2001 Events

November 28, 2001: "The Musical Score, the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, and the Measurement of the Shortest Events Ever Created" by Prof. Rick Trebino, Georgia Institute of Technology

Abstract: To measure an event in time requires a shorter one. As a result, the development of a technique to measure ultrashort laser pulses--less than 10^-12 seconds long and the shortest events ever created--has been particularly difficult. We have, however, recently developed a simple method for fully characterizing these events, that is, for measuring a pulse's intensity and phase vs. time. This method relies on two seemingly unrelated ideas: the concept of the musical score and the fact that the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra fails in two dimensions. Specifically, an optical analog of a musical score of the pulse is produced by measuring its spectrogram. And the mathematics involved is equivalent to the two-dimensional phase-retrieval problem--a problem that is solvable only because the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra fails in two dimensions. We call the method Frequency-Resolved Optical Gating (FROG), and it is simple, rigorous, intuitive, and general. It can measure pulses in all spectral ranges, on a single-shot basis, and over a wide range of energies. FROG has been used to measure pulses as short as 4.5 femtoseconds (4.5 x 10^-15 sec), and it can measure two pulses simultaneously. More recently, we have shown that FROG can be used in conjunction with spectral interferometry to measure essentially arbitrary pulses with as little as zeptojoules of energy (less than one photon!) on a multi-shot basis.

Bio: Rick Trebino was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 18, 1954. He received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1977 and his Ph.D. degree from Stanford University in 1983. His dissertation research involved the development of a technique for the measurement of ultrafast events in the frequency domain using long-pulse lasers by creating moving gratings. He continued this research during a three-year term as a physical sciences research associate at Stanford. During this time he was also the President of the Stanford Laser Consulting Group.

In 1986, he moved to Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, where he studied higher-order wave-mixing, nonlinear-optical perturbation theory using Feynman diagrams, and ultrashort-laser-pulse techniques with application to chemical dynamics measurements and combustion diagnostics. His latest work has been the development of Frequency-Resolved Optical Gating (FROG), the first technique for the measurement of the intensity and phase of ultrashort laser pulses.

In 1998, he became the Georgia Research Alliance-Eminent Scholar Chair of Ultrafast Optical Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he currently studies ultrafast optics and applications.

Prof. Trebino has received several prizes, including the SPIE's Edgerton Prize, and he is currently an IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society Distinguished Lecturer. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and member of the American Physical Society, the IEEE, the SPIE, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His interests include adventure travel, archaeology, and primitive art.


October 23, 2001: "Understanding the Current Optical Market" by Chris Rust, Sequoia Capital

Abstract: Chris Rust will discuss the forces that are impacting the optical component and systems market in these turbulant times. He will also discuss where the opportunity areas are likely to be moving forward.

Bio: Christopher J. Rust focuses on early-stage communication components, systems and services investments. Chris is currently a Director of Afara WebSystems, ahi Networks, Nexsi Systems, Turin Networks and Santur. He is also responsible for Sequoia Capital's investments in Mellanox, Onetta, and Syndesis. Previously, he was a Director of SwitchOn Networks (acquired by PMC-Sierra, PMCS) and VxTel (acquired by Intel Corporation, INTC), and a Board Observer to Abrizio (acquired by PMC-Sierra, PMCS), Avanex (AVNX), Nightfire, Santera, and Telera. Before joining Sequoia Capital in March of 1998, he spent 11 years in engineering, marketing, and product management positions at Carrier Access Corporation (CACS), Sourcecom (acquired by ACT Networks), US WEST Advanced Technologies, and MITRE. While at US WEST, he was a founding broadband network architect on the Time Warner Roadrunner deployment. Chris has a BSEE and MSEE from the University of Massachusetts and a MS Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Colorado.


September 25, 2001: "The use of microwave technology in the design of WDM bandpass filters" by Philip Baumeister

Abstract: The design of a microwave bandpass filter begins with the prototype, which is then translated into hardware, such as gaps in a stripline or iris diaphragms in a waveguide. An optical bandpass filter for WDM also begins with the microwave prototype which is then translated into quarterwave stack reflectors interdispersed with cavities of halfwave optical thickness. As an example of kleptotechnology, a six cavity microwave bandpass is translated into an optical bandpass. A seventeen cavity coarse WDM bandpass is also presented.

