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Technology Days 2017

4th Technology Days

Chasing Photons in
X-ray and Infrared

  • Speakers CV & Abstracts


    Prof. Dr. Markus Sigrist
    Institute for Quantum Electronics, ETH Zurich

    Markus W. Sigrist obtained his Master of Physics and PhD degree from ETH Zürich (Switzerland) in 1972 and 1977, respectively. From 1978 to 1980 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California in Berkeley. After his return to ETH Zurich he worked on laser-generated acoustic waves, received the docent degree in 1985 and became Professor for Experimental Physics at ETH Zurich in 1996. He was a guest professor at Rice University in Houston (USA) in 1990 and an Adjunct Professor at Rice from 1994 until 2013. In 2003 and 2011 he was an invited professor at the Université du Littoral in Dunkerque (France) and since his retirement from ETH in October 2013, he works repeatedly as a guest professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and at various Universities in China.
    From 1998 until his retirement Markus Sigrist headed the „Laser Spectroscopy and Sensing Laboratory“ at ETH. His research concentrated on laser-based infrared spectroscopy on liquids and gases. This includes the development and implementation of various broadly tunable mid-infrared laser sources and of detection schemes like photoacoustics, multipass absorption and cavity ringdown. His research focused on sensing applications ranging from trace gas detection in ambient air, industrial process and agricultural monitoring to medical sensing such as surgical smoke analysis, breath analysis and non-invasive glucose sensing.
    Markus Sigrist authored or co-authored over 180 publications in refereed journals as well as several book chapters and books. He is a fellow of the Optical Society (OSA) since 1999 and OSA Traveling lecturer.

    Abstract: Sensing by Infrared Laser Spectroscopy

    In this talk I shall discuss IR laser spectroscopic applications in chemical sensing and analyses. Such methods offer high sensitivity and specificity, large dynamic range, good temporal resolution, multi-component capability, and easy use without sample preparation.
    The availability of broadly tunable mid-infrared laser sources like external cavity quantum cascade lasers (EC-QCLs), interband cascade lasers (ICLs), difference frequency generation (DFG), optical parametric oscillators (OPOs), recent developments of diode-pumped lead salt semiconductor lasers (mid-IR VECSELs), of supercontinuum sources or of frequency combs have eased the implementation of laser-based sensing devices. Detection schemes rely on sensitive absorption measurements by multipass absorption, several types of cavity-enhanced techniques or on photoacoustic detection. After discussing current tunable IR laser sources, IR detectors and various detection schemes for sensitive absorption measurements, I shall illustrate the performance of selected systems for trace species sensing. Examples include the fast analysis of C1-C4 alkanes at sub-ppm concentrations (of interest for the petrochemical industry) with a new type of IR-VECSEL as well as measurements on short-lived species like the detection of the key atmospheric compound nitrous acid (HONO) with a QCL-photoacoustic system. Photothermal diffuse reflection is introduced as a new tool for studying strongly scattering samples. It uses the excellent detection sensitivity in the near-IR combined with the analytical capability of the mid-IR. Today, medical applications are of growing interest. The analytical capabilities of IR spectroscopy are demonstrated with a forensic application: drug detection in human saliva by a miniaturized QCL sensor. Finally, we present a new type of QCL-based photoacoustic sensor for non-invasive in vivo measurements of glucose directly through human skin.
    Sensing by Infrared Laser Spectroscopy


    Dr. Jose Pozo, PhD

    Jose Pozo is director of technology and innovation at EPIC (European Photonics Industry Consortium).  As EPIC’s CTO, he represents 306 leading corporate members (as of April 2017) active in the field of Photonics. His job consists on actively engaging with them and provide them with tools to strengthen their position in the supply chain; such tools are the organization of 20 technology workshops per year, provision of market intelligence and finding B2B leads. He has the vision that the future of optoelectronic manufacturing can take place in Europe to a large extent, and as part of that vision he is actively involved in the EU-funded pilot lines. He has 20 years’ background in photonics technology, market knowledge, and a large network within the industrial and academic photonics landscape. Dr. Pozo holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Bristol, U.K., and a M.Sc. and B.Eng. in telecom engineering from UPNA (Spain) / VUB (Belgium). In addition, Dr. Jose Pozo has worked as post-doctoral researcher at Tu Eindhoven (The Netherlands), EU proposal coordinator at TNO (The Netherlands), and Sr. Photonics Technology Consultant at PNO Consultants.

