Technical Program

The IEEE Photonics Conference, previously known as the IEEE LEOS Annual Meeting, offers technical presentations by the world’s leading scientists and engineers in the areas of lasers, optoelectronics, optical fiber networks, and associated lightwave technologies and applications. It also  features compelling plenary talks on the industry’s most important issues, weekend events aimed at students and young photonics professionals, and a manufacturer’s exhibition.

More than 500 people from industry, academia and government gather for IEEE Photonics Conference, to a part of the latest results on technologies and applications where quantum electronic devices involving light are key elements, including: Biophotonics, Displays and Lighting, High Power / Intensity Sources, Microwave Photonics, Nanophotonics, Non-Linear and Ultrafast Optics, Optical Communications, Optical Fiber Technology, Optical Interconnects, Optical Networks and Systems, Photodetectors, Sensors, Systems and Imaging, Photonic Integration and Packaging, Photonic Materials Science and Technology, Semiconductor Lasers.



Biophotonics describes the interaction of light with biological molecules, cells, and tissues. It covers diagnostic sensing and imaging applications as well as therapeutic uses of light. The Biophotonics Committee is soliciting papers in this multi-disciplinary field, covering the development, or refinement, of instruments and methods involving photonics technology for applications in life sciences, medicine, and environmental science. The conference focuses on the technical and engineering aspects of new technologies and innovative approaches for sensing, imaging, signal and image processing, optical actuation, and therapy, rather than translation of biophotonics to biological and medical applications. 

Specific topics of interest include instruments, devices, methods, algorithms, and materials for:

  • Imaging of cells and tissues
    • Microscopy, including high-throughput, high-speed and super-resolution strategies
    • Enabling technologies for optical biopsy in vivo
    • Optical tomography, including optical coherence tomography, photoacoustic imaging, and diffuse imaging methods
    • Multimodal imaging
  • Wavefront engineering for biomedical imaging, such as adaptive optics, light-sheet imaging, flat optics using metasurfaces, and imaging through scattering media
  • Computational imaging and computation and modeling in imaging and sensing
  • Endoscopy and other guided-wave implementations of imaging, such as catheters and needles
  • Materials (nano-, meta-, plasmonic) to enable emerging biophotonics applications
  • Single-point and imaging spectroscopy, including Raman, fluorescence, and other techniques
  • Biosensors, such as point-of-care devices, and lab-on-chip, including micro- and opto-fluidics
  • Light and photonics-based techniques and procedures in biological manipulation, including optical actuation
  • Therapeutic uses of light and photonics-based technology

Displays and Lighting

The subcommittee on Displays and Lighting solicits papers on recent advances in material, fabrication and devices related to mainstream and upcoming lighting and display technologies. Efficient lighting systems such as solid-state light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic LEDs (OLEDs) promise significant conservation and greener usage of electrical energy. As a multi-billion industry, display technology is leading the way for future new human interaction panel displays, smart phones, e-book readers, and flexible displays.

Topics of interest and focus relate to display devices and materials, backplane technologies, backlighting and manufacturing as summarized in the following:

  • Flexible displays: Rollable and foldable display technologies, reel-to-reel manufacturing technologies, and flexible display devices.
  • Novel display materials including but not limited to fast liquid crystals, cholestric and blue phase liquid crystals, organic light-emitting-diode (OLED) materials.
  • Novel backplane technologies, including oxide and flexible TFTs and novel transparent conductive oxide (TCO) replacement
  • Green technology and low power displays, and topics related to energy efficiency of displays specifically for mobile applications
  • 3D displays technology, manufacturing and human interaction factor
Topics of interest and focus related to lighting devices and materials are summarized as:
  • Efficient solid-state lighting, use of novel phosphorescent materials
  • White LEDs with high efficiency
  • Organic LED lighting application
  • Flexible lighting systems.
  • Efficient and low cost light distribution

High Power/Intensity Sources (HPIS)

