of devices with unusual and exciting properties.

“Examples from my team include biointegrated microlasers for real time sensing of cellular activity and long-term cell tracking, as well as the development of photonic implants with extreme form factors and wireless power supply that support individually addressable organic LEDs and thus allow optogenetic targeting of neurons deep in the brain.”

Gather added, “Very recently, by driving the interaction between excited states in organic materials and resonances in thin optical cavities into the strong coupling regime, we have unlocked new tuning parameters which may play a crucial role in the next generation of TVs and computer displays.”

Monday afternoon

Optical Systems Design plenary talks opened on Monday afternoon with Simon Thibault of the University of Laval, Canada, presenting his Future of Optical Systems and Lens Design in the AI Era. He stated, “The arrival of ChatGPT, Google Bard, and other AI models show us how brilliantly tasks can be reproduced by those engines. So, it’s legitimate to wonder how our field might be affected in the future.

Thibault added, “We’ve already seen the beginnings of the possibilities, notably with LensNet, which provides optical designers with starting points for common cases; we can also study a solution space of certain type of lenses using deep learning; and more recently, papers on the use of deep learning to simulate the entire chain of an optical system from object to final image processing, including tasks such as recognition.”

The second plenary talk – “Freeform optics for illumination: past, present and future” – was given by Julius Muschaweck of JM Optics, Gauting, Germany. He said, “Freeform optics for illumination, pioneered over 20 years ago, are now widely used to illuminate streets, automobiles, architecture and more. But many questions remain: do we have good, accessible design methods, especially for extended sources? And do we have proven processes to estimate and specify tolerances, to ensure full production yield without overengineering?”

The talk considered the progress of design and manufacturing methods over the past 30 years, suggested certain knowledge gaps, and concluded with an outlook to a new approach for coherent light: what happens when we combine freeform surfaces with scattering and spatial light modulation?

LaCroix Precision OpticsSPECTROGON ABCHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.Iridian Spectral TechnologiesHÜBNER PhotonicsECOPTIKBerkeley Nucleonics Corporation
© 2024 SPIE Europe
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