    Abstract: Technology and Business trends in Photonics in Europe

    Dr. Jose POZO, Director of Technology and Innovation, EPIC – European Photonics Industry Consortium
    The photonics industry is witnessing new product introductions demanding specific requirements for particular applications. Europe is home to a rich source of both application markets and innovative technologies. The presentation will review some of the recent feedback compiled through numerous company visits, intensive discussions with industry leaders and experts, and through the EPIC workshops renowned for a rich exchange with photonic-enabled product users and their suppliers.


    Prof. Dr. Peter Seitz
    Hamamatsu Photonics Europe, ETH Zurich, EPFL

    Peter Seitz is Senior Scientist and Technology Expert at Hamamatsu Photonics Europe, he is Adjunct Professor of optoelectronics at EPFL, and he is Innovation Sherpa at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab (ieLab) of ETH in Zurich. Peter Seitz received his M.Sc. degree in experimental physics and his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering both from ETH. From 1984 to 1987 he was a staff member of the RCA Research Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey (David Sarnoff Research Center) and in Zurich, Switzerland, performing applied research in optics and image processing. In 1987 he joined the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), where he created and led the Image Sensing research group. From 1997 to 2012 he worked for CSEM, the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, first as a group leader and then as Vice President Photonics, heading CSEM’s photonics division. From 2006 to 2011, he was CSEM’s Vice President Nanomedicine. Peter Seitz has authored and co-authored about 200 publications in the fields of applied optics, semiconductor image sensing, machine vision, optical metrology and in the MedTech domain. He holds 50 patents, and he has won more than 20 national and international awards together with his teams, of which the most prestigious is the IST Grand Prize 2004 of the European Commission. He is a Fellow of the European Optical Society EOS, member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences SATW, and he is a member of the Executive Board of the ETP Photonics21, chairing the workgroup on sensing, metrology and security.

    Abstract: X-rays - See further than with VIS-NIR

    X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation with a typical energy of 1-250 keV, corresponding to a wavelength of 0.005 – 1 nm. Although human beings cannot sense X-rays, this radiation can be described and understood by the same concepts as visible radiation: X-ray photons with energy E are transmitted through matter with a refractive index n(E), they can be absorbed by matter with an attenuation function (E), and they are usually detected with semiconductor sensors. Of particular interest is the fact that (E) is typically decreasing with energy, making objects more transparent for photons of higher energy. This is the reason why X-rays are widely used for the inspection of the inside of objects, through 2D radiography and 3D Computer Tomography methods in medical and industrial applications.
    The availability of novel X-ray sources, detectors and filters make it possible to adapt valuable measurement techniques from the VISNIR spectral range also to X-rays: High-speed X-ray sources and detectors are used for time-of-flight (TOF) techniques. Phase contrast methods can be implemented with X-ray grating absorbers, revealing the inner structure of objects even when they exhibit only negligible absorption differences. Novel semiconductor X-ray detectors with energy resolution can be employed for X-ray spectroscopy, with which the elemental composition of objects can be imaged in 2D and 3D.


    Dr. Dieter Renker
    CERN, PSI, TU Munich

    1964:  Studies of physics at the universities Berlin and Munich
    1981:  Thesis
    1982 – 2010:  Paul-Scherrer-Institute in Switzerland

    Starting about 1995:  development of Avalanche Photo Diodes (APDs) for the
    electromagnetic calorimeter of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) at CERN
    and their successive integration.

    2010:  Retirement and since then guest at the Technical University Munich.

    Abstract: Latest developments SiPM/MPPC®

    After a short historical review on photon detectors I will concentrate on the most recent devices, the Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM, Hamamatsu calls them Multi-Pixel Photon Counter, MPPC). Their properties, advantages and disadvantages will be described and in some small hands on experiments demonstrated. The impressive progress made during the last years and the current state of the art will be pictured.