The subcommittee solicits papers on a full range of high-power and/or high-intensity sources.  Papers describing recent results in high energy and high average power lasers and the science and technology they are enabling, including:  short wavelength sources as  high-order harmonics and x-ray lasers,  terahertz sources, plasmas in ultrahigh field,  attosecond science and technology and relativistic nonlinear phenomena are solicited.  In addition, advances in system integration efforts , optics and novel application developments using the above-mentioned technologies are also desirable.
Submissions in the following areas are requested:
  • Terawatt/Petawatt lasers
  • Fiber lasers and related technologies
  • Laser and parametric amplification of optical pulses
  • Generation of atto-, femto- and picosecond optical pulses
  • Few-cycle pulses and carrier-envelope phase control
  • Production of extreme UV and X-ray pulses from coherent
  • High-power THz sources
  • Source parametrization, optics, and system integration, 
  • Novel applications of coherent X-ray and THz sources
  • Intense laser/materials interactions
  • Relativistic nonlinear phenomena
  • Plasmas in ultrahigh fields

Microwave Photonics

The microwave photonics technical area is concerned with interactions between the optical and the microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, where the term “microwave” includes radio frequencies (~ 10 MHz to 1 GHz), microwave frequencies (~ 1 GHz to 30 GHz), millimeter-wave frequencies (~ 30 GHz to 500 GHz), and terahertz frequencies (~ 500 GHz to 10 THz). The technical subcommittee on Microwave Photonics solicits papers on recent advances in this multidisciplinary field, including:
  • Components for analog systems (including low noise lasers, modulators, and photodetectors for microwave, millimeter wave, and terahertz frequencies)
  • Subsystems for signal processing (including photonic filtering, conversion between analog and digital signals, manipulation of microwave amplitude and phase in the optical domain )
  • Photonic signal generation, characterization, and distribution for microwave, millimeter wave, and terahertz applications
  • Microwave Photonic and Radio-over-fiber subsystems (including high performance photonic links, up- and down-conversion techniques, and novel encoding and decoding techniques)
  • Microwave Photonic and Radio-over-fiber systems (including demonstrations of photonics-addressed RF antennas and sensors, broadband wireless communications systems and other novel applications for photonic systems in microwave, millimeter wave and terahertz systems)
  • Innovative applications of microwave photonics


The Nanophotonics Committee solicits papers and presentations addressing a broad spectrum of optics at the nanometer scale, covering technology and basic science. Novel optical phenomena and extreme responses of light-matter interactions at nano-scale hold promise for development of photonic technologies that are compact, fast and efficient. Topics of interest and focus but not limited are summarized below:
  • Basic science of strong light-matter interaction
  • Optical properties of nanostructures and structured surfaces
  • Linear, nonlinear and ultrafast spectroscopy at the nano-scale
  • Quantum dots, nanostructured LEDs and lasers
  • Plasmonics, metamaterials and metal optics
  • Photonic bandgap structures
  • Nano resonators and apertures
  • Chiral light-matter interactions
  • Microscopy and imaging with sub-wavelength resolution
  • Novel nano-fabrication and nanolithography techniques
  • Technologies enabled and powered by nanophotonics including high density optical data storage, as well as applications in high-bandwidth communications
  • Nanostructured solar power generation
  • Nanophotonic color generation and displays
  • Optical nano-biosensors

Non-Linear and Ultrafast Optics

The subcommittee on Non-linear and Ultrafast Optics solicits papers on recent discoveries, advances, and developments in the field of nonlinear optical interactions with materials and in the science and technology of ultrafast electronics, photonics, and optoelectronics. Topics of interest include new concepts and their implementations as well as significant advances are summarized in the following:

