2006 Events

Note: The presentations for some events are available for browsing and downloading on the linked titles.

December 9, 2006: "Behind the Scenes Tour of Chabot Space and Science Center's Planetarium and Day at Chabot"

Abstract: The Ask Jeeves Planetarium is a full-dome digital projection system. This next generation projection technology is the most state-of-the-art on the planet. This new system is capable of projecting a brilliant seamless image over the entire 70-foot dome surface and can deliver jaw-dropping digital sound. The images surround the audience, extending beyond the peripheral vision, leading to an experience that is fully immersive and engaging.

Chabot's Zeiss Universarium star projector creates stunning views of the night sky and constellation effects.


November 7, 2006: "Electro-Optic A/D Convertors" by Prof. John P. Powers, Naval Postgraduate School

Abstract: We seek to design and test an analog-to-digital convertor that can digitize a signal with a 10-GHz bandwidth at a resolution of 10 bits. An electro-optic modulator with a pulsed laser input, used as a sampler, requires pulses on the order of a picosecond in duration with a temporal stability of 10s of femtoseconds. We have constructed a mode-locked fiber laser to use in the sampling of the rf wave. This talk will discuss the features and performance of this laser. We will also briefly discuss parallel digitization of the samples based on the symmetric number system as well as preliminary thoughts on an optical implementation of a sigma-delta convertor for these wide bandwidth signals.

Bio: John Powers is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). He received his BSEE from Tufts University, his MSEE from Stanford University, and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School since 1970. He also served as Chairman of that department from 1987-1990 and 2002-2005, was Dean of Faculty for NPS from 1994-1995 and Dean of Science and Engineering from 1995-1996. In 1974-75 he was an Exchange Scientist at the University of Paris, working in the area of acoustic imaging. Professor Powers has taught in the areas of electro-optics, fiber optics, and electronics. He is the author of two editions of Introduction to Fiber Optic Systems (McGraw-Hill) and the editor of Acoustical Imaging, Vol. 11 (Plenum Press). Professor Power's research interests are in naval applications of fiber optics, acousto-optics, scalar-wave diffraction, and acoustic imaging.


October 03, 2006: "The Solid State Heat Capacity Laser (SSHCL) Program" by Bob Yamamoto, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Abstract: The Solid State Heat Capacity Laser (SSHCL) program at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has developed the world's most powerful diode pumped "electric laser". In January 2006, the SSHCL achieved 67 kW of average output laser power for short fire durations, which equates to 335 joules/pulse at our 200 Hz pulse repetition rate. As the name implies, the term "heat capacity" refers to the fact that the laser gain media stores any resultant energy in the form of heat during the lasing process, and has to subsequently be cooled off-line while another set of laser gain media are in use. Separating the lasing function from the cooling function for the laser gain media promotes straightforward and simple laser architecture, while allowing quasi-continuous laser operation.

The program has come to a major crossroad in its evolution as we prepare for its transition from a laser technology demonstration device in a laboratory setting, to a fully operational directed energy weapon capable of engaging live targets under actual battlefield conditions. In order to accomplish this, a fieldable prototype is needed that will allow those who would ultimately use the SSHCL in the battlefield to carry out laser performance and system operations testing in conjunction with reliability experiments. A 100 kW mobile SSHCL system is proposed to be built for this next step.

Bio: Bob Yamamoto is currently the Program Manager and Project Engineer for the Solid State Heat Capacity Laser (SSHCL) program at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley, an MBA from Golden Gate University and is a registered professional mechanical engineer in the state of California. Mr. Yamamoto has worked in both the private sector (TRW and General Atomics) and National Labs (LLNL and LBNL) during his 29-year career. He has been the recipient of two R&D 100 awards (development of a human cancer treatment system utilizing magnetic fields and a diode-pumped laser for humanitarian mine clearing), has authored/co-authored 40 technical papers and his work has been the subject of 10 scientific magazine articles.


September 05, 2006: "An Introduction to Luxim LiFi™: A Breakthrough in High Intensity Discharge Lighting" by Tony McGettigan, Luxim, Corp.

Abstract: High Intensity Discharge lamps have been successful in applications where high brightness and/or high luminous efficiency is required. Examples include sodium lamps for street lighting, metal halide lamps for industrial and stage lighting, Xenon lamps for cinema projectors and high pressure mercury lamps for microdisplay projection systems. Despite their success, these lamps are notorious for their life and reliability issues.

