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The FIO+LS Blog

A Day of Data

By By Dominic Siriani | Posted: 9 October 2013

So it seems the theme of my day today was ways to address size and energy bottlenecks in data centers. I’ve thoroughly had it drilled into my head that the real scale of interest is on the interconnect level, between chips and even on chips. As pointed out in an excellent tutorial by David Miller of Stanford University, the parasitic capacitance of electronic lines results in a large energy consumption, in fact much larger than the logic operations being performed by the CMOS itself. So this is where photonics can really save the day.

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Too fast to capture? Not a problem any more – Observing and controlling the electron dynamics using ultrafast X-ray and attosecond lasers

By By Frank Kuo | Posted: 9 October 2013

An exciting technique generates shock waves and attracts followers. However, for a technique to actually fly high, it has to be applicable to exploring the scientific unknowns. The thirst of the unknown then feeds the desire of having even better techniques. This mutual and healthy interaction paves the way of scientific advance and can be seen in many of today’s technical sessions.

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Ultracompact transparent conducting oxide and graphene based plasmonic modulator

By by Howard Lee | Posted: 9 October 2013

Special guest post during FiO/LS 2013 from the Nanophotonics Technical Group

To develop future hybrid photonic/plasmonic integrated nanocircuits, an efficient, ultracompact, ultrafast and low energy consumption modulator is one of the required components. Prof. Volker Sorger from the George Washington University presented a study on a transparent conducting oxide (TCO) based modulator. He showed that a silicon coupled TCO modulator achieves a modulation depth of 5dB and 20dB with a device length of 5um and 20um, respectively. The modulator has a broadband wavelength response (1.2um-2um) and can potentially be operated with high speed and low energy consumption (<100 fJ/bit). 

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Plasmonics for THz waves, a ultra-compact active platform.

By By Zhimin Shi | Posted: 8 October 2013

Special guest post during FiO/LS 2013 from the Nanophotonics Technical Group

Jerrett Vella from Wyle Aerospace group and AFRL introduced an ultracompact plasmonic modulator for Terahertz modulation, during which modulation up to 130 dB for the first time using a 15 um active area, which is 20 times smaller than the operation wavelength at 300 um. 

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And That’s Why It’s Not Called Sili-Can’t…

By By Dom Siriani | Posted: 8 October 2013

It’s called silicon. Day two, pun two (a stretch, I know), and this is my second apology for the bad jokes. But, as before, I can justify it with a great theme: silicon and its continued expansion into the realm of photonics.

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A 2013 Plenary Talk with a fine twist of history, technology, & encouraging perspective.

By By Frank Kuo | Posted: 8 October 2013

Conference has limited amount of time for each call, so most of the technical talks are highly specialized. As a result, you need to be familiar with the topic or extremely sharp in picking up the ideas in order to grasp the content immediately. This is definitely not the case in Professor Murnane’s presentation. She started by carefully turning the clock back to the beginning for the century, revisited the idea behind the lasers proposed by Einstein (such as stimulated emission, population inversion), and naturally explained why table top X-ray laser is a challenging topic to tackle even today.

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Silicon nanophotonics: the next wave for performance boost in long-haul/metro communications

By by Zhimin Shi | Posted: 7 October 2013

Special guest post during FiO/LS 2013 from the Nanophotonics Technical Group

Dr. Po Dong from Bell Labs / Alcatel-Lucent USA reported in an invited talk some latest results of high-speed silicon photonic integrated circuits for next generation coherent transmission. By integrating different but monolithically compatible materials  (silicon, germanium, silicon-nitride and silicon oxide) on one single chip, Bell labs has managed to utilize the advantage of each material to realize various functionalities for encoding and decoding up to 224 Gbit per second on a single chip. For example, Dr. Dong commented that the uniqueness of silicon photonic platform (Silicon-nitride in particular) make polarization control possible on a chip which is difficult for other material platforms. Their solution also includes using germanium for photo-detection, silicon for routing and modulation, and oxide material for input/output coupling. In the device level, Dr. Gong used as an example that silicon micro-ring resonator structures can be used for both intensity and variable phase modulator. Using the Si-Ge-SiN monolithic integration platform, Bell labs has realized transmitting optical signals at 112 Gbit/s over 2500 km of single mode fibers with unprecedented performance. Some further performance challenge would include some low-voltage Silicon modulators with low insertion losses, high coupling efficiency mode converters, reliable high-speed Germanium photo detectors, etc.

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Far from a Bohr (100 Years Even)

By By Dom Siriani | Posted: 7 October 2013

Ok, right off the bat, sorry for the pun. Anyone could probably see it coming, but I couldn’t help myself. Frontiers in Optics/Laser Science 2013 opened in great style with the Symposium on the 100th Anniversary of the Bohr Atom. What does Bohr’s atom have to do with optics and lasers? Well, as anyone in the field could guess, quite a lot actually (where can’t photonics be applied?).
The symposium opened with a great introduction by Charles Clark of NIST. Dr. Clark gave an overview of Neils Bohr’s seminal work, focusing on how his nearly parenthetical comment on applying quantization to the mechanical model of the angular momentum of atomic electrons provided a tremendous leap forward in the development of quantum mechanics. Although since proven to be an inadequate model, the elegance of Bohr’s idea is in its simplicity and yet remarkable accuracy in making predictions of the emission characteristics of atoms.

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Communication via vortices?

By Guest Blogger - Greg Gbur | Posted: 2 October 2013

Reposted from Skullinthestars.com

This is the second in a series of posts about the upcoming OSA Frontiers in Optics meeting in Orlando. This post covers research related to the presentation FM3F.1: Alan E. Willner, Multiplexing Information-Carrying Orthogonal Beams using Orbital Angular Momentum States.