    Prof. Dr. Lukas Novotny
    ETH Zurich, Photonics Laboratory

    Lukas Novotny has been a Professor of Photonics at the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering since 2012.
    He was born in Opocno, Czech Republic, in 1966 (then Czechoslovakia).
    Lukas Novotny completed a diploma in electrical engineering at ETH Zurich in 1992 and went on to obtain a PhD (Dr. sc. techn.) from the same university in 1996. For his PhD thesis Light Propagation and Light Confinement in Near-field Optics, he collaborated with IBM Research Division in Ruschlikon.
    In his professional career, Lukas Novotny was a research fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA (1996-1999) before becoming an assistant and subsequently associate professor of optics at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, USA (1999-2007).
    In 2007 he was appointed professor of biomedical engineering (Department of Biomedical Engineering) at Rochester and, the same year, professor of optics and physics at the university’s Optics and Physics Department. Before joining ETH Zurich, he spent a sabbatical year at ICFO, the Institute de Cienciès Fotòniques in Barcelona, Spain and has since then been a Distinguished Invited Professor there.

    Abstract: Controlling Light-matter Interactions on the Nanometer Scale

    The past 20 years have brought exceptional control over light-matter interactions on the nanoscale. Today, localized optical fields are being probed with nanoscale materials, and, vice versa, nanoscale materials are being controlled and manipulated with localized fields. In this talk I will review recent developments in nanophotonics and optical nanomanipulation.


    Prof. Dr. Jürg Leuthold
    ETH Zurich

    Juerg Leuthold was born in 1966 in Switzerland. He has a Ph.D. degree in physics from ETH Zürich for work in the field of integrated optics and all-optical communications. From 1999 to 2004 he has been affiliated with Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies in Holmdel, USA, where he has been performing device and system research with III/V semiconductor and silicon optical bench materials for applications in high-speed telecommunications. From 2004--2013 he was a full Professor at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), where he headed the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics (IPQ) and the Helmholtz Institute of Microtechnology (IMT). Since March 2013 he is a full Professor at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH).
    Juerg Leuthold is a fellow of the Optical Society of America, a fellow of the IEEE. When being a Professor at the KIT he was a member of the the Helmholtz Association Think Tank and a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Science. He currently serves as as a board of director in the Optical Society of America OSA). Juerg Leuthold has been and is serving the community as general chair and in many technical program committees.

    Abstract: Shrinking photonics to the atomic scale

    The atom sets an ultimate scaling limit to Moore’s law in the electronics industry. Likewise in photonics, it is the wavelength that sets a limit. However, recently plasmonics has emerged as solution to scale photonics to the atomic scale. In this talk we will review recent progress in scaling photonic devices by means of plasmonic techniques. We will discuss new solutions of plasmonic switches and detectors and show - only the atom sets a limit to photonics.


    Prof. Manfred Bayer
    TU Dortmund

    Manfred Bayer studied physics from 1986 to 1992 at the University of Würzburg,
    where he continued with a PhD thesis on semiconductor quantum structures in high magnetic fields (finished in 1997), followed by the habilitation in 2000 on optical studies of confined electron and photon geometries. In 2002 he was appointed full professor at TU Dortmund. His research focuses on laser spectroscopy of condensed matter with a focus on semiconductors, to which he applies a wide variety of time-integrated and time–resolved methods in order to study the charge and spin properties in these materials and the light generation from them.

    Abstract: Bringing our understanding of light sources to a new level:
    Photon statistics measurements of nanophotonic structures using streak cameras

    During the last decades streak cameras have provided indispensable insights into the light emission kinetics from optically active materials and the underlying carrier dynamics. A key point in that respect has been the picosecond time resolution that is mandatory to understand these processes in condensed matter. During the course of this work the light intensities required in applications, for example, have decreased continuously and the light emitters have been accordingly miniaturized. A complete characterization of the light from a nanophotonic source can be obtained by measuring the temporal sequence of the photons’ arrival at a suitable detector. In this contribution we will show that streak cameras allow one to record this sequence with picosecond resolution and to derive correlation functions from the data by which light fields can be understood at an unprecedented level. For example, a distinction between quantum, coherent and thermal light emission can be established.


