• Technical Conference:  13 – 18 May 2018
  • Exhibition: 15 – 17 May 2018


Jury Duty and SERS Spectroscopy

By James Van Howe | Posted: 14 May 2010

There has been a lag in my blog posting lately as I was recently performing my civic duty as juror in a narcotics case in my county for the last three days. Of course as a laser scientist my mind wandered from the case from time-to-time to the subject of how lasers could have been used to aid the investigation. After some browsing through databases, I found some studies using Raman Spectroscopy and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for identification of illegal drugs.

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Short Pulse Lasers hit sub 100 fs target

By David Nugent | Posted: 11 May 2010

It’s ages since I last wrote about short pulse lasers. Fifteen years, four months and five days to be precise. That’s when my colleauges at Cambridge University and BT Research Laboratories and I published an Electronics Letter on the action of passive saturable absorbers (‘SAs’) embedded within the upper Bragg mirror of a VCSEL to create self-pulsations in the GHz region [1]. Within five months of publication, Honeywell filed a derivative patent whereby the carrier density within the SA region, and thereby self-pulsation rate, is controllable via electrical contracts.

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IBM in graphene breakthrough

By David Nugent | Posted: 10 May 2010

In perhaps the most stimulating paper at CLEO this year, researchers from IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Centre will present their breakthrough work on ultra-fast photodetectors made from single- and few-layer graphene deposited epitaxially on SiC.

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Metamaterials: Photonics beyond the norm

By David Nugent | Posted: 7 May 2010

It’s a tenuous connection, I know, but I want to start this blog with a line from my favorite comedy writer:

“I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam: I looked into the soul of another boy” – Woody Allen.

With more US patent applications filed within the last year than in the previous five years, enigmatic metamaterial science justly deserves scholarly concentration.

For my money the most interesting metamaterial applications emerging from commercial laboratories at the moment are THz sources, EM boundary engineering, and millimeter wave components.

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LIDAR opportunities go up in smoke

By David Nugent | Posted: 5 May 2010

With airspace above Scotland and Northern Ireland closed today due to volcanic ash still belching out of Iceland, European travellers have suddenly become interested in the capabilities of airborne light detection and ranging (‘LIDAR’) systems.

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Quantum sources: Are diamonds your best friend?

By David Nugent | Posted: 5 May 2010

Enticed perhaps by successes with laboratory quantum key distribution demonstrations, academic and commercial interest in single photon sources (SPS) has accelerated in recent years. To celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the invention of the laser, I wrote an Innovation Brief on single photon sources and you can download a copy here.

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Ghee Whiz: India comes to CLEO/QELS

By David Nugent | Posted: 2 May 2010

Posting more papers to the Optical Society of America since 1999 than either Germany, Japan or the United Kingdom, India is a major contributor to the international photonics community. Reflecting its status as a truly international conference, CLEO/QELS 2010 welcomes no fewer than six papers contributed solely or jointly by researchers from the Indian subcontinent.

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Active Vibration Isolation

By David Nugent | Posted: 30 April 2010

With CLEO located less than ten miles from the San Andreas Fault you could hardy find a more audacious venue to promote a new vibration isolation system.  Joking aside, the DSP-controlled STACIS active isolators demoed at CLEO: Expo by Technical Manufacturing Corporation are aimed squarely at the burgeoning nanomanufacturing community in Silicon Valley and science parks worldwide.

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Don’t forget your toothbrush

By David Nugent | Posted: 29 April 2010

Like brushing your teeth after every meal, conference planning is something we all intend to do but rarely find the time for. As fellow CLEO blogger James van Howe playfully points out:

“Though maybe a bit nerdy, or perhaps just naive, this has been an epiphany for me. For any conference-goers reading these posts, if you don’t already, I urge you to take a look at the conference program well before you get to San Jose. Do a little planning now so that you can arm yourself with those good questions to advance and broaden your research.”

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Inaugural CLEO/QELS blog

By David Nugent | Posted: 28 April 2010

No scientific discipline affects life in the 21st century to same extent as photonics. From the way we harvest sunlight energy to the way we illuminate our homes; from the way diseases are diagnosed to the way medicines are delivered into the body; and from the way we communicate and entertain ourselves to the way we defend our borders. Its reach is omnipotent; its value to society unquantifiable.

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