Bio: The speaker has worked as a optical thin films manufacturing engineer at both Deposition Sciences in Santa Rosa and at Coherent in Auburn, California. He was formerly chief scientist at OCLI in Santa Rosa. For more than two decades, he has taught yearly a couse on Optical Coating Technology for the UCLA Extension. As a consultant, he now resides in the bucolic rural solitude of Sebastopol, California.


May 15, 2001: "Developing Telcordia-Compliant Large MOEMS Photonic Switches for All-Optical Networks" by Dr. Janusz Bryzek, Transparent Networks, Inc.

Abstract: One of the fastest growing world markets is optical networking. The growth of this market resulted from the explosion of the Internet data traffic, which currently doubles every six months (or an increase 1000 times in 5 years). Such avalanche traffic demand resulted in an unprecedented technology explosion. The number of DWDM channels per fiber has continuously increased, growing from one a couple of years ago to 220 in 2001, with 1000 channels developed in the labs. Transmission speeds increased from .625 Gb/s (OC-12) a couple of years ago to an emerging 40 Gb/s (OC-768).

These changes forced a significant increase of the capital equipment cost, as the opaque OEO optical networking equipment becomes obsolete in a short time and requires a forklift upgrade. Carriers' cost growth (20%/year) has significantly exceeded the growth of revenue (12%/year), dramatically affecting bottom line and forcing a search for a more cost effective solutions.

One of the key ones is a transparent all-optical network, which can carry any wavelength, protocol or speed. A critical system in such a network is the photonic crossconnect. The newest generation of crossconnects is based on 3-D MOEMS (Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical System) mirrors. These mirrors enable dynamic provisioning of the optical path between the input and output fibers in all-optical networks. MOEMS mirrors are considered the only technology that can scale to thousands of ports. This talk characterizes the optical networking market and challenges of developing large (above 1000 ports) MOEMS based integrated crossconnects from a perspective of meeting the first related Telcordia specification GR-1073-CORE. The photonic crossconnect relies on the integration of MOEMS, optics, packaging and electronics. Telcordia specifications significantly affect the design choices for such a system. It is believed that most of the first generation MOEMS optical switches do not meet these requirements.

Bio: Dr. Bryzek left Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. in March 2000 to found Transparent Optical, Inc. Benchmark Capital and US Venture Partners provided funding for his Company in July 2000.

Dr. Bryzek is considered to be one of the pioneers of the MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) industry. Between 1982 and 2000 he cofounded five successful Silicon Valley high-tech companies all introducing products based on disruptive MEMS technology: Sensym, ICSensors, NovaSensor, Intelligent MicroSensor Technology and Transparent Networks, Inc. Dr. Bryzek's MEMS designs shipped in a cumulative volume in excess of 100 million units, one of the highest MEMS volumes in the industry.

His latest startup, Transparent Networks, Inc., focuses on developing a new generation of advanced MOEMS (Micro Opto Electro Mechanical System) based products for the all-optical networking market. Dr. Bryzek has published over 200 papers, chaired many international conferences, and authored about 30 patents. In 1994 Dr. Bryzek was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Sensors Magazine for the cumulative achievements in developing the world sensor and MEMS markets.

Dr. Bryzek got his MSEE in 1970 and Ph.D. in 1977 from Warsaw Technical University. He completed the executive management program at Stanford University in 1987. Dr. Bryzek moved from Poland to Silicon Valley in 1979.


April 24, 2001: "New Developments in 'Metropolitan Optical Networks'" by Dr. Rohit Sharma, ONI Systems Corp.

Abstract: In his address, Sharma will highlight the latest developments in optics including new applications and advances brought about by the explosion in optical technologies. Nationally recognized as an informed and provocative speaker, Sharma most recently spoke at OFC 2001, one of the industry's most renowned conferences, on the lessons learned in optical networking.