  • Fundamental nonlinear optical physics and material properties including metamaterials and plasmonic materials
  • Parametric processes such as frequency conversion, frequency up-conversion, parametric down-conversion, parametric oscillation, and parametric amplification
  • Spontaneous parametric down-conversion for applications in quantum optics
  • Intense field phenomena
  • Spontaneous and stimulated Raman scattering
  • Guided waves and solitons
  • Applications of non-linear optics in laser and optical light amplification
  • THz generation and propagation, photonics, devices, and applications
  • Switching
  • Modulation
  • Communication
  • Optical storage
  • Photonic devices
  • Attosecond physics and applications
  • Novel ultrafast sources and optical frequency combs
  • Propagation, measurement, processing, and detection of ultrashort optical and electronic pulses
  • Ultrafast optical, electronic and optoelectronic materials, components, devices, and systems
  • Novel applications of ultrafast technology in the investigation of transient phenomena in physics, electrical engineering, and material science
  • X-ray generation using ultrafast laser pulses

Optical Communications

This sub-committee solicits papers on analysis, modeling, demonstration, and implementation of digital optical transmission technologies in optical communications in its broadest sense: from telecom and datacom applications to free-space and optical quantum communications. The particular aspects cover (but are not limited to) the following:

Physical-layer performance of digital optical transport networks (i.e., submarine, terrestrial long-haul, regional, and metropolitan area networks):

  • Optical modulation, detection, coding, and digital signal processing in single mode fibers and spatial division multiplex systems
  • Impairments specific to digital optical fiber communication systems (e.g., fiber nonlinearity, chromatic dispersion, polarization-mode dispersion, concatenated filtering, multi-path interference, linear and nonlinear crosstalk of WDM channels, cores, or modes)
  • Optical and electronic mitigation of impairments in digital optical fiber communication systems
  • All-optical signal processing for transport networks

System and sub-system aspects of datacom and computercom:

  • Optical interconnect technologies (WDM/CWDM interconnects for integrated optics and parallel modules)
  • Parallel optical coupling between fibers, chips and modules
  • Multimode fiber transport

Component and subsystem technologies applied in digital optical transport networks:

  • Transmitter-receiver subsystems design
  • Design, performance and control of network elements and nodes
  • Optical performance monitoring for digital transport networks
  • Amplifier design, realization and evaluation
  • Quantum key distribution and secure communications

Optical Fiber Technology

The subcommittee on Optical Fiber Technology encompasses all aspects of optical fiber technology.  This includes optical fiber designs, materials, processing, measurements, propagation properties, optical fiber coatings, optical fiber cables and connectors, passive optical fiber devices and components, fiber amplifiers and lasers and active fiber components, specialty fiber (both silica and non-silica based), micro and nano-fibers, fiber sensors, fiber optic probes, as well as new applications of optical fibers.

The subcommittee on Optical Fiber Technology encompasses all aspects of optical fiber technology. This includes:

  • Optical fiber designs, materials and processing
  • Optical fiber measurements and propagation properties optical fiber coatings, optical
  • Optical fiber cables and connectors
  • Passive optical fiber devices and components
  • Fiber amplifiers and lasers and active fiber components
  • Specialty fiber (both silica and non-silica based)
  • Micro and nano-fibers, fiber sensors
  • Fiber optic probes
  • New applications of optical fibers

Optical Interconnects

The subcommittee on Optical Interconnects (OI) solicits papers on recent advances in technologies and architectures for computer interconnection fabrics.  As Moore’s Law scaling continues to push interconnect bandwidth densities ever higher at all levels within high-performance computing systems, the potential for low-power compact integrated photonic solutions is emerging rapidly.   Topics of interest include all aspects of OI research and development, including:
  • Optical interconnect architectures for supercomputers, datacenters, and other high performance applications
  • Novel optical interconnect fabric technologies, including guided wave and free-space concepts
  • Optical interconnect sources, modulators, transmitters, receivers, including  components, based on plasmonics and novel ultra-low power interconnect concepts
  • Optical switching architectures and technologies for computing applications
  • Novel hybrid and monolithic integration and packaging concepts for optical interconnects
  • Nano-photonic technology platforms and devices for optical interconnects, including those based on Silicon, III-V materials, silica, and hybrid approaches
  • Emerging standards for optical interconnects

Optical Micro / Nano Resonators and Devices

The Committee on Optical Micro/Nano Resonators and Devices encourages submission of papers on recent achievements in the field of optical micro/nano resonators, devices, and related phenomena. The committee is especially interested in contributions demonstrating significant advances in the performance, new resonance effects at micro/nano scale, innovative types and configurations, and new applications of optical and plasmonic microresonators.

