• Technical Conference: 

    09 – 14 May 2021

  • Exhibition: 

    10 – 14 May 2021

Free! Exhibits Pass Plus

Register for Exhibits Pass Plus

Get free access to select CLEO programs!

A Free Registration Option for Select Programs

CLEO offers an expansive and comprehensive technical conference. However, for those who are only interested in meeting with virtual exhibitors, learning about new products and technologies and networking with others in special events, CLEO also offers a limited-access registration called Exhibits Pass Plus.

This free registration option allows you access to two Plenary Sessions, four Workshops, Special Events, Technology Showcase demonstrations and the Virtual Exhibition.


Plenary SessionsWorkshops l Technology Showcase  l  Special Events


Plenary Sessions 

Plenary Session I: Monday, 09:00 - 11:15 (PDT, UTC-07:00)

Nicolas Gisin

Nicolas Gisin, Professor Emeritus, University of Geneva

From Quantum Foundations to Quantum Communications and Back

Jeremy O'Brien, CEO, PsiQuantum, USA

Silicon Photonic Quantum Computing

Alan Eli Willner, Professor, University of Southern California, USA

Optical Communications: Innovations and Applications Abound



Plenary Session II: Friday, 10:00 - 11:30 (PDT, UTC-07:00)

Stefanie Johnson Margaret Murnane

Stefanie K. Johnson, Associate Professor, University of Colorado Boulder, Leeds School of Business, USA

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Talk: Inclusify 2021

Margaret Murnane, STROBE and JILA, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA

Harnessing Attosecond Quantum Technologies


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Provides convivial, interactive, open fora to address topics not covered by traditional presentations, but that are of interest and importance to the CLEO community. 


Achieving Level 5 Autonomy in Self Driving Cars

Wednesday, 11 May, 07:00 - 08:30 (PDT, UTC-07:00)

There are five levels of autonomy in self driving cars, with level 5 being the most advanced (i.e. not requiring the presence of a human driver at all). This is also the most difficult problem to solve, with numerous hardware challenges such as cost, size, weight, power consumption, and limited processing power of the sensing systems, as well as the numerous edge cases that need to be addressed by the perception software. Moreover, the infrastructure of cities may have to be upgraded to support autonomous vehicles, and legislation will have to evolve to address concerns of liability and accountability. This workshop will aim to answer the fundamental question: will we ever achieve Level 5 autonomy? And if so, how do we get there? 


Analog vs. Digital Photonic Information Processing​

Wednesday, 11 May, 07:00 - 08:30 (PDT, UTC-07:00)

The physics of optical and PIC-based information processing and non-van Neumann computing, including machine learning, offers compelling arguments such as non-iterative O(1) runtime complexity, ps-short signal delay, massive (10^6) parallelism of free-space, a natural spatial Fourier transformation, low-loss 'wire', and foundry fabrication maturity. However, an outstanding question this workshop aims to address is, whether optics and PICs can be a competitive technology not only for digital data communication, but also for analog computing and processing. Recent advances in photonic tensor cores, VMMs, photonic FPGAs, and special-purpose accelerators including neural networks point to competitive systems specifically where the signals are already in the optical domain and hence are analog in nature. Thus, what are the trade-offs and opportunities for digital vs. analog optical information processing?


How Can Optics Contribute Towards Addressing Future Pandemics?: From Advanced Developments to Challenges and Limitations​

Tuesday, 11 May, 10:00 - 12:00 (PDT, UTC-07:00)

Unprecedented severity of the ongoing pathogen contamination outbreak caused by COVID-19 threatens the world and requires urgent measures including development and implementation of innovative and effective diagnostics and therapeutics techniques to address the current and future pandemics. Biophotonics and nanobiophotonics optical approaches offer unique capabilities in developing advanced modalities for high-resolution, label-free, remote and rapid detection and quantification of novel viral pathogens. However, the optical approaches face some challenges and limitations related to potential applications such as the use of: UV radiation for effective decontamination and cleaning; spectroscopy techniques for rapid and sensitive pathogen detection and virus probing; and label-free fast IR sensing of decontamination in portable clinical settings. The present workshop aims to highlight and discuss these challenges along with advanced optical contributions.