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Distributed Sensing Using Optical Fiber

By by Dominic Siriani | Posted: 23 September 2013

A special symposium on distributed optical fiber sensor systems will be held at this year’s FiO/LS meeting. These optical sensors can be much more robust than their electronic counterparts, for example being able to operate in areas with electronic interference. There are a number of different manifestations of distributed fiber optic sensors, but they primarily work on the same principle: scattering of an optical signal in fiber. The scattering can be due to defects in the fiber causing simple linear backscattering (Rayleigh scattering) or from nonlinear scattering due to phonon interactions (Brillouin scattering) or induced energy transitions in the material (Raman scattering). Here, I’ll focus on one sensor arrangement based on Rayleigh scattering and optical time domain reflectometry (OTDR).

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Get Tuned Up for the FiO/LS 2013 Plenary

By by Frank Kuo | Posted: 12 September 2013

Plenary sessions have been and will continuously to be the jewels of the FiO/LS conference. Each talk is extremely educational, inspirational, and highly praised.
In addition to grabbing a precious seat or a corner of the room to stand because it’s usually packed, there are several things you need to do in order to get most out of the talks: you need to prepare yourself beforehand. In other words, tune your antenna to the right optics frequency.

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Exploring Anderson Localization of Light

By By Dominic Siriani | Posted: 4 September 2013

Over 50 years ago, P. W. Anderson first suggested that the diffusion of electrons can be frozen in a sufficiently disordered lattice. The backbone of the idea is in the quantum mechanical model of electron transport, in which the particles are also waves. As an intuitive explanation, one can consider the sum of the probability amplitudes of different paths the electron can take. The phases of these amplitudes must be taken into account, and as with all waves, constructive or destructive interference can occur. For a medium with strongly scattering disordered defects, the result of such interference can lead to the localization of the electron wavefunction in one place (i.e., diffusion is inhibited).

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Networking Made Easy: From Nobel Laureates to Young Grasshoppers

By Frank Kuo | Posted: 30 August 2013

While skimming the FiO conference agenda, the uniqueness of the conference jumped out at me. Unlike many other conferences, it covers various topics ranging from fundamental physics to applied technologies. This allows hardcore scientists and application engineers to find their corners of interest with great pleasure.

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Supersymmetry in optics?

By Guest Blogger - Greg Gbur | Posted: 23 August 2013

From the popular, Skulls in the Stars Blog.This is the first in a series of posts about the upcoming OSA Frontiers in Optics meeting in Orlando. This post covers research related to the presentation FM4C.5: Mohammad-Ali Miri; Matthias Heinrich; Demetrios N. Christodoulides, SUSY-generated complex optical potentials with real-valued spectra.

One of the most fruitful strategies in optics research is to investigate the implications of concepts and mathematics used in seemingly very different fields of physics. The most dramatic example of this today is the foundation of the field of transformation optics, which uses the mathematical tools of general relativity to create novel optical devices. As I’ve discussed in previous posts, treating matter as an effective “warping” of space has led to the theoretical development of exotic objects such as invisibility cloaks, “perfect” optical illusions, and even optical wormholes.

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Frontiers in Optics (FiO): The Must–Attend Meeting

By FiO/LS Marketing | Posted: 19 August 2013

The FiO/LS Marketing team sat down with Nikola Alic , University of San Diego, Program Co-Chair, Frontiers in Optics 2013 to discuss some of the hot topics that will be featured at the conference and reasons why FiO is a leading international meeting in the filed of optics and laser science.

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Trends in Optics in Information Processing - Interview with Frontiers in Optics Subcommittee Member

By Daniel Marks, Duke University | Posted: 8 July 2013

The FiO/LS Marketing team sat down with Daniel Marks, Frontiers in Optics 2013 Subcommittee Member to discuss what type of exciting research can be anticipated this year under FiO 4 - Optics in Information Processing. Ghost imaging, Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Microscopy, and Pump-Probe Nonlinear Dispersion Phase Dispersion Spectroscopy are just a few of the trending topics discussed.

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Endoscopy - focusing and depolarization

By Sapna Shroff | Posted: 28 October 2012

Hey folks..

Multimode fibers are great for endoscopy type scanning applications. But a beam focused at a multimode fiber generates a scrambled random speckle pattern at the output, with the fiber acting like a turbid medium. Digital phase conjugation can be used to suppress this speckle.

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Amplifying Great Ideas into Amazing Scientific Achievements

By Dominic Siriani | Posted: 19 October 2012

Well, we’ve now reached the end of a great week at the FiO/LS conference. It’s been a great week, and this final day was no exception to that. Unfortunately, I had an early flight out and so only could attend a half-day of the talks. However, not surprisingly, the ones I did get to see where very good.

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In Search of Slow Darkness

By Nicole Moore | Posted: 18 October 2012

Today, there are three sections of "General Optical Sciences," which is often my home when giving a talk.  I find these sessions to be a lot of fun because the topics of the talks are mixed, so you can learn about a lot of different types of ideas in a single session.

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Integrated Photonics for Communications

By Dom Siriani | Posted: 18 October 2012

Much like yesterday, today my FiO/LS presentation selection seemed to have a theme. This time it was integrated photonics for the use in optical communications. It seems natural to have a large focus in this area, since it repeatedly is shown how the energy and cost per bit/sec must be reduced in order to keep up with consumer demand. It’s really remarkable how quickly user consumption on the internet has increased over a relatively short amount of time (think of how prominent video on demand has become in just a few years), and this poses significant challenges for developing the next generation of photonic devices and data transmission methodologies.

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