The presentation will describe the fundamentals of high intensity discharge lamps and the challenges associated with designing these lamps for high brightness, long life applications. The presentation will go on to introduce Luxim's LiFi™ technology and show how LiFi™ addresses the stability and lifetime issues associated with conventional HID lamps. In introducing the technology, the key characteristics and elegant simplicity of the technology will be explained. Other benefits of LiFi™ will be covered including time to brightness, restrike time and luminous efficiency.

Bio: Tony McGettigan is President and Chief Executive Officer of Luxim, Corp. Mr. McGettigan joined Luxim in Oct/2004. He has over 15 years experience in consumer electronics holding leadership positions in Manufacturing, Product Development, Business Development and Business Unit Management.

Mr. McGettigan spent his last 7 years working in the Projection Display business at Optical Coating Laboratory Inc. and Hewlett-Packard. He is a prominent figure in the Projection Display industry and is a recognized leader in both the technology and commercial aspects of the industry. Prior to working in Projection Display, Tony worked in the Inkjet Printing business at Hewlett-Packard where he helped transition the technology from desktop printing to digital photography.

Mr. McGettigan received his MSME and MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he graduated with full fellowship. He received his BSME (Summa Cum Laude) from University College Dublin.


August 01, 2006: "Microscopic Ophthalmic Imaging with Adaptive Optics" by Prof. Austin Roorda, University of California, Berkeley

Abstract: The ability of ophthalmoscopes to resolve single cells in living eyes is hampered by the blur in the images caused by aberrations in the eye's optics. However, the application of adaptive optics into ophthalmoscopes in the last decade has overcome these limitations and a new generation of ophthalmoscopes are being developed that can image eyes with unprecedented resolution and contrast.

To date, AO systems have been used successfully for microscopic imaging using both flood-illuminated and scanning-laser imaging modalities. Flood-illuminated systems obtain high-quality, high-resolution single-frame snapshots of the retina, while adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) is capable of imaging at high frame rates as well as performing optical sectioning of the retina.

The presentation will include the latest performance properties of AO ophthalmoscopes, and discuss them within the context of their potential applications, which include visualization of photoreceptors, optical sectioning and direct measurement of blood flow. An expanded application of AOSLO is to project AO-corrected stimuli directly onto the retina simultaneously with retinal imaging, which facilitates a broad range of applications, from single cone psychophysics to microperimetry.

At present, AO instruments are in the hands of only a handful of investigators. The talk will close with a discussion of our efforts to make AO technology more accessible by making systems smaller, more efficient and more economically viable.

Bio: Austin Roorda received his Ph.D. in Vision Science and Physics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. As a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Rochester, he utilized the world's first ophthalmoscope equipped with adaptive optics to measure the properties of photoreceptors in living human eyes. By combining adaptive optics imaging with retinal densitometry, he was able, for the first time ever, to map the trichromatic cone mosaic. He moved to the University of Houston in 1998, where he developed the Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope (AOSLO), which is an instrument that provides dynamic, high-resolution, microscopic imaging of living retina. Applications of this new instrument range from 3-dimensional imaging to the direct and noninvasive measurement of blood cell velocity in retinal capillaries. This AOSLO improves the 3-D resolution by an order of magnitude of conventional SLOs and it has the potential to become a major diagnostic tool for the detection of eye disease.

Austin Roorda is on the executive committee of the NSF Center for Adaptive Optics and holds two research grants from the National Institutes of Health. He is the recent recipient of two major awards; the Irving M. and Beatrice Borish Outstanding Young Researcher Award from the American Academy of Optometry and the Excellence in Research and Scholarship Award (Assistant Professor level) from the University of Houston. Since January, 2005 Austin Roorda has been and Associate Professor and holds the Solon M. and Pearl A Braff Chair in Clinical Optometric Sciences at the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry.