Is Quantum Technology Ready for Prime Time?!​

Wednesday, 11 May, 07:00 - 08:30 (PDT, UTC-07:00)

Quantum technologies are seeking to serve a massive application space including quantum cryptography, quantum information and networks, as well as quantum sensing and metrology. While success in these areas might result in a second quantum revolution, how will the quantum community face the significant technological hurdles en route to practical implementation? For instance, given that entangled systems are inherently fragile, how will commercial systems overcome decoherence, loss and low SNR to create robust and reliable quantum-ready products? This workshop will bring together leaders in industry, policy, researchers and program managers to discuss whether we are on the verge of a commercial breakthrough, or whether quantum technology will go down in history as just hype.


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Technology Showcase

Looking for new products to support your research or work? Get insights from industry leaders as they present and explain their cutting-edge technologies.


Technology Showcase: Simple Operation & Locking of a Continuously Tunable Laser

Monday, 10 May, 11:15 – 11:35

Toptica Photonics, Inc.: TOPTICA's continuously tunable laser, the CTL, enables mode‐hop‐free wavelength tuning up to 120 nm with narrow linewidth and highest accuracy. In this demo, we show how to operate the laser with the fully digital, low noise and drift DLC pro controller using intuitive touch screen controls. To illustrate the convenient features of the laser and DLC pro controller, the system is connected to a spectroscopy cell and the transmission spectra is measured by a photodiode and recorded by the DLC pro. The ability to review the live data live and use the new Auto-PID feature to lock the laser to a specific laser line will be demonstrated as well. With applications in device characterization, quantum and materials analysis, it is ideal for any application requiring high precision mode-hop free laser operation over a wide tuning range.


Technology Showcase: New and Featured Products for Laser Applications

Monday, 10 May, 11:40 – 12:00

OptoSigma Corporation: Join us for an exciting and concise presentation on our newest and featured products, all suitable for research or commercial laser applications.   A few examples are the OUCI imaging and laser induction modules, our in-house manufactured UV and NIR Objectives and our expanding product line of MHX Stainless-Steel, high performance mirror mounts. We think you’ll appreciate and enjoy our presentation.  


Technology Showcase: A Comprehensive Simulation Environment for Active and Passive Photonic Component Design

Tuesday, 11 May, 07:00 – 07:20

Photon Design: This presentation will introduce you to Photon Design’s innovative simulation tools for the design of photonic components including silicon photonics, AWGs and other waveguide components, semiconductor lasers, optical modulators, as well as complete photonic integrated circuits.


Technology Showcase: AIM Photonics Integrated Silicon Photonic Chip Fabrication and Test, Assembly & Packaging Offerings

Tuesday, 11 May, 07:20 – 07:40

AIM Photonics: Join us for the latest updates  in electronic-photonic design automation, multi project wafer platform offering, as well as test, assembly, and packaging.  Learn how this PIC ecosystem enables quick turn photonic development through proof of concept, validation, qualification, and commercialization under one national institute, ensuring manufacturing readiness for years to come.


Technology Showcase: New Interoperable Software Platform for the Design of Photonic Devices

Tuesday, 11 May, 07:40 – 08:00

VPIphotonics: As a leader in photonic design automation for components, systems and networks, we will introduce a new interoperable software platform for the design of photonic devices, empowering researchers to explore new designs for photonic integrated circuit (PIC) passive components and optical fibers. This new platform streamlines the migration of device-level simulation data into a circuit-level simulator for the design and optimization of PICs. We will give an overview of the new platform and describe how it fits into our current ecosystem of photonic design and simulation tools.


Technology Showcase: Simulation of Micro-LEDs by Synopsys Photonic Device Tools

Wednesday, 12 May, 07:20 – 07:40

Synopsys: This talk demonstrates how to simulate micro-LEDs with the improved LED Utility in the 2021.03 release of RSoft Photonic Device Tools. It covers both thin-film and nano-wire types of micro-LEDs. Advanced features and tips will be demonstrated to deal with complex structures.