Optical Networks and Systems

The Optical Networks and Systems subcommittee solicits papers on Optical Networks, Access networks, Radio-over-fiber and microwave photonics network and Datacom networks.

Optical Networks (ON)

  • Optical network architectures, design and performance evaluation
  • Physical-layer performance of optical transport networks (i.e., submarine, terrestrial long-haul, regional, and metropolitan area networks)
  • Transport network architectures, performance analyses, traffic modelling, routing algorithms and protocols pertaining to transport network operation, bandwidth allocation algorithms and protocols
  • Optical performance monitoring for transport networks
  • Transport network demonstrations, test-beds, and field trials
  • Energy efficient/green optical networks and systems
  • Optical network security
  • Optical network standardization issues
  • Elastic Networks and networking

Access Networks (AN)

Access network architectures, performance analyses, energy consumption analyses, traffic modeling, routing algorithms and protocols pertaining to access network operation, bandwidth allocation algorithms and protocols
  • FTTx and next-generation passive optical networks
  • Multiple access subsystems and networks
  • Optical packet switching subsystems and networks
  • Optical burst switching subsystems and networks
  • All-optical signal processing for access network functions (e.g., label switching)
  • Access network demonstrations, test-beds and field trials
  • Optical routers and switches
  • High speed optical LANs and Gigabit Ethernet

Radio-over-Fiber , Microwave Photonics and Free Space Optical Systems

Radio-over-fiber  and microwave photonic systems which are concerned with the development and improvement of broadband wireless communication systems and networks.
  • Radio-over-fiber (RoF) subsystems and systems
  • Hybrid wireless-optical systems
  • Visible and IR free-space optical communication systems
  • Microwave photonics subsystems and systems, including microwave, millimeter-wave, and Terahertz photonics.

Datacom Networks and systems

Short-reach, low-power, and low-cost optical interconnection links and networking which pertain to Datacom and computer networks
  • Optical interconnection network interfaces, protocols, arbitration and flow control
  • Optical switching devices, architectures, and control schemes for data centers
  • On-chip optical networks and integrated computer architectures
  • Interconnection network architectures for datacenters

Photonic Integration and Packaging

Papers are solicited on the topic of photonic integration and packaging. Photonic devices include lasers, detectors, filters, couplers, multiplexers and sensors. Many examples are already complex integrated circuits in their own right, and further integration enables even more powerful function for high speed communication, precision metrology, sensing in increasingly diverse market segments.

Advances in the different integration platform technologies, including III-V materials, silicon, silica, germanium, chalcogenide glasses, and others, are targeted. Selective area epitaxy, patterned growth, impurity disordering, wafer bonding, active-passive integration, are all techniques used for the integration of optical and electronic devices. Circuits and devices using photonic crystals and plasmonic waveguiding are also welcome.

Packaging techniques are also considered, addressing methods for further systems integration and integration with sensoric devices and micro-electro-mechanical devices. The attachment and connection to fiber and polymer waveguides and waveguide arrays, housings and systems on chip. Innovative bonding technologies, encapsulation, and methods for inserting photonic ICs into optical and electronic circuit boards are also considered.

