Speakers at the ICO-26 Congress

We will be announcing shortly our stellar lineup of invited speakers to address delegates at this year’s congress. With their depth of expertise in the various fields of optics and photonics, our speakers will provide you with a wealth of knowledge and insight. Each speaker has been selected for their contributions to their respective fields, which promises an enriching experience with thought-provoking discussions.

Be ready to be inspired and enlightened as our invited speakers shape conversations and help drive the discourse at ICO-26.

Prof Yasuhiko Arakawa

Prof Yasuhiko Arakawa
University of Tokyo, Japan

Advances in quantum dot photonics: From the early days to practical applications

ABSTRACT

The semiconductor quantum dot has developed along two different paths since the early 1980s: colloidal quantum dots and solid-state (hetero-nanostructure) quantum dots. In my talk, the history of these different research streams and the recent advances in quantum dot photonics are discussed. In particular, we delve into the developments of quantum dot lasers that has led to practical application including silicon photonics and the path toward highly efficient quantum dot single photon sources for future quantum technologies.

BIOGRAPHY

Yasuhiko Arakawa is a Specially-Appointed Professor and Director of Quantum Innovation Co-Creation Center, the Institute of Nano Quantum Information Electronics at the University of Tokyo.

He received his PhD from the University of Tokyo in 1980 and was immediately appointed as an Assistant Professor of the University of Tokyo. Then, he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1981 and became a full Professor in 1993.

Prof Arakawa was a Visiting Researcher at the California Institute of Technology from 1984 to 1986 and a Visiting Professor at the Technical University of Munich in 2010. He served as the President of International Commission for Optics (ICO) in the term from 2024 to 2017. He is a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) from 2017.

He has been consistently engaged in research on quantum dot lasers, single photon sources, and related quantum dot photonics since he first proposed semiconductor quantum dots in 1982. He has authored 820 scientific journal papers and has given 530 invited presentations (incl. 92 plenary/keynote presentations) at international conferences.

Prof Arakawa has also received numerous awards, including IBM Science Award (1991), Leo Esaki Award (2004), IEEE/LEOS William Streifer Award (2004), Fujiwara Award, Prime Minister Award (2007), IEEE David Sarnoff Award, the Medal with Purple Ribbon (2009), C&C Prize (2010), Heinrich Welker Award, OSA Nick Holonyak Jr. Award (2011), the Japan Academy Prize (2017), IEEE Junichi Nishizawa Medal (2019), and URSI Balthasar Van der Pol Gold Meda (2023). In 2023, he was honored by the Japanese government as a Person of Cultural Merit.

Dr Humberto Cabrera

Dr Humberto Cabrera
MLab, STI Unit, Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Italy 

LED-based photothermal spectroscopy with simultaneous fluorescence detection

ABSTRACT

The development of highly sensitive methods is of utmost relevance in photothermal spectroscopy for trace detection. To address this issue, we introduce a new method based on multi-pass probe beam configuration, which leads to enhancement in sensitivity. This innovative method enables the use of a photothermal technique based on LED light excitation source. LED lights are much less expensive, safer, and less bulky than lasers. We show that, even with a simple optical setup, LED-based techniques can guarantee high sensitivity for measuring trace concentrations of Safranin O in water solutions. The device has demonstrated sufficient sensitivity for measuring trace analyte as well as fluorescence molecules with incoherent light. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a simultaneous LED-based photothermal spectroscopy and LED-induced fluorescence.

BIOGRAPHY

Humberto Cabrera graduated in physics from the ST Kliment Ojhridski University of Sofia, Bulgaria and the PhD degree in Optics from the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research. He is currently researcher at The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and research associate at the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN) in Trieste, Italy. Currently, his research activities are focused on the development of photothermal and laser-based methods for thermo-optical characterization of metamaterials. Additionally, he has been active in development of solid-state laser system used for spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen.

Prof Alessia Candeo

Prof Alessia Candeo
Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy

Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy for Biophotonics

ABSTRACT

Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy (LSFM) is a powerful imaging technique that in the last decade has revolutionized many areas of biology, though being over a century old. It allows for long-term, gentle imaging of biological specimens, offering a large field of view, single-cell resolution, sectioning capability, and fast recording speeds. This advanced method enables the study of various living samples, from small, translucent specimens to large cleared tissues and organs. It uses a thin laser light sheet to excite fluorescence in a single plane, captured orthogonally by a detection objective and a camera. The technique allows for intrinsic sectioning without pinholes or costly lasers, reducing photodamage by irradiating only the observed sample area. By moving the specimen through the light sheet, numerous 2D images at different depths are acquired for 3D reconstructions with high dynamic range and speed. LSFM is invaluable for in vivo studies in developmental biology and investigating fast processes like calcium signaling. In this presentation, we will focus on some of our latest developments and applications in biophotonics.

