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CLEO 2014: more people, more papers, more products

17 Jun 2014

Last week's conference and show in San Jose was biggest so far.

CLEO: 2014, the Conference on Electro Optics, concluded last Friday at the Convention Center, San Jose, CA, USA, following six days of presentations and an exhibition of new developments. This year’s event hosted around 5,000 attendees - the highest attendance in five years - and featured what the organizers called “a record number of paper submissions”.

Conference hot topics included: photonics for brain mapping, high-power lasers, nanophotonics, laser therapeutics, nonlinear optics, quantum optics, technology transfer, and laser-based manufacturing. Plenary speakers included Gerhard Rempe of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, who spoke on quantum coherent networks; Larry Coldren of the University of California, Santa Barbara, on the latest in photonic integrated circuits; and Sir David Payne of the University of Southampton who gave a comprehensive view of the future of specialty fibers.

The associated CLEO exhibition showcased products and services from 250 companies, including Coherent, IDEX, Newport, Thorlabs, Toptica. The CLEO/Laser Focus World Innovation Awards recognized three companies making novel contributions to the industry, including winner Daylight Solutions for the first laser-based infrared microscopy platform, known as Spero.

CLEO awards

During CLEO, the OSA Foundation this week announced the recipients of its student awards. Fabian Langer of the University of Regensburg, Germany was selected as the winner of the annual Maiman Outstanding Student Paper Competition, an OSA Foundation program supported by HRL Laboratories LLC, the IEEE Photonics Society and the APS Division of Laser Science that recognizes outstanding student research presented at CLEO each year.

Langer won for his paper CEP Control of Dynamical Bloch Oscillations in a Bulk Semiconductor via Ultra-Intense Multi-THz Fields. The grand prize and two honorable mentions were presented during the plenary and awards ceremony. Langer was chosen from 965 submissions, which were reviewed and scored by the CLEO: 2014 technical program committee.

Exhibitor news

Daylight Solutions, a manufacturer of molecular detection and imaging solutions in the mid-infrared, won the CLEO 2014 Innovation Award Grand Prize for Spero, the world’s first laser-based infrared microscopy platform.

Spero is said to be the first laser‐based infrared microscopy platform and "represents a breakthrough in high‐performance spectral imaging". Combining the latest high‐power, broadband quantum cascade laser (QCL) sources and a new family of high‐NA, wide‐field objectives, it significantly outperforms existing infrared microscopes, while also enabling new functionality such as live video absorbance contrast imaging and rapid sparse wavelength data collection.

Resolution Spectra Systems announced that “unprecedented measurements” have been performed on narrow-linewidth single mode VeCSEL. Its high-rate CCD camera, Zoom Spectra spectrometer performs measurements at a rate of up to 30,000 spectra/s. This high-rate capability of the Zoom Spectra allowed the IES (Montpellier, France) to observe a fast hopping mode phenomenon on a VeCSEL. Measurements were performed at the starting of a VeCSEL emitting around 1010nm. The phenomenon lasted less than 1ms on a 0.5nm spectral range.

The Zoom Spectra’s ability to make measurements in nanoseconds and to offer long-lasting factory calibration are particularly useful for demanding production environments. An array of triggering options and robust Gigabit Ethernet data communication make the Zoom Spectra ideal for the process environment. This ultra-high resolution spectrometer has already been adopted by VCSEL manufacturers like Flir Systems.

Femto Lasers / Fastlite’s Wizzmo is the first all-inclusive system that provides accurate compression and complete temporal characterization of few-cycle laser pulses – down to sub-4fs. The developer says the device’s performance draws on the integration of well-established building blocks:

Mosaic OS (Femto Lasers): this octave spanning dispersion management module employs dispersive mirrors designed for high reflectance and controlled Group Delay Dispersion. It comes pre-aligned in a compact, robust housing.

Wizzler (Fastlite): the pulse measurement system is based on Self-Referenced Spectral Interferometry. It is calibration-free, single-beam and single shot, and delivers both spectral phase and amplitude information, i.e., the complete temporal characterization of amplified ultrashort pulses with an extremely high dynamic-range.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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