News | October 21, 2017

Innovation-Driving Research, Applications To Take Center Stage At SPIE Photonics West 2018

More than 20,000 expected to attend major exhibitions, tech talks on the latest light-based advances

Talks by two Nobel Laureates will be among more than 5,200 leading-edge technical presentations held alongside the premier global photonics and laser exhibition, seminars, and training courses at SPIE Photonics West 2018 in San Francisco, California. The symposium will run 27 January through 1 February at Moscone Center, and is expected to attract an international audience of more than 20,000.

Conferences are organized into tracks on biomedical optics (BiOS), industrial laser sources and applications (LASE), and optoelectronics and photonic materials and devices (OPTO). Details and registration information are at

Stefan Hell (Max-Planck-Institut Göttingen) and W.E. Moerner (Stanford University), who shared the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Eric Betzig (Janelia Research Campus) for their work in ultrahigh-resolution fluorescence microscopy, will provide updates.

Two major international exhibitions — the 200-company BiOS Expo on 27 and 28 January, and the sold-out Photonics West Exhibition 30 January through 1 February with approximately 1,300 exhibiting companies — will showcase new laser systems, optical systems for therapeutic and diagnostic medical applications, game-changing communications capabilities, augmented/virtual reality equipment for industrial and other applications, and much more. Admission to the exhibitions is available at no charge, and registration is required. Information is at

A comprehensive training program offers more than 70 courses in lasers and applications, sensors, imaging, IR systems, and optical and optomechanical engineering, plus professional development seminars and industry workshops.

Receptions and other networking events will provide many opportunities to share ideas, connect around community issues such as diversity and inclusion, or to meet new potential collaborators.

Conference highlights

New among this year's 44 BiOS conferences — comprising 2,400 presentations — is Photonic Diagnosis and Treatment of Infections and Inflammatory Diseases.

Nine talks in the popular BiOS Hot Topics session will cover topics such as biophotonics for low-resource settings (Katarina Svanberg and Sune Svanberg, Lund University Hospital and South China Normal University) and near-future developments in photodynamic therapy (Tayyaba Hasan, Wellman Center for Photomedicine).

A multi-speaker Neurotechnologies plenary session will include topics such as strategies for observing and controlling neural circuits (Ed Boyden, MIT) and in-vivo imaging of the brain (Na Ji, University of California, Berkeley). Track chairs are David Boas (Martinos Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School) and Raphael Yuste (Columbia University).

A Nano/Biophotonics plenary talk on shaped light will be presented by Kishan Dholakia (University of St. Andrews).

The Translational Research forum will present outcomes-based studies on technologies, tools, and techniques with high potential to change the lives of patients. Organizers are Bruce Tromberg(Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Center, University of California, Irvine) and Gabriela Apiou(Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School).

BiOS symposium chairs are James Fujimoto (MIT) and Rox Anderson (Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School).

Among 900 presentations in LASE, plenary talks will cover laser frequency combs and dual-comb spectroscopy (Ursula Keller, ETH Zurich), optical lattice clocks (Hidetoshi Katori, University of Tokyo and RIKEN), and industrial laser systems and applications (Berthold Schmidt, Trumpf Photonics Inc.).

LASE symposium chairs are Koji Sugioka (RIKEN) and Reinhart Poprawe (Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik).

Highlighting 2,000 presentations in OPTO, plenary talks will cover silicon photonics (Andrew Rickman, Rockley Photonics Ltd.), nanowire LEDs and diode lasers (Pallab Bhattacharya, University of Michigan), and photonics beyond the diffraction limit (Min Gu, RMIT University). There are three new conferences, on 2D Photonic Materials and Devices, Optical Data Science, and UltraHigh-Definition Imaging Systems.

OPTO symposium chairs are Connie Chang-Hasnain (University of California, Berkeley) and Graham Reed (Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton).

More for industry

New market trends and business opportunities will be explored during industry-focused sessions, such as:

  • An industry conference on virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technology challenges and successes, featuring Bernard Kress (Microsoft/Hololens) and Leo Baldwin (Amazon Functional Photonics)
  • Panel discussions on silicon photonics and photonic integrated circuits, 3D printing, and other topics
  • Updated SPIE analysis about the size of the core photonics market
  • Tips on navigating the innovation ecosystem with examples from development of LiDAR for self-driving vehicles, and the Luminate high-technology accelerator
  • The annual SPIE Startup Challenge pitch competition for pre-revenue companies
  • A Fast Pitch Lunch connecting entrepreneurs with potential investors and mentors
  • A gala awards banquet where industry leaders will announce winners of the 2018 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation

Recruiters from more than 30 companies are expected at the SPIE Career Center Job Fair (30-31 January).

Complete information is on the Photonics West website (

About SPIE
SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2016, SPIE provided $4M in support of education and outreach programs. For more information, visit

Source: SPIE