BIOGRAPHY
Alessia is Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics at Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy, where she develops cutting-edge photonics-based technologies for the study of biological samples and cultural heritage. Currently, her focus is on light-sheet fluorescence microscopy, a three-dimensional reconstruction technique that allows the visualization of fast biological processes, and on hyperspectral imaging with an ultra-stable Fourier-based device.
Prof Yuan Cao

Prof Yuan Cao
University of Science and Technology of China

Single-photon Interference Over 8.4 km Urban Atmosphere

ABSTRACT

The reconciliation of quantum mechanics and general relativity represents a significant challenge in modern physics. Integrating these two theories presents immense challenges, and their interplay remains untested. Thanks to the efforts of theoretical physicists, direct tests have recently been proposed within Earth’s gravitational field using various carriers. Among them, tests involving photons (massless particles), cannot be interpreted using a Newtonian gravity framework and require a general relativity description. Consequently, the quantum interference of photons serves as a probe to test the interface of quantum mechanics and general relativity. Therefore, a satellite platform with maneuvering capabilities can explore the gravitational redshift using single-photon interference. Here, we developed a practical scheme to measure gravitational redshift using the Franson interferometer. Compared to the Mach-Zehnder interferometer, the shared free-space channel enables the cancellation of atmospheric noise as a common-mode one. Using a high-brightness single-photon source based on quantum dots, we demonstrated single-photon interference along this long-distance baseline. We achieved a phase measurement precision of 16.2 mrad, which satisfied the measurement requirements for a gravitational redshift at the geosynchronous orbit by five times the standard deviation. Therefore, we believe that our current work has collectively demonstrated the feasibility of employing single-photon interference to measure gravitational redshift, thereby testing the interface of general relativity and quantum mechanics.

BIOGRAPHY

Yuan Cao, the male, obtained a doctorate in 2012 at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and in the same year began postdoctoral research work. From 2016 to 2023, he was an Associate Professor at USTC and promoted to Professor in 2023. He was mainly engaged in experimental research on free-space quantum communication and spaceborne high-brightness quantum entangled sources. Recent major interest in the direction of new quantum optics technology, quantum entanglement source, and the fundamental issue of quantum mechanics. So far, in international academic journals including Reviews of Modern Physics, Nature, Science, PNAS, Physical Review Letters, Optica, npj Quantum Information, Optics Express, Photonics Research, etc., has published over 50 SCI indexed papers and 4 highly cited papers, with a total of more than 3600 SCI citations. He was selected as the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and won the “Outstanding Member”, and the Program Committee member of 2021 & 2022.

Prof Mohamed Chaker

Prof Mohamed Chaker
National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS), Canada

Smart Materials for Photonics: Vanadium Dioxide

ABSTRACT

Vanadium dioxide (VO2) is a “smart” material that exhibits a reversible metal–insulator transition (MIT) at 68 °C (341 K) between a semiconducting low-temperature phase and a metallic high-temperature phase. This transformation is accompanied by a structural phase transition from the ground-state monoclinic (M) to a tetragonal phase (R). In addition to these changes in the electronic and structural properties of the material, the transmittance for infrared (IR), near-infrared (NIR) and terahertz (THz) radiation significantly decreases between the M and R phase, which makes VO2 attractive for ultrafast photonic devices, thermochromic smart windows and smart radiator devices. The MIT properties of VO2, including the transition temperature and the transmittance contrast, can be efficiently tailored through doping with an appropriate concentration of donors and/or acceptors and through a proper control of crystallinity, morphology and stoichiometry of the VO2 films. In this presentation, we will review our recent achievements on the synthesis, characterization and applications of undoped and doped VO2 films.

BIOGRAPHY

Mohamed Chaker has been a professor at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) in Varennes, Quebec, Canada since 1989. Holding a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Plasmas applied to micro and nanomanufacturing technologies from 2003 to 2024, he has published over 360 articles in peer-review journals (17800 citations, H-index=73 according to Google Scholar) in various domains, including plasmas for applications to thin film and nanomaterials synthesis, nanometer pattern transfer and photonic device fabrication. From 2005, he is the director of the Laboratory of Micro and Nanofabrication (LMN) of INRS.

Email: mohamed.chaker@inrs.ca

Prof Crina Cojocaru

Prof Crina Cojocaru
Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain

Tailoring harmonic generation at the nanoscale in strategic materials for nanophotonics

ABSTRACT

Nanostructures are routinely integrated in different photonic devices for a variety of applications. At the nanoscale nonlinear light-matter interaction displays new phenomena, where new terms, usually neglected, become important. Understanding and quantifying these new nonlinear sources is pivotal to engineer and implement any nanodevice. We present a collection of experiments on second and third harmonic generation in nanostructures made of semiconductors (Si) or metal (Au, Ag) in the visible and UV spectral range, where these materials are usually not considered due to their strong absorption for the harmonics, proving that light emission is possible even when harmonics fall into the opaque region of these materials.  We design simple nanostructures able to strongly enhance the nonlinear interaction efficiency.