July 11, 2006: "Presentation on the Linac Coherent Light Source (X-ray Laser) Project and Tour of SLAC" by Dr. Jerome Hastings, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

Abstract: Presentation on the Linac Coherent Light Source (X-ray Laser) Project and Tour of SLAC, hosted by Dr. Jerome Hastings, Project Director, LCLS Ultrafast Science Instruments, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is the world's first x-ray free electron laser now under construction at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. The LCLS is designed to produce radiation between 1.5 and 0.15 nm in wavelength with unprecedented peak brightness. The production of the radiation, its unique properties and the scientific opportunities it provides will be described. The LCLS takes specific advantage of the last 1/3 of the SLAC linac and with the construction of a dedicated electron source (RF photocathode electron gun) and a 140 meter undulator will produce the worlds first hard x-ray free electron laser.

Bio: Dr. Hastings earned a PhD from Cornell University in Applied Physics. After a year at ORNL and a year at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Project, he joined Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1977 and worked at the National Synchrotron Light Source from its beginning until moving to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in 2001. Upon his arrival at SLAC he took responsibility as spokesman for the Sub-Picosecond Pulse Source experiment, a 100fs linac based spontaneous x-ray source which has just finished. He is presently the project director for the LCLS Ultrafast Science Instruments (LUSI) and the SSRL Assistant Director for LCLS Science.


June 6, 2006: "Taking Laser Technology to the Marketplace" by Dr. Aram Mooradian, Novalux, Inc.

Abstract: The history of Novalux is presented as an example of the pathway to commercialization of technology into one or more large dollar volume markets. Included is the progression of funding, investor interactions, identification of markets, technology required to meet the market demands and liquidity strategies. Specific Novalux technology is based on high-power frequency doubled surface emitting semiconductor laser arrays that operate in the visible wavelength range for use in projection display. These devices can meet the price and performance goals for displays from small format to home theater to signage, a total annual market that will exceed $25B. The revenue for the laser light sources can exceed $2B/year with licensing fees exceeding this amount. Good technology with a strong patent base needs a large market with little major competition to be teamed with smart, patient investors and one or more large corporate partners in order to succeed. A recently announced joint effort between Novalux and Seiko-Epson for the production of Novalux lasers for projection display has endorsed the position of lasers for the home TV market for the first time. Lasers have been known for a few decades to provide outstanding picture color gamut and high brightness but have been limited by their cost and complexity. A description of how the Novalux laser technology was developed and now it can meet the needs of projection display and specialty lighting markets will be discussed.

Bio: Aram Mooradian is the founder and Chief Technology Officer of Novalux, Inc., a company located in Sunnyvale, CA that manufactures high power surface emitting semiconductor lasers and laser arrays for projection display in a joint effort with Seiko-Epson of Japan based on his patented technology. He received the Ph.D. degree in physics at Purdue University where he studied semiconductors and lasers. He then joined the MIT Lincoln Laboratory as a staff member and later became the Leader of the Quantum Electronics Group. He founded Micracor, Inc., in 1992, an MIT spin-off company that developed technology such as optically pumped and tunable semiconductor lasers. Dr. Mooradian has been involved in the transfer of Department of Defense technology into the commercial marketplace.


May 22, 2006: "Photon Counting Microdetectors and Their Applications" by Prof. Sergio Cova, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Abstract: Photon counting is the technique of choice for the ultimate sensitivity in optical signal measurements. Started and developed with photomultiplier tubes, it received new impulse from the introduction of microelectronic detectors, called Single-Photon avalanche Diodes SPAD. They combine typical advantages of microelectronics (small size, high reliability, ruggedness and suitability to integrated systems) with improved basic performance (high photon detection efficiency, low dark-counting rate, picosecond photon-timing and high counting-rate capability). The seminar will outline the evolution of SPAD devices and associated electronics and will illustrate some examples of recent applications, such as: analysis of DNA and proteins; single molecule spectroscopy; adaptive optics in modern telescopes; non-invasive testing of ULSI circuits.

Bio: Prof. Sergio Cova was born in Roma, Italy. He is a full Professor of Electronics since 1976 at Politecnico di Milano, Italy, where he had received a doctor degree in Nuclear Engineering in 1962. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE. He was elected as IEEE LEOS Distinguished Lecturer for 2006-07. He has given contributions to research and development of detectors for optical and ionizing radiations, of microelectronic devices and circuits, of electronic and optoelectronic measurement instrumentation systems. In this frame he carried out also interdisciplinary work in collaboration with researchers in physics, astronomy, biochemistry and molecular biology. He pioneered the development of silicon Single-Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPAD) and the extension of photon counting techniques to the infrared spectral range with devices in germanium and III-V semiconductors. He invented the Active-Quenching Circuit (AQC) that opened the way to the application of SPADs and developed it up to monolithic integrated form. He is author of over 170 papers in international journals and conferences and of 5 international patents (USA and EU). In 2005 he established with other colleagues the university spin-off company MPD Micro-Photon-Devices.