Technology Showcase: Going Beyond Laser Test and Measurement: New Power Meters and Energy Meters for Emerging Laser Applications

Wednesday, 12 May, 17:00 – 17:20

Gentec Electro-Optics, Inc.: With recent advances in the science and applications of lasers, emerging applications are now using higher power sources, faster pulsed lasers with high repetition rates, non-conventional wavelengths and increasingly efficient sources. These advances come with new challenges for laser power and energy measurement. At Gentec-EO, we remain on the lookout for new trends and applications, and we adapt our offer to these new opportunities. In this technology showcase, we will present our latest developments in terms of laser measurement instruments: - FASTER energy detectors that can measure pulse-to-pulse energy at higher repetition rates,  - SMARTER power meters that communicate via bluetooth to allow for remote monitoring of your laser processes, and TOUGHER high-power detectors that can withstand incredibly high damage thresholds.

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Special Events

Make the most of your attendance at CLEO with a range of networking and educational events. View the complete list of special events offered by CLEO and its co-sponsors.


Optimizing Career Paths in Optics: The Guide for Young Professionals

Sunday, 9 May, 17:00 – 18:30 (PDT, UTC-07:00)

Career planning is very important for young professionals in optics. Different career paths are available, each with its own requirements, challenges, and rewards. We invite you to hear firsthand from your early career and more seasoned colleagues alike about their jobs and the paths they took to get there. Practical questions on how to excel in an optics-related career will be answered in addition to an open Q&A to tackle the questions most pressing to you.


Arthur Ashkin Memorial Symposium

Tuesday, 11 May, 08:00 – 13:00 (PDT, UTC-07:00)

This special memorial symposium will describe and honor the contributions of Arthur Ashkin. Speakers include Aline Ashkin, USA; John Bjorkholm, Bell Labs, USA; Gary Bjorklund, Bjorklund Enterprises, USA; Steve Block, Stanford University, USA;  Gary Boyd, Nokia Bell Labs, USA; Bob Byer, Stanford University, USA; Steve Chu, Stanford University, USA; Joe Dziedzic, Bell Labs, USA; Rene Essiambre, Nokia Bell Labs, USA; Steve Harris, Stanford University, USA; Erich Ippen, MIT, USA; Elizabeth Rogan, The Optical Society, USA; Erik Schäffer, University of Tübingen, Germany; and Roger Stolen, Clemson University, USA.


The Brightest Light Initiative: Update on the U.S. Strategy for Intense Ultrafast Lasers

Tuesday, 11 May, 10:00 – 11:00 (PDT, UTC-07:00)

The U.S. intense ultrafast laser community is pursuing a community strategy to prioritize research and build new facilities. Join the session to learn about progress over the past year and plans to invigorate U.S. research in this exciting field.


Publishing in 2021: Challenges and Solutions

Thursday, 13 May, 12:00 – 13:30 (PDT, UTC-07:00)

Publishing is the main avenue for dissemination of novel ideas and methods, and is often used to measure the productivity of a research group. Therefore, scientific publishing is essential for both career development and successful grant applications. However, with the emergence of many new journals, as well as with the expansion of open access and for-profit publishing, the publishing landscape in optics and photonics is rapidly changing. This workshop, through interaction between the audience and a panel of relevant actors in the publication process, aims to explore the impact of publishing cost, confidentiality barriers, and impact factor, on the progress of optical science and engineering. 

What Does it Take to Be a Quantum (Optical) Engineer?

Thursday, 13 May, 12:00 – 13:30 (PDT, UTC-07:00)

In the past, experience in quantum science was only suitable for a handful of academic job openings so that most career advisers recommended removing any mention of this experience from resumes. As the quantum industry is being born, there is a growing demand for qualified personnel. Who are the people who fill these jobs: engineers or scientists? What do they do? Which skills and experiences are most valuable for today's and tomorrow's workforce? Would additional training help? Who is hiring: academia, research labs, large companies, startups, or... perhaps you will identify an entrepreneurial aspiration in yourself? Most importantly, are quantum careers here to stay? Join the panel of experts with diverse backgrounds to find out.


How Can CLEO Improve Inclusion at its Meeting?

Friday, 14 May, 14:00 – 15:30 (PDT, UTC-07:00)

While CLEO is committed to improving diversity at its meeting, inclusion is the key to fostering and maintaining vitality in our diverse community. By bringing together experts in diversity, and diverse members of our and other communities, this workshop seeks to understand, hear and learn about what actions the conference can take to improve inclusivity. This workshop is open to all CLEO attendees and it values ALL opinions on the subject. Finally, ideas from this workshop will be used by CLEO's Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Taskforce to help expand its efforts in D&I.

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