We report measurements of harmonic generation from Si membranes that, combined with simulations allow an accurate prediction of the nonlinear optical properties of complex structures, without artificially separating the effective χ(2) into surface and volume contributions. We extend this study to high (up to 7th) harmonic generation and suggest that judicious exploitation of the nonlinear dispersion of ordinary semiconductors can provide reasonable efficiencies well into the UV.

We also study the harmonic generation from gold nanostructures exhibiting plasmonic resonances in the near infrared. The harmonic generation enhancement produced by the field localization in the nanostructures, when compared with a flat gold layer, manifests itself dramatically from the UV to visible range: SHG efficiencies increase by three orders of magnitude, while the THG efficiency is enhanced by a factor of 4000. Our model describes the dynamics with unprecedented accuracy and still much remains to be revealed in the development of nonlinear optics of metals at the nanoscale.

BIOGRAPHY

Crina Cojocaru received her PhD in Physics from the Polytechnical University of Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, in 2002. After two years as Marie Curie postdoc researcher at CNRS-Paris, France, she returned at UPC, first as lecturer, associate professor and finally full professor since 2022. Her research covers different aspects of linear and nonlinear optics in structured materials (photonic crystals, metamaterials, random structures) and nanomaterials and metasurfaces, ultrashort laser pulse characterisation, laser beam shaping using photonic crystals and non-destructive testing using laser induced ultrasound. She published more than 90 articles, 5 book chapters and participated in many international conferences with more than 50 invited talks. She is an inventor of a European/USA patent and an active member of international steering committees and member of OPTICA; EPS; and Royal Spanish Society of Physics. She is an associated editor for “Frontiers in Photonics” and executive editor for “Optical and Quantum Electronics” journals. She leads the Master in Photonics “Photonics BCN” at UPC and coordinates the Spanish partner of the Erasmus Mundus Master “EuroPhotonics”.

Research parameters: ORCID code: 0000-0002-5244-8427; Scopus Author ID: 6701693218

Prof Juergen Czarske
Prof Juergen Czarske
Dresden University of Technology, Germany

Physics-informed deep learning for lensless imaging in biomedicine and fiber communication

ABSTRACT

Light has the potential to recognize the development of diseases, to prevent them or to heal them early and gently. Traditionally, however, lens-based imaging results in bulky systems. The 3D imaging with needle-sized, lensless fiber endoscopes is highlighted. Deep learning and structed light are promising for label-free cancer diagnostics in neurosurgery. In addition, the same methods as physics-based deep learning are demonstrated for improving security and data rate of fiber optic communications. Paradigm shifts in fiber-based quantum communication are highlighted.

BIOGRAPHY

Juergen Czarske (Fellow EOS, OPTICA, SPIE, IET, IoP) is full chair professor, senator and director at TU Dresden, Germany. Juergen is an international prize-winning inventor of laser-based technologies. His awards include 2019 OPTICA Joseph-Fraunhofer-Award/Robert-M.-Burley-Prioze, 2020 Laser Instrumentation Award of IEEE Photonics Society, and 2022 SPIE Chandra S Vikram Award. He was the general chair of the world congress ICO-25-OWLS-16-Dresden-Germany-2022 with attendees from 55 countries and plenary talks by 3 Nobel laureates. Prof Czarske is the recipient of the SPIE Dennis Gabor Award in Diffractive Optics, awarded in San Diego, 2024.

Prof Costantino De Angelis

Prof Costantino De Angelis
CNR-INO and University of Brescia, Italy

Analog computing with nonlinear flat optics

ABSTRACT

Flat-optics devices exhibiting a linear local (LL) response are defined by a position-dependent, linear transfer function, which can be locally tailored by engineering metaatoms arranged within metasurfaces. Spatial dispersion, i.e., nonlocality, is usually regarded as a nonideality in LL flat-optics devices. However, the nonlocal response of metasurfaces has been recently indicated as an effective means to achieve advanced functionalities [2].

Despite the advantages, linear approaches — both local and nonlocal — face limitations related to the restricted numerical aperture and frequency bandwidth. Here we demonstrate that the combination of nonlinear and nonlocal effects in the same flat-optics device is a powerful strategy to achieve advanced image processing and analog computing functionalities with reduced structural complexity and increased efficiencies in terms of angular and frequency bandwidth [3].

References

  1. Hail, C.U., Foley, M., Sokhoyan, R. et al.Nat Commun14, 8476 (2023).
  2. Overvig, A. and Alù, A., Laser Photonics Rev16, 2100633 (2022).
  3. de Ceglia, D., Alù, A., Neshev, D. N. and De Angelis, C., Mater. Express14, 92 (2024).
BIOGRAPHY

Costantino De Angelis received his PhD from the University of Padova (1993) where he served as Assistant Professor of Electromagnetic Fields and Photonics. In 1998 he joined Brescia University where he is Full Professor of Electromagnetic Fields and Photonics since 2004. He is the head of the NORA group at the University of Brescia (https://nora.unibs.it/home) and his current research interest include nonlinear optics, nanophotonics, and optical metamaterials. 