May 09, 2006: Co-sponsored with SCV-EDS "Nanoscale Imaging of Semiconductor and Biological Systems" by Prof. M. Selim Ünlü, Boston University

Abstract: We present two innovative approaches to go beyond the capabilities of standard optical microscopy which is limited to a transverse resolution of approximately half a wavelength due to the diffraction, also termed the Rayleigh or Abbe limit. The resolution is inversely proportional to the Numerical Aperture (NA). One method to increase the NA is to increase n, the refractive index of the material in the object space. We recently developed a new technique involving a Numerical Aperture Increasing Lens (NAIL) for diffraction limited subsurface microscopy. The NAIL technique is demonstrated by near-IR inspection of Si integrated circuits yielding a 230 nm resolution at 1050 nm wavelength representing a factor of 4 improvement over the state-of-the-art. We have applied this technique to photoluminescence and PLE measurements of InAs/GaAs quantum dots and demonstrated high collection efficiency and spatial resolution better than 400 nm. We also used NAIL technique in subsurface thermal emission microscopy of Si integrated circuits and achieved improvements in the amount of light collected and the spatial resolution, well beyond the limits of conventional thermal emission microscopy. We experimentally demonstrate a lateral spatial resolution of 1.4 µm and a longitudinal spatial resolution of 7.4 µm, for thermal imaging at free space wavelengths up to 5 µm. We also examine in detail the ability of sharp metal tips to enhance local optical fields and describe a new approach to nano-optics, that of combining solid immersion microscopy with tip-enhanced focusing and show how such an approach may lead to 20 nm resolution with near-unity throughput.

Spatial resolution can also be improved beyond the diffraction limit by collecting spectral information. We have built on our experience on resonant optoelectronic devices and developed a novel application to fluorescence microscopy that promises nanometer resolution in biological imaging. Over the past 20 years fluorescence microscopy has developed into a standard tool in biological sciences. Today, confocal microscopy provides three-dimensional resolution on lateral length scales of 0.5 micron and axial length scales of 0.75 micron with good imaging speed for studies of biological systems. In the past few years, the increased resolution achieved through advanced fluorescent probes and two-photon sources has made possible the coarse examination of structures at the subcellular level, complementing decades of molecular biology with the nascent ability to localize subcellular processes. We have developed an alternative method, spectral self-interference fluorescent microscopy. The technique transforms the variation in emission intensity for different path lengths used in fluorescence interferometry to a variation in the intensity for different wavelengths in emission, encoding the high-resolution information in the emission spectrum. Using monolayers of streptavidin, we have demonstrated better than 5nm axial height determination for thin layers of fluorophores and built successful models that accurately fit the data. Initial experiments on fluorescently labeled lipid layers successfully determined the binding of fluorescent molecules in membranes with sub-nanometer precision. Recently, the orientation of ss and dsDNA monolayers on silicon oxide is studied by tracing the location of a fluorescent label attached to the DNA.

Bio: M. Selim Ünlü is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Physics at Boston University. Prof. Ünlü received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, in 1986, and the M.S.E.E. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1988 and 1992, respectively. In 1992, he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University.

Dr. Ünlü's career interest is in research and development of photonic materials, devices and systems focusing on the design, processing, characterization, and modeling of semiconductor optoelectronic devices, especially photodetectors, as well as high-resolution microscopy and spectroscopy of semiconductor and biological materials.

During 1994-1995, Dr. Ünlü served as the Chair of IEEE Laser and Electro-Optics Society, Boston Chapter, winning the LEOS Chapter-of-the-Year Award. He was awarded National Science Foundation Research Initiation Award in 1993, United Nations TOKTEN award in 1995 and 1996, and both the National Science Foundation CAREER and Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Awards in 1996. He has authored and co-authored over 200 technical articles and several book chapters and magazine articles; edited one book; and holds several patents. His professional service includes the former chair of the IEEE/LEOS technical committee on photodetectors and imaging and currently, the current chair of IEEE/LEOS Nanophotonics committee. He is also serving as an Associate Editor for IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics and a VP of LEOS. He was elected as IEEE LEOS Distinguished Lecturer for 2006-07.


