By Patricia Daukantas
In this age of instant telecommunications and social media, one of the reasons why people still attend professional conferences is to run into old friends and catch up with them. I certainly experienced this at CLEO:2011 as I ran into OSA staff members, OPN contributors and past OSA presidents at various sessions and the conference reception.
It’s also gratifying to see people I’ve written about for OPN in the past and learn about their current work. For example, last year I wrote in the Scatterings column about a three-dimensional, near-infrared “invisibility cloak” created by a team at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany. This week at CLEO, Joachim Fischer of KIT reported that his group has pushed the technology to the edge of the visible realm by making a 3-D cloak that works for 700-nm light.
To build their near-IR cloak, the KIT researchers used a fabrication technique called direct laser writing to build a tiny “woodpile” photonic crystal. Because a visible-light cloak would require even finer detail, the team incorporated stimulated-emission-depletion (STED) fluorescence microscopy into the laser-writing fabrication process. The resulting cloak worked not just with monochromatic light from a Ti:sapphire laser, but also with a white-light source passed through a red filter.
“Seeing the cloaking action with one’s own eyes is an amazing experience,” the KIT team wrote in the CLEO proceedings. We couldn’t agree more. Their paper, with Fischer as the lead author, is now available in the “Early Posting” section of Optics Letters.
This blog can’t possibly cover everything that has been happening at CLEO this week. If you hunger for more information, point your browser to the CLEO social media hub and drink in the postings. The OSA booth at CLEO has a Legislative Action Center station where attendees can express their views about U.S. science funding issues, and you don’t have to be onsite to use that website, either. Finally, the CLEO:2011 proceedings will be published on OSA’s Optics InfoBase in the near future.
CLEO/QELS, Lasers, CLEO