He is a Fellow of OPTICA (the Optical Society of America).

Dr Ulrike Fuchs

Dr Ulrike Fuchs
Vice President: Strategy & Innovation at Asphericon, Germany

Democratization of Laser Technology: A Journey of Unlimited Opportunities

ABSTRACT

A paradigm shift is underway in laser technology, marked by the democratization of light. This shift aims to empower individuals beyond expert circles, offering the capability to shape and utilize light according to unique requirements. The talk delves into the evolution of laser technology, emphasizing its transformation from a specialized field to a ubiquitous tool across various industries, particularly in laser cutting, welding, and surface structuring. Central to this evolution is the concept of democratization, which hinges on enhancing accessibility through simplicity, adaptability, and performance.

BIOGRAPHY

After joining asphericon in 2010 Dr. Fuchs focused early on linking manufacturing of aspherics and metrology with questions in optical design. As Vice President Strategy & Innovation she now coordinates all R&D activities at asphericon as well as strategic product development. She has already been able to register 6 patent families and is the inaugural winner of the Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award. Furthermore, she has been working as an Associated Editor for Optics Express from 2018 to 2024 and is the author of more than 70 publications. She holds a doctorate in physics from the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. In 2020, she was elected Fellow of OPTICA and in 2023 to their Board of Directors.

Prof John Howell

Prof John Howell
Chapman University, USA

Superfunction Superradar

ABSTRACT

Radar is used in a wide array of applications including archaeology, agriculture, transportation, navigation, law enforcement, noninvasive medical diagnostics, climate change monitoring, natural disaster mapping, defense etc. Range resolution in radar is the ability to determine the distance between two objects along the same line-of-sight when performing remote sensing. The prevailing thought is that radar range resolution is inextricably linked to the inverse bandwidth of a pulse or to the wavelength of the electromagnetic wave owing to the coherent nature of the interfering wavefronts. We quote, “Wave theory indicates that the best vertical resolution that can be achieved is one  quarter of the dominant wavelength. Within that vertical distance any reflections will interfere in a constructive manner and result in a single, observed reflection” (originally stated in [1] and quoted in [2]). The desire for better range resolution has driven scientists and engineers to ever-higher frequencies radar. Unfortunately, propagation distance in the air, in the ground or in water decreases as the frequency of the radar increases. This means that using existing understanding an archaeologist can only peer a few centimeters below the surface to obtain sufficient resolution to observe a coin. We have developed a novel set of functions based on super oscillations that permit us measure and classify complex scattering distributions up to 100 times smaller than the inverse bandwidth of a pulse or the limit that has held for almost 100 years.

[1] Robert E Sheriff, “Limitations on resolution of seismic reflections and geologic detail derivable from them: Section 1. fundamentals of stratigraphic interpretation of seismic data,” (1977).

[2] Adrian Neal, “Ground-penetrating radar and its use in sedimentology: principles, problems and progress,” Earth-science reviews 66, 261–330 (2004).

BIOGRAPHY

Prof Howell earned his BS in Physics (1995) with a minor in Mathematics from Utah State University, and his MS and PhD in Physics (2000) from Pennsylvania State University. He then took a postdoctoral research position at the Centre for Quantum Computation at the University of Oxford. He joined the University of Rochester in 2002 as Assistant Professor of Physics, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007 and Professor in 2011.

Prof Howell has received a Research Innovation Award from the Research Corporation in 2004, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2005, and the Adolph Lomb Medal from the Optical Society of America in 2006 “For innovative contributions in quantum optics, particularly aspects of quantum cloning, violations of Bell’s inequalities and maximal photonic entanglement.”

He was the director for the Center for Coherence and Quantum Optics from 2013 to 2017. He was an appointed VP to the International Commission for Optics (ICO) by Optica and is now serving as President of the ICO. He joined the faculty of the Racah Institute at the Hebrew University in 2017 as a full professor. As of 2022, he moved to Physics in the Institute for Quantum Science at Chapman University.

Prof Neil Hunt

Prof Neil T. Hunt
Department of Chemistry and York Biomedical Research Institute, University of York, UK

High-throughput 2D-IR Spectroscopy Screening – Rapid Access to Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics under Physiological Conditions

ABSTRACT

Progress towards the use of ultrafast two dimensional infrared (2D-IR) spectroscopy for the rapid screening of biomolecular samples is reported. Combining state of the art laser technology with mid-IR pulse shaping and automated sample delivery enables measurement of 2D-IR spectra in less than a minute, using microlitre sample volumes. In addition we have shown that the laser pulse sequence used to collect 2D-IR spectra can be manipulated to allow measurement of IR spectral responses from proteins (amide I) and DNA (base vibrational modes) without the traditional need to replace H2O with D2O. This development makes sample preparation both simpler and more economically viable for large scale applications.