    Prof. Christopher Dainty
    University College London

    Chris Dainty is currently Professorial Research Associate at University College London. He has rendered service to the optics community through numerous professional organizations and appointments, including serving as Secretary-General and President of the International Commission for Optics, President of the European Optical Society and President of OSA – The Optical Society in 2011.
    Throughout his career, Prof. Dainty has investigated problems in optical imaging, scattering and propagation. In these areas, he has co-authored or edited six books, approximately 180 peer-reviewed papers and >300 conference presentations. In a career spanning five decades, he graduated 65 PhD students and mentored >75 post-docs.
    Dainty is a recipient of the International Commission for Optics Prize, IoP’s Thomas Young Medal and Prize, OSA’s C.E.K. Mees Medal and IoP’s Optics and Photonics Division Prize. He is a fellow of The Optical Society, SPIE, The Institute of Physics, and the European Optical Society and a member of the Royal Irish Academy.

    Abstract: Technology and Fundamental limits of Mobile phone cameras

    This talk is in two parts. First I shall describe the concept of the ideal detector, using the metric of detective quantum efficiency (DQE) which is the ratio of output to input signal-to-noise ratio. Although DQE was first proposed nearly 70 years ago, it is still the single most important figure of merit of a detector. The main part of the talk will focus on cell-phone cameras. Every optics student knows that bigger optical systems have the potential to form higher resolution and higher signal-to-noise images, yet market pressures drive cell phone cameras to be smaller and smaller. I shall discuss some of the fundamental limits of imaging systems that affect image quality in small cameras.


    Prof. Stefan Dilhaire
    LOMA, Brodeaux University

    Stefan Dilhaire is Professor at University of Bordeaux. At LOMA (Laboratoire Ondes et Matière d’Aquitaine) Stefan Dilhaire’s group studies mutual interaction of heat, light and electricity in micro-systems and nano-materials and its applications in renewable energy (thermoelectricity, thermionicity, Organic photo generation), in microelectronics, in nano-plasmonics, in biology (ultrasonic imaging of cells).

    The group is currently involved in 3 research topics:
    - Nanoscale ultrafast energy transport
       (Nano thermal physics, Picosecond ultrasonics, Thermal properties identification at the nanoscale),
    - Imaging (Integrated circuits temperature mapping),
    - Technology Transfer ( Development of new optical techniques such as Heterodyne optical sampling)

    His research field concerns the study of mechanisms of transport of energy in nano-materials. These mechanisms can be achieved by phonons, plasmons, phonons polaritons. Materials consist in nano-particles, of nanowires, super-lattices or nanometric layers. The challenges are of:

    - characterizing the thermal properties of nano-materials
    - uncorrelate the electric properties from the thermal properties.
    - applications have repercussions in the fields of renewable energies (thermoelectricity), microelectronics as well as
       biology (imagery by laser ultrasound of live cells)

    Abstract: One trillion images per second applied to Nanoplasmonics, Nanophononics, Ultrasonics

    The reduction of the size of nano-objects or nano-materials down to the nanoscale leads to strong modifications of its transport properties depending then on its size, shape, structure and obviously on its environment. Carrier confinement combined to interface effects gives rise to new transport properties. That is the case in absorption and emission of light where the new properties are given by electromagnetic near field coupling between the nano-objets included in the material. Concerning phonon transport, a frequency dependence of thermal conductivity can be observed. Plasmons confined in a tapered wave guide slow down producing hot carriers. These hot electron life time increases in a hot spot. All these processes occurring at time scales from femtoseconds up to nanoseconds are routinely accessible with ultrafast pump-probe techniques. i.e heterodyne optical sampling allows to access to the energy transfer and understand the heat propagation into nano-objects themselves. The comprehension of energy transport mechanisms had been initiated by the study of a collection of nano-objects in solution without any coupling between them.
    We will describe different situations where the energy deposited by a femtosecond flash can be converted into phonons or plasmons traveling respectively at the speed of sound and speed of light in nano-materials. Our ultrafast imaging technique enables to film at 20 Tera image per second. This opens a route towards new applications in biological cell imaging, nano scale heat transfer or nano-plasmonics circuitry.


    Dr. François Simoens
    Imaging Sensors/Strategic Marketing Manager of CEA LETI

    Dr. François Simoens joined CEA-Leti in Grenoble in 2003, with the position of program manager and expert in infrared and THz sensors. Since 2015, he acts as the Marketing and Strategy Manager for the imaging technologies and systems developed at Leti from X-ray to Far-Infrared.