Bio: Rohit Sharma, the founder and CTO of ONI Systems, is responsible for overseeing technology development and providing strategic guidance on new opportunities for the company. Prior to founding ONI, he was with Telecom Research Labs. Sharma holds Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Alberta, Canada, and a B.Sc. degree in electronics and communications from R.E.C. Kurukshetra, India.


March 20, 2001: "OSA Leadership Conference Report" by Paul Griffiths

Abstract: This will be a working meeting with Paul providing an overview of the sessions held at the OSA's Leadership Conference this February in Washington. Your participation and suggestions are needed, both for our local chapter, and at the national level.

Bio: Paul Griffiths is the current OSNC Director of Membership and Programs. For twenty seven years he was a Senior Staff Scientist with Lockheed Martin where he worked on a number of Aerospace programs and developed optical test and analysis laboratories. At the Johnson Space Center he developed instruments and facilities for measuring Earth Resources, both from Space and Ground Truth/Underflight validations. Prior to that he worked for 10 years at the AVCO Everett Research Laboratories where he developed airborne optical instruments for measuring re-entry phenomenology. Prior to this, he worked at ITEK and the Smithsonian APO.


February 27, 2001: "Vertical Cavity Lasers - New Light for the Information Age" by Prof. Kent Choquette, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Abstract: The infrastructure of the Information Age has to date relied upon advances in microelectronics to produce integrated circuits that are continually smaller, better, and cheaper. The emergence of photonics, where light rather than electricity is manipulated, is posed to further advance the Information Age. Central to the photonic revolution is the development of miniature light sources such as the vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL). Today, a VCSEL manufacturing industry has developed to address developing datacom and telecom markets. Moreover, recent progress in microcavity physics and fabrication technologies such as selective oxidation has enabled a new generation of high performance VCSELs. This presentation will briefly review commercial VCSEL activity as well as new device structures and integration of VCSELs into novel microsystems.


January 23, 2001: "Photonic Crystals and Photonic Microstructures: Technologies and Device Potential" by Prof. Richard DeLarue, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, Glasgow University

Abstract: The talk concerns various forms of photonic crystal, but mostly with photonic crystals created by microstructuring techniques and nanotechnology in thin, 'single-mode', optical waveguides. Because of their pre-eminent role in lasers and LEDs, the optical waveguides used for much of the work to be described are epitaxial III-V semiconductor heterostructures. Photonic crystals are interpreted as being regular structures exhibiting a large modulation of the refractive index and with periodicity in one-, two- or three-dimensions.

The emphasis in the presentation will be on gaining a physical understanding of how photonic bandgap behaviour can appear in photonic crystals, leading on to various new device concepts. Leading-edge fabrication technology, in particular direct-write electron-beam lithography (EBL) and reactive ion etching (RIE), play an essential role in realising the photonic microstructures which become photonic crystals for light in the near infra-red and visible parts of the spectrum. Also discussed are technologies which are likely be useful in developing photonic crystals yet further - and some of the important technological challenges which remain as we head for the holy grails of 'threshold-less' lasers and much more efficient LEDs. Measurement techniques for the transmission, reflection and diffraction properties of waveguide photonic crystals and waveguide microcavities will be described, as well as techniques for observing the modified luminescence of photonic microstructure cavities. Measurement techniques have recently been developed for direct observation of much of the band structure of waveguide photonic crystals - and the new results that emerged will be examined.

Bio: Richard M. De La Rue was appointed as lecturer at Glasgow University in 1971, became a Senior Lecturer in 1982, a Reader in 1985 and Professor of Optoelectronics in 1986. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Institution of Electrical Engineers. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a member of the Functional Materials college of EPSRC. His research is now particularly concerned with photonic bandgap structures and waveguide microcavities. His work with Dr.T.F. Krauss in this area has been published in Nature. Other research interests include integrated optics, lasers, quantum well intermixing, phase masks for silica waveguide photorefractive grating devices and Terahertz electrooptics. He has published more than 250 articles and papers in journals, as book chapters and as conference presentations. He is currently co-leader of Working Group 2 of the COST 268 European Action on 'Wavelength Scale Photonics'.