The experimental approach to 2D-IR spectroscopic screening will be described, including data collection and novel data pre-processing methods developed to promote sample-to-sample comparisons. Case studies of applications will be described including the use of 2D-IR to measure protein content of blood serum samples, measuring drug binding to proteins in biofluid samples and measuring DNA structure, dynamics and ligand binding in H2O. As part of these case studies, progress towards the use of machine learning tools to enable rapid analysis of experimental 2D-IR spectra will also be described.

BIOGRAPHY

Neil gained his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2000. He became an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde in 2006 and was awarded a European Research Council Starting Investigator grant for 2D-IR spectroscopy development in 2008. Neil was appointed to a Professorship in Ultrafast Chemical Physics at Strathclyde in 2016 and moved to the University of York to take up the post of Professor of Physical Chemistry in 2018. His research interests focus on applications of 2D-IR spectroscopy to determine the role of fast structural dynamics in biomolecular processes.

Prof Domna Kotsifaki

Prof Domna Kotsifaki ​
Duke Kunshan University, China

Optical Manipulation and Biosensing using Metallic Nanostructures

ABSTRACT

Recent advancements in nanotechnology have led to significant progress in the fields of optical manipulation and biosensing. In this work, we demonstrate optical trapping of several  nanoparticles such as dielectric [1,2], metallic [3] and biomolecules [4] using a Fano resonance-assisted plasmonic tweezers based on arrays of asymmetrical split nano-apertures on a 50 nm gold thin film. We investigate the trapping performance via power- and wavelength-dependent characterization. We note that the trap stiffness on-resonance is enhanced by a factor of 63 compared to that of off-resonance due to the ultrasmall mode volume, enabling large near-field strengths and a cavity effect contribution. We also demonstrate enzyme delivery-trapping and dynamic manipulation using photothermal-assisted trapping via metamaterial optical tweezers at low trapping laser intensities. Finally, we design a Fano-enhanced Raman scattering (FERS) platform which exhibits a Fano resonance close to the protein amide group fingerprint around 6030 nm. Under off-resonance laser excitation at 530 nm, where photodamage effects are minimized, Raman signatures of Escherichia coli were recorded at several locations on the metamaterial. Our approaches open new avenues for steady and dynamic manipulation dielectric and biological nanoparticles, offering a variety of novel applications.

References

[1] D.G. Kotsifaki, V.G. Truong, S.Nic Chormaic, Fano-resonant, asymmetric, metamaterial-assisted tweezers for single nanoparticle trapping, Nano Letters 20 (5), 3388-3395 (2020).

[2] D.G. Kotsifaki, V.G. Truong, S. Nic Chormaic, Dynamic multiple nanoparticle trapping using metamaterial plasmonic tweezers, Applied Physics Letters 118 (2) (2021).

[3] T.D. Bouloumis, D.G. Kotsifaki, S. Nic Chormaic, Enabling self-induced back-action trapping of gold nanoparticles in metamaterial plasmonic tweezers, Nano letters 23 (11), 4723-4731 (2023).

[4] D.G. Kotsifaki, V.G. Truong, M. Dindo, P. Laurino, S.Nic Chormaic, Hybrid Metamaterial Optical Tweezers for Dielectric Particles and Biomolecules Discrimination, arXiv preprint arXiv:2402.12878 (2024).

[5] D.G. Kotsifaki, R.R. Singh, S.Nic Chormaic, V.G.Truong, Asymmetric split-ring plasmonic nanostructures for the optical sensing of Escherichia coli, Biomedical Optics Express 14 (9), 4875-4887 (2023)

BIOGRAPHY

Since joining DKU in 2022 as an Assistant Professor in Physics, I have established the Photonics Lab, which focuses on the interface between nanophotonics and biophotonics. Our research aims to deepen the understanding of light-matter interactions at the nanoscale, particularly in the manipulation of nanometer-sized particles using light fields. Throughout my career, I have led several international research projects, coordinating research projects as PI across Greece, Japan, China, and the USA, primarily focusing on bio-applications of plasmonic nanostructures. My work has resulted in numerous publications, including peer-reviewed international conference proceedings and book chapters, where I frequently serve as the first and corresponding author. As an active member of OSA, SPIE, and the American Chemical Society, I continue to contribute to the scientific community, fostering collaborations and advancements in the field of photonics.

Prof Shaojuan Li

Prof Shaojuan Li​
Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Broadband giant in-plane optical anisotropy in ternary van der Waals crystals

ABSTRACT

Birefringence is the difference in the speed of light between two crystallographic axes, which has important applications in polarization control, ultra-confined light coupling, and non-linear optics. In this talk, I will introduce our recent research on the presence of broadband, giant in-plane birefringence in a biaxial van der Waals materials Ta2NiS5, spanning an ultrawide-band from visible to mid-infrared wavelengths. We also show that the large refractive index, low-loss and in-plane giant birefringence in Ta2NiS5 opens the door for lossless anisotropic dielectric waveguide transmission, which suggest great potential for the directional control of light in on-chip compact nanophononics. Moreover, we anticipate vdW materials that support broadband giant birefringence and in-plane anisotropic waveguiding modes by changing the proportion or constituent of the elements in layered chalcogenides. Our findings pave the way for utilizing layered biaxial chalcogenides as broadband giant birefringent material to develop subwavelength integrated optics in the future.