    Abstract: Opening new photonic applications through innovative photon counting HgCdTe IR sensors, multi-energy X-ray techniques and lens—free microscopy

    Opening new photonic applications through innovative photon counting HgCdTe IR sensors, multi-energy X-ray techniques and lens—free microscopy.
    Photonics is a thrilling technology where there is still a large potential of innovations in sensors and systems that will open new applications. This talk will describe three examples of innovative imaging systems developed at Leti from X-ray to infrared.
    HgCdTe avalanche photodiodes can perform very fast photon detection up to photon-counting sensitivity that can be applied to free-space high data rate laser telecom links.
    The new lens-free microscopy technique could be particularly valuable for examination of biological systems, visualizing cells, bacteria and viruses with sufficient clarity and resolution to allow researchers to distinguish readily between them.
    Multi-energy X-ray detectors combined with dedicated data processing methods can push the limits of existing dual-energy systems; it provides enhanced material identification and quantification that are suitable for security, food safety, NDT applications.


    Dr. Roberto Osellame
    Senior Research Scientist, INF-CNR (Milano), Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies

    Roberto Osellame received the “Laurea” Degree (cum laude) in Electronic Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano (Italy) in 1996 and the Ph.D. degree in Physics from the Politecnico di Torino (Italy) in 2000. Since 2001 he is a Staff Researcher of the Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies (IFN) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), where he became Senior Researcher in 2007. Since 2001 he is also a Contract Professor of the Politecnico di Milano, teaching Quantum Optics and Information in the Faculty of Engineering. Dr. Osellame has been one of the pioneers in femtosecond laser micromachining of transparent materials. His research activity includes the development of photonic circuits for quantum computing, the fabrication by two photon polymerization of micro/nano-structures of arbitrary geometry, and the integration of optical waveguides and microchannel for on chip sensing in lab-on-a-chip and optofluidic manipulation of single cells. He is author of more than 150 publications on major international journals and holds 6 patents in the field of optics and photonics technology. He has been awarded the 'Ricerca.tissimi' prize of “Regione Lombardia” ( Lombardy district) as one of the 20 best researchers in the 'life sciences' field. He has been awarded the CNR prize in 2009 for 'results of particular excellence and strategic national and international relevance'. He is Chair of the Materials Processing with Lasers sub-committee at CLEO-Europe international conference and co-Chair of the Photonics West Conference Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications. He has been involved in several European projects and has been the Coordinator of FP7-STREP project 'micro FLUID' for the development of plastic lab-on-a-chip devices, fabricated by femtosecond lasers. In 2017 he has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for the project 'CAPABLE' for the development of an integrated photonic platform for quantum information processing.

    Abstract: Integrated quantum photonic technologies

    Quantum photonics has great potentials for many important applications, ranging from quantum communications, quantum computing, quantum simulation and quantum sensing. Recently, a significant advance in the field has been the introduction of integrated photonic circuits to perform relevant quantum tasks. The integrated platform solved many problems that prevented the adoption of quantum photonic technologies outside the lab, namely phase stability and scalability of the devices. This rapidly growing field, boosted by the recent launch by the EU of a Quantum Technologies Flagship project, promises to revolutionize the way we process information at the fundamental level. A review of the main applications for integrated quantum photonics will be provided with a particular focus on the current technological hurdles that still need to be overcome to make the second quantum revolution possible.


    Juha Purmonen
    Photonics Finland, CEO

    Juha Purmonen is executive director of the Photonics Finland association. He is also a development manager at Joensuu Science Park. With both scientific and business background, Juha has over 15 years’ experience in a variety of projects, e.g. development and sales experience from the wide global business sectors. Juha started his carrier as software engineer focused on cryptography solutions. Later on, he concentrated spectral color research and was spectral color researcher at University of Eastern Finland. Juha is a co-founder of image processing Company SoftColor Ltd that won the president of Finland granted INNOFINLAND prize in 2005. He is responsible for the development of photonics business activities.

    Abstract: Overview of the Finnish Photonics Industry

    will soon be available


    Dr. Jyrki Saarinen
    Chairman of Photonics Finland

    Dr. Jyrki Saarinen is Professor on Photonics Applications and Commercialization and Head of the Institute of Photonics at UEF, Finland. He also holds an MBA. Previously he founded and built a high-tech company with over 1000 employees and operations in Singapore, Switzerland, and Silicon Valley, where he lived seven years. Today he continues as portfolio entrepreneur. He is President at Photonics Finland.

    Abstract: Photonics research in Finland
    will soon be available