Feature Articles

MEMS: Some Self-Assembly Required

Fluidic self-assembly can provide the vital step in the fabrication of chip-sized optical MEMS for a wide variety of applications. Nature herself provides an inspirational model for fluidic self-assembly, as well as useful guidelines for processes that can be employed to build microsystems. In this review article, we describe some achievements in assembly that have already been demonstrated, including our own research on fluidic self-assembly of micromirrors for an adaptive-optics array. The results reported to date lead us to predict significant growth in the applications to microsystems of fluidic self-assembly techniques.

by Uthara Srinivasan, Michael A. Helmbrecht, Richard S. Muller and Roger T.Howe
Biomedical Applications of Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging

Fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) provides a robust functional imaging modality for biomedicine. Recent advances in ultrafast laser and detector technology make FLIM increasingly accessible for life scientists and point the way to new clinical instrumentation.

by Dan Elson, Stephen Webb, Jan Siegel, Klaus Suhling, Dan Davis, John Lever, David Phillips, Andrew Wallace and Paul French
Polymer Optical Interference Filters

Polymers are increasingly used in the design and manufacture of photonics products. One class of polymer optical components provides product forms and functions achievable only via polymer optics. Specific applications include ultrahigh-efficiency reflectors and reflective polarizers. Recently, all-polymer wavelength separation filters for the photosensor industry have been developed. These filters offer new degrees of freedom to designers and manufacturers at both the component and device levels.

by Roger Strharsky and John Wheatley Photographs by Jack Revoir
Quantum Information Science

Quantum technology has made great strides in recent years. While quantum computers offer many benefits, we are far from seeing them implemented on a mass scale. Here we review the basic building blocks of quantum information processing, identify the advantages of quantum physics over classical physics, explain how quantum communication protocols work and identify the challenges we need to overcome to realize a quantum computer.

by Ian Walmsley and Peter Knight
A Multiport Cross-Connect Switch Using VLIMOEMS Mirror Arrays

The authors describe an all-optical multiport cross-connect switch based on very-large-integrated micro-optical electromechanical systems (VLIMOEMS). They explain the principle of operation of the switch, as well as the design requirements necessary to operate it in conformity with Telecordia GR-1073-CORE. Basic methods for optical modeling and optimization are described, as is a method for obtaining cross-connect scalability at levels of up to 16,000 ports.

by Dmitry V. Bakin and Janusz Bryzek

Departments and Columns

The History of OSA
Advertisements in JOSA

The year is 1959, and a new revenue-generating strategy is introduced to strengthen the Society’s finances. In a move that would ultimately prove to have controversial repercussions, the OSA Board of Directors decides that the Society’s journal, JOSA, may accept advertising.

Light Touch
Experiments With Liquid Crystal Displays

In the third installment of “Fun with Photonics,” a series of hands-on experiments designed to spark interest in optics among members of the general public, OSA Fellow Keigo Iizuka uses a laptop computer and a polarizer to demonstrate the optical characteristics of liquid crystals.

Global Optics
Donated Synchrotron Will Further Middle East Cooperation

Facilities around the world are putting synchrotron light to use in areas ranging from medical imaging to microfabrication, a trend that has gotten a boost from the fact that countries with established synchrotron programs are donating equipment to less-developed nations that otherwise would have had to wait decades for the technology.

Optics Career Ladder Takes Shape in Albuquerque

Schools, businesses and civic leaders in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have launched a unique educational program for high school, college and graduate students interested in pursuing careers in optics and photonics.

OSA Local Sections
Education Outreach in Oregon

To train teachers in new ways todemonstrate basic optics principles, OSA’s Columbia Local Section and the Northwestern University Student Chapter held an education outreach workshop at Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon, in March.


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