BIOGRAPHY

Shaojuan Li is a professor at Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in China. She received her PhD from Peking University, China, in Microelectronics and Solid Electronics in 2013. She has acquired multidisciplinary expertise in materials science, photonics, and nanotechnology. So far, she has published over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, including Nature, Nature Communications, ACS Nano, Advanced Functional Materials, and ACS Photonics. She is a co-inventor on more than 20 patents. Her current research interests include plasmonic, detectors and optical sensors based on low-dimensional materials. She has been awarded the Outstanding Youth Fund of the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Her research has been recognised as “Ten advances in Chinese optics –fundamental research”.

Prof Nana Liu

Prof Nana Liu
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Quantum simulation of partial differential equations

ABSTRACT
Quantum simulators were originally proposed to be helpful for simulating one partial differential equation (PDE) in particular – Schrodinger’s equation. If quantum simulators can be useful for simulating Schrodinger’s equation, it is hoped that they may also be helpful for simulating other PDEs. As with large-scale quantum systems, classical methods for other high-dimensional and large-scale PDEs often suffer from the curse-of-dimensionality (costs scale exponentially in the dimension D of the PDE), which a quantum treatment might in certain cases be able to mitigate. To enable simulation of PDEs on quantum devices that obey Schrodinger’s equations, it is crucial to first develop good methods for mapping other PDEs onto Schrodinger’s equations.

In this talk, I will introduce the notion of Schrodingerisation: a procedure for transforming non-Schrodinger PDEs into a Schrodinger-form. This simple methodology can be used directly on analog or continuous quantum degrees of freedom – called qumodes, and not only on qubits. This continuous representation can be more natural for PDEs since, unlike most computational methods, one does not need to discretise the PDE first. In this way, we can directly map D-dimensional linear PDEs onto a (D + 1)-qumode quantum system where analog Hamiltonian simulation on (D + 1) qumodes can be used.

I show how this method can also be applied to linear PDEs, certain nonlinear PDEs, nonlinear ODEs and also linear PDEs with random coefficients, which is important in uncertainty quantification. This formulation can also be integrated with another new analog transformation we have found that transforms time-dependent quantum simulation into time-independent quantum simulation problems, thereby allowing a simple formalism to simulate non-autonomous PDEs.
This analog formulation makes it more amenable to more near-term quantum simulation methods and enables simulation of PDEs that are not possible with qubit-based formulations in the near-term.
Furthermore, the discretisation of this formalism also leads to different qubit-based quantum simulation algorithms that can be performed on future fault-tolerant quantum computers, which have advantages not only in dimension but in precision.

BIOGRAPHY

Nana Liu is an associate professor and PI of the Quantum Information and Technologies (QIT) group in the Institute of Natural Sciences at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute. She received her PhD from the University of Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar. She is also the 2019 recipient of the MIT Technology Review’s 10 Innovators under 35 in the Asia-Pacific region. Her research focus is on employing quantum resources for quantum computation, with a current focus on quantum algorithms for ordinary and partial differential equations. Her research also lies at the interface between quantum computation, security and machine learning.

Prof Humberto Michinel

Prof Humberto Michinel
University of Vigo, Spain

Liquid Solitons in Quantum and Photonic Systems

ABSTRACT

In this talk, we will introduce the concept of liquid soliton, a new type of nonlinear waves that appear in quantum and photonic systems provided that the interactions are of attractive type for moderate amplitudes of the fields and repulsive for high concentrations. We will show that this type of solitons are characterized by surface tension properties and topological effects like vortices, in total analogy with usual superfluid liquids. We will present analytical formulae for the main parameters involved in excellent agreement with numerical simulations of the field equations.

BIOGRAPHY

Full professor of optics at the University of Vigo in Ourense (Spain). His research is mostly focused on quantum and nonlinear optics, where he coined in 2002 the concept of the “liquid of light”. He has been a visiting researcher at centers such as Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), the Australian National University (Australia), the Ecole Normale Superieur (France), or the Max-Planck Institut für Quantenoptik in Garching (Germany). He has been President of the European Optical Society from 2018 to 2020 and current Secretary General of the International Commission for Optics (ICO) since 2017. He organized in 2014 the 23rd meeting of the ICO in Santiago de Compostela (Spain).

Prof Kaoru Minoshima
Prof Kaoru Minoshima
The University of Electro-Communications, Japan

Highly functional spectroscopy with versatile optical phase control using optical frequency comb

ABSTRACT
Optical frequency comb, which has been known as an ultraprecise frequency ruler, has rapidly expanded its applicability and emerged as a tool for versatile control of the full properties of optical waves. It provides multi-dimensionality, ultra-wide dynamic range, together with great controllability, making it highly attractive across diverse scientific and technological fields.