March 07, 2006: "Quantum Design Rules for Optical Engineers" by Neil Gunther, Performance Dynamics

Bio: Light is a quantum phenomenon; the photon's 100-th birthday was celebrated last year. More recently, a quiet revolution in quantum-based technologies has begun to apply quantum mechanics explicitly to communications, cryptography and even imaging itself. You've already heard a lot about the first two areas, hence we focus on the third in this talk.

Significant cost reductions can be realized by implementing these quantum technologies in silicon. Our experience with VLSI design at Xerox PARC showed us the importance of having design rules to abstract away the underlying physics, thus allowing engineers to design chips. Since it has worked well for electrons, we have recently proposed an analogous set of quantum design rules (QDRs) for photons. Some example QDRs are: photons do not interact with other photons, and photons only interact with electrons (viz., the material comprising the imaging device). We will take a quick tour through all eight QDRs up to and including entanglement. Familiar concepts from classical optics such as Snell's law, refraction, diffraction, interference, are subsumed by our QDRs i.e., classical optics is just a special case of quantum optics.

Finally, we show what happens if you do not follow these photon QDRs. A special interferometer received a lot of press recently for apparently revealing a fundamental flaw in quantum mechanics. We have shown, however, that although the device is cleverly designed, its operation is incorrect because the designer missed a subtle phenomenon - photon bifurcation--which is a direct consequence of our QDRs. Our further research in this direction will be reviewed briefly. Thankfully, this talk will be illustrated with a multitude of diagrams.


February 07, 2006: "A Primer on the Food & Drug Administration: Lasers and Other Radiological Health Products" by Frank Eng, Food & Drug Administration

Abstract: Tonight's presentation is "A Primer on the Food & Drug Administration", with some emphasis on Radiological Health Products, in general, and on Laser Products in particular.

Bio: Frank Eng is a Medical Device Specialist & Electro-Optics Specialist at the Food and Drug Administration, where he has worked for 33 years. Frank performs inspections of firms which manufacture medical devices and laser products, for conformance to FDA's quality system regulations for medical devices, and FDA's laser product performance standards for laser products. He also has a background in other FDA regulated products such as: human foods, human drugs, biologics, and bio-research (sponsor, monitor, clinical investigators and institutional review boards).


January 11, 2006: Joint meeting with SCV-CPMT "Enabling Technologies for Board-Level Optical Interconnects" by Dr. Alexei Glebov of Fujitsu Laboratories of America

Abstract: Facing approaching speed, bandwidth, density and scalability limitations in high-speed printed circuit boards, optical interconnects (OI) emerge as a viable alternative. Many industrial and governmental organizations project that board-level OI will evolve for commercial applications in this decade. The 4-5 year product development cycle suggests that complete prototypes of the modules should become available in several years. Among possible solutions for board-level OI, the planar waveguide approach shows to be more competitive in terms of cost, passive element integration, component alignment tolerances, and manufacturability.

This talk will review various topics and technologies of board-level OI. A strong emphasis will be given to elementary technologies enabling fabrication of OI prototype modules. The talk will cover integrated low loss polymer waveguides with vertical routing capabilities, microoptic and waveguiding elements, 3D optical wiring schemes, in- and out-of-plane light coupling, optical connectors, etc. The prototype optical backplane operation at 10+ Gbps will also be presented.

Bio: Dr. Alexei Glebov is a research project manager in the Advanced Optoelectronics Technology Department at Fujitsu Laboratories of America in Sunnyvale. His main research focus is on board-level optical interconnects, optical switches and other planar photonic device fabrication and packaging technologies. He received his Diploma in Physics from University of St. Petersburg, Russia, and Ph. D. in Physics with Honors from University of Göttingen, Germany. Prior to joining Fujitsu Laboratories in 2000 he worked at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen and Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, in Murray Hill, NJ. Dr. Glebov published about 45 papers in peer-reviewed journals (citation index 400+), co-authored more than 40 conference contributions, made over 30 invited and regular presentations at international meetings and seminars, and has ~20 patents issued or pending. He is a senior member of IEEE LEOS and CPMT, and is a member of OSA and SPIE.