Photonic Materials and Metamaterials

The subcommittee on photonic materials science and technology solicits papers in all aspects of photonic materials, including materials science and technology, material growth and synthesis, heterogeneous integration, material characterization, and integration architectures. The subcommittee welcomes submissions in, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Epitaxial growth of semiconductor materials, including 2D and 3D growth processes, quantum dots and dashes, nanowires, nanotubes, nanoneedles, and other types of nanostructures, etc.
  • Novel deposition and/or growth techniques for photonic materials.
  • Structured and engineered materials systems, such as periodic and aperiodic structures, photonic crystals, plasmonics, metamaterials, and metasurfaces, etc.
  • Design and simulation of novel material structures with specific material properties.
  • Materials with novel electronic, optical, thermal, mechanical, and spin polarization properties, including the emerging class of 2D materials (graphene, MoS2, black phosphorus, etc.).
  • Material engineering with strain, thermal, electrical, optical, and mechanical control.
  • Heterogeneously integrated material systems, such as organic/inorganic integration, nanomembrane and thin film stacking, dielectric/metallic integration.
  • Material processing techniques, such as patterning, growth, synthesis, self-assembly and self-organization, roll to roll processes, wafer bonding, stamp printing, energy efficiency and scale-up manufacturing.
  • Novel substrate integration techniques, including conventional semiconductors (III-Vs, Si, sapphire, etc), glass, plastics, conformal and flexible substrates.
  • New material enabled device structures and integration schemes and architectures.

Photodetectors, Sensors, Systems and Imaging

The subcommittee on Photodetectors, Sensors, Systems and Imaging (PSSI) solicits papers on all types of photodetectors, imaging, optical and electro-optical sensors, as well as their related materials, devices and systems. Topics of interest include:

  • Novel photoconductive and photovoltaic materials and devices (including avalanche photodiodes, very high-speed detectors, and photodetectors based on organic materials) for the range of operation in the entire electromagnetic spectrum (gamma-ray, x-ray, UV, visible, near-IR, mid-IR, far-IR, terahertz, microwave and RF).
  • Detector technologies that exploit novel phenomena to enhance performance, functionality and manufacturability including CMOS-compatible germanium detectors, plasmonic and metamaterial devices, microwave-photonic devices, nanoscale quantum structures (dots/wires/wells), superlattices, MCT detectors, MEMS-based wavelength-tunable sensors and bioinspired sensors.
  • Novel photovoltaic devices and energy harvesting systems.
  • Integrated detectors for silicon photonics.
  • Devices, techniques and systems for single-photon detection.
  • Imaging systems including high operating-temperature focal-plane arrays (FPAs) for thermal imaging, active CMOS imagers, multicolor and tunable FPAs for spectral imaging, hyperspectral imaging, polarization imagers, novel readout circuits, and smart-pixel FPAs.
  • Methods for 3D imaging, visualization and recognition.
  • Novel photonic devices and methods for biomedical imaging.
  • Novel photorefractive materials and photopolymers for sensing, information systems and imaging.
  • Adaptive-optics systems for imaging and display.
  • Holographic-based and incoherent-holographic-based imaging and sensing systems.
  • Novel optical microsystems, optofluidic devices and fiber-optic sensors.
  • Novel approaches for microobject manipulation, imaging and tracking in microfluidic environment.
  • Advanced microscopes based on spatial light modulators, quantitative phase-contrast, super-resolution and computational imaging techniques.
  • Compressive sensing and multichannel and multimodal data acquisition and imaging.
  • Infrastructures for virtual laboratories and remote metrology.

Semiconductor Lasers

The subcommittee on Semiconductor Lasers solicits papers on recent advances in the design, fabrication, and characterization of laser sources based on carrier injection in semiconductor materials. Topics of interest range from stand-alone laser diodes to optical transmitters to on-chip light sources and cover all relevant spectral ranges. Different types of semiconductor lasers, including those featuring new designs, materials and processing, which target various applications, from high-power sourcing to optical sensing to optical interconnects, all are within the scope of this subcommittee, with a specific focus on:

  • High-power lasers and laser arrays
  • Visible and short-wavelength lasers
  • Long-wavelength and quantum cascade lasers
  • Vertical cavity and other surface-emitting lasers
  • Optical communication lasers and transmitters
  • On-chip laser sources for photonic integrated circuits
  • Micro- / nanocavity lasers and related areas of plasmonics
  • New semiconductor laser designs, materials, and fabrication techniques