In this presentation, we will emphasize the significance of dual-comb phase controllability and introduce our recent advancements in highly functional spectroscopy, optical vortex control, and quantum optics, which were enabled by utilizing the unique properties of optical frequency combs.

BIOGRAPHY
Kaoru Minoshima is a Professor and Vice-President/ Deputy Member of the Board of Directors of the University of Electro-Communications (UEC), Tokyo, Japan. She is also an Outside Director of HAMAMATSU Photonics K.K.. She received her PhD degrees from the University of Tokyo, and worked at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) until 2013. She was also visiting at the University of Bordeaux I (1996), and MIT (2000-2001). She was 2019 MIT Hermann Anton Haus Lecturer.

Her areas of research are optical frequency combs, ultrafast optical science and technology, and optical metrology. She has served as the CLEO Subcommittee Chair (2004-2005), where she built a new subcommittee for Optical Metrology, Program Co-Chair (2009), General Co-Chair (2011), and member of Steering Committee (2021-present). She is currently a LASE Symposium Chair of SPIE Photonics West and General Chair of Optics Photonics Japan 2024. She is a vice-President of ICO, a member of the Science Council of Japan, Vice-President of Laser Society of Japan (LSJ), and Fellows of Optica, the Japan Society of Applied Physics (JSAP), and LSJ.

Prof Valdas Pasiskevicius

Prof Valdas Pasiskevicius
Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, Sweden

Recent advances in backward wave optical parametric oscillators

ABSTRACT
BIOGRAPHY
Prof Adrian Podoleanu

Prof Adrian Podoleanu
University of Kent, UK

Progress in the Technology of Fast Optical Coherence Tomography

ABSTRACT

The tremendous increase in acquisition speed of the spectral domain Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) technology in the last decade has enabled the OCT community to achieve fast real time volume display less disturbed by the movement of the object or organ imaged. Largely, the increase in the OCT speed is due to recent research in the field of swept sources. Two principles of akinetic tuning that allow ultra fast OCT acquisition will be presented: (i) time stretch technology, where a broadband laser pulse is stretched by dispersion in fibre or cFBGs and (ii) dispersive cavity mode locked lasers, where tuning is performed by RF control of the mode locking. Tuning as fast as a few tens of MHz leads to a bandwidth of the photodetected signal in the range of tens of GHz. To cope with such large bandwidth, in order to deliver real time en-face OCT images from several depths simultaneously, we address the digitization bottleneck with a novel method, downconversion master slave OCT.

BIOGRAPHY

Adrian Podoleanu (FREng, FIOP, FOptica, FSPIE) is the Head of the Applied Optics Group, Professor of Biomedical Optics in the Division of Natural Sciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, an investigator of the Biomedical Research Centre, University College London (UCL) and Institute of Ophthalmology and honorary professor in the UCL. He received the Ph.D. degree in Electronics from the Electronics and Telecommunications Faculty, Technical University of Bucharest, Romania in 1984. He was a founder member of the Romanian Chapter of SPIE and its first Chairman (1992). Currently he serves as the Associate Secretary of the International Commission for Optics.

AWARDS:
Order of the Crown, officer, Royal House of Romania, 2017;
Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award 2015;
European Research Council, Advanced Research Fellowship, 2010-2015;
Ambassador’s Diploma, Embassy of Romania in the UK, 2009;
Leverhulme Research Fellowship, 2004 – 2006;
Romanian Academy “Constantin Miculescu” prize for research in Lasers and Nonlinear Optics, 1984.

Prof Roberta Ramponi
Prof Roberta Ramponi
Polytechnic University of Milan and CNR-Institute of photonics and of nanotechnologies (CNR-IFN), Italy

Laser and Ion Beam Writing for Integrated Quantum Chips in Diamond

ABSTRACT

Diamond is considered an ideal platform for quantum technologies thanks to the properties of its defects, namely nitrogen vacancies (NVs). Indeed, NVs act as colour centres and their electron spin states are sensitive to magnetic and electric fields. These properties make them very attractive for quantum information systems and quantum sensors. Another promising quantum emitter in diamond is the Silicon vacancy (SiV). However, a key aspect is the possibility of realising an integrated and scalable platform. This is achievable thanks to the ultimate stability and integration provided by monolithic waveguides integrated in diamond chips, in addition to the potential for enhanced optical interaction with NVs and SiVs. For the first time, 3D laser-micromachining is combined with ion-implantation nanofabrication to exploit the advantages of both techniques to achieve integrated high quality quantum emitters and buried optical waveguides in diamond. Ion implantation is used to form NV quantum emitters at nanometric depths at the end facets of laser-written 3D optical waveguides. This hybrid fabrication scheme enables development of two-dimensional quantum sensing arrays, facilitating spatially and temporally correlated magnetometry. This innovative method is also applied to implant SiV in laser written photonic circuits, to engineer light at the single photon level.

BIOGRAPHY
Prof Jan Rothhardt

Prof Jan Rothhardt
Helmholtz-Institute Jena, Germany

EUV Microscopy – Unique insights into structure and composition on the Nanoscale

ABSTRACT

EUV microscopy combines high resolution, strong material contrast, reasonable penetration depth and easy sample preparation. It can thus provide unique insights into structure and composition of samples with nanoscale resolution and complement electron- and visible-light microscopy.

I will present our recent results on table-top EUV microscopy. These achievements have been enabled by combining a high-power table-top EUV source with computational imaging (ptychography) and structured EUV illumination. The spatial resolution of the EUV microscope (16 nm) and the quantitative amplitude and phase images constitute excellent input data for further analysis of the material composition on the nanoscale. This enabled, for-the-first-time, nanoscale mapping of the chemical composition of a semiconductor device in the EUV, where materials like Al, Si3N4, and SiO2 were determined with high sensitivity. Further EUV imaging of different biological samples provided unique insights to its interior structure and composition, which is hidden to other microscopy techniques.

Our work paves the way to a multitude of applications in nano-, materials- and life-sciences.

BIOGRAPHY

Dr Jan Rothhardt is head of the ‘Soft X-ray Spectroscopy and Microscopy’ group at the Helmholtz-Institute Jena and the Institute of Applied Physics at the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena in Germany. He has published >100 publications in peer-reviewed journals (6792 citations, h-index=47 on google-scholar), handed in 5 patent applications and contributed a book chapter. He was awarded the prestigious “Röntgenpreis” in 2020 for his ‘Outstanding contributions in the field of laser technology, in particular for the development and application of laser sources for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and soft X-ray radiation’.

Prof Mark Tame

Prof Mark Tame
Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Quantum Nanophotonics

ABSTRACT

Quantum nanophotonics focuses on how far we can confine light and the interesting optical effects that occur when this localised light interacts with atoms and molecules. Utilizing novel optical materials and unique experimental setups, this research is critical for the development of highly compact optical devices that are pivotal for the next generation of quantum technology applications.

I will talk about the main concepts of quantum nanophotonics and its diverse applications, many of which have been demonstrated in experiments. These include quantum sensing, which offers unprecedented measurement precision, quantum imaging for capturing details beyond the limits of traditional optics, quantum random number generation essential for enhanced security in communications, and the production and distillation of entanglement, a cornerstone for advancements in quantum computing.

BIOGRAPHY

Mark is a professor of photonics at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. His research is in the area of quantum nanophotonics, which involves the nanoscale control of light and its interaction with matter in the quantum regime. The goal of his research is to explore potential applications of nanophotonic devices for carrying out quantum computing, quantum communication and quantum sensing. His work is experimental and theoretical in nature.

Mark has published over 60 papers in internationally leading journals on various topics in quantum information and nanophotonics, including Nature Physics, Nature Photonics, Nature Communications and Physical Review Letters. He has also published two book chapters, two review articles and a few conference proceedings. His group’s website is at: www.quantumnanophotonics.org.

Prof Ahmadou Wagué

Prof Ahmadou Wagué
President of the African Laser Atomic Molecular and Optical Sciences network (LAM Network), Senegal

From atomic physics to laser applications in science and technology: Building optics and photonics laboratories within collaborative actions in Africa

ABSTRACT

In this talk, we share the various steps in building an optics and photonics laboratory under non-favorable conditions. We elaborate on the processes to start various activities required to build an experimental optics and photonics laboratory, from a theoretical background in Atomic physics, or other related fields.

BIOGRAPHY
Dr Bertus van Heerden

Dr Bertus van Heerden
University of Pretoria, South Africa

Real-time feedback-driven single-particle tracking spectroscopy of light-harvesting complexes

ABSTRACT

Single-molecule spectroscopy (SMS) has significantly advanced our understanding of the properties and dynamics of biomolecules. However, the environment used in SMS experiments is a poor representation of the natural cellular environment, and therefore the results of these studies may be of limited physiological relevance. One limitation of conventional SMS experiments is the need to immobilise the particles via surface attachment or to trap them using, e.g., an anti-Brownian electrokinetic (ABEL) trap. This limitation is overcome by real-time feedback-driven single-particle tracking (RT-FD-SPT), a technique that offers a marked improvement in temporal resolution and an extended range – especially in the axial direction – compared to image-based SPT, and additionally enables concurrent spectroscopic measurements to be made on the tracked particles. I give an overview of this technique and discuss our theoretical investigation of the technique itself as well as our experiments studying the main plant light-harvesting complex, in solution as well as in near-native membranes.

BIOGRAPHY

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Biophysics Research Group at the University of Pretoria, where I recently completed my PhD. My research focuses on single-molecule spectroscopy, and especially a technique called real-time feedback-driven single-particle tracking. The main targets for this technique in our lab are photosynthetic light-harvesting proteins. I am further interested in developing new data analysis tools as well as in the use of model membrane systems, specifically proteoliposomes, to study photosynthetic light harvesting.

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