Optical Sensors

02 July 2018 – 05 July 2018 ETH Zurich, Zürich, Zurich Switzerland

Optical sensors have many applications in R&D, national defense and commercial markets such as medical diagnostics and process control. But because of the breadth of applications for optical sensors, the challenges to the design and functioning of an optical sensor for a particular application requires knowledge of optical, material, and environmental properties that affect sensor performance. SENSORS addresses all aspects of optical sensors from source and detection technologies, sensor configurations, and processing approaches to applications. These optical sensors range from micro-probes to large devices used for standoff monitoring of industrial and environmental species.


  • THz sensing
  • Optical Fiber Sensors
  • Laser Based Sensors
  • Optical Chemical and Biological Sensors
  • Biomedical Optical Sensors
  • Micro and Nano-Engineered Sensors
  • Planar Waveguide Sensors
  • Mid- and Long-wavelength IR Sensors
  • Quantum Effects in Optical Sensing
  • Nanophotonic and Plasmonic Biosensors
  • Frequency Comb-based Sensors
  • Non-Chemical Sensors for Defense
  • Aerospace Sensors
  • Sensing to Food Quality Control
  • Hyphenated sensors



  • Francesca Bragheri, Istituto di Fotonica e NanotecnologieItaly 
    Optofluidic Devices for Mechanical Probing and Imaging of Cells by Laser Light
  • Juncheng Cao, Shanghai Inst of Microsystem & Info TechChina 
    Title to be Determined
  • Nunzio Cennamo, Seconda Universita degli Studi di NapoliItaly 
    Plasmonic Chemical and Biological Sensors Based on Plastic Optical Fibers
  • Andrea Cusano, University of SannioItaly 
    Lab on Fiber Technology: Advances and New Trends
  • Jakub Dostalek, Austrian Institute of TechnologyAustria 
    Plasmonically Enhanced Fluorescence Biosensors Actuated by Responsive Hydrogels
  • Xudong Fan, University of MichiganUnited States 
    Laser-emission Based Microscopy for Cancer Diagnosis
  • Scott Foster, Defence Science & Tech OrganisationAustralia 
    Advanced Photonic Sensors for Remote Undersea Surveillance
  • Alexandre Francois, University of South AustraliaAustralia 
    Lasing Microresonators: A New Paradigm for Biosensing Applications
  • Sonia Garcia-Blanco, Universiteit TwenteNetherlands 
    Al2O3 Microresonators for Passive and Active Sensing Applications
  • Harald Giessen, Universität StuttgartGermany 
    Recent Advances in Chiral Plasmonics
  • Jesper Gluckstad, Danmarks Teknishe UniversitetDenmark 
    Nanobiophotonics using Light Robotics
  • Dai-Sik Kim, Seoul National UniversitySouth Korea 
    Cross Sectional Enhancements in Terahertz Nano Antennas
  • Christoph Lange, Universität RegensburgGermany 
    Non-perturbative THz sub-cycle Nonlinearities: From Atomically Strong Fields to Vacuum Fields
  • Byeong Ha Lee, Gwangju Inst of Science & Technology 
    Design and Fabrication of Lensed Optical Fiber Probe for Various Optical Fiber Interferometry
  • Stefan Maier, Imperial College LondonUnited Kingdom 
    Dielectric and Low-dimensional-materials Nanocavities for Non-linear Nanophotonics and Sensing
  • Olivier Martin, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de LausanneSwitzerland 
    Sensing with Hybrid Metallodielectric Metasurfaces, the Best of Both Worlds?
  • Ali Masoudi, University of SouthamptonUnited Kingdom 
    Dynamic Strain Measurement in Subsea Power Cables with Distributed Optical Fibre Vibration Sensor
  • Daniel Mittleman, Brown UniversityUnited States 
    Linear and Nonlinear Optics of Switchable Terahertz Metasurfaces
  • David Norris, ETH ZurichSwitzerland 
    Chiral Plasmonic Tips and Colloidal Nanoparticles
  • Willie Padilla, Boston CollegeUnited States 
    All-Dielectric Metasurfaces for THz Imaging and Sensing
  • Xuewen Shu, Wuhan National Lab for OptoelectronicsChina 
    Optical Fiber Sensing Devices Fabricated with Femtosecond Laser
  • Vincenzo Spagnolo, Politecnico di BariItaly 
    New Developments in Quartz Enhanced Photoacoustic Spectroscopy for Gas Sensing Applications
  • Masayoshi Tonouchi, Osaka UniversityJapan 
    Terahertz Microfluidic Chip Sensitivity-enhanced with a Few Arrays of Meta Atoms
  • Frank Vollmer, Max-Planck-Inst Physik des LichtsGermany 
    Exploring the Nanoscale with Optoplasmonic Sensors
  • Pengfei Wang, Dublin Institute of Technology 
    Single-Mode-Multimode-Single-Mode Fibre Structure for Sensing Applications: A Review
  • Kenneth Kin-Yip Wong, University of Hong KongHong Kong 
    Versatile Laser and Optical Amplifier for Ultrafast Imaging
  • Yun-Feng Xiao, Peking UniversityChina 
    Sizing Particulates with Nanofiber Sensors
  • Virginie Zeninari, Universite de Reims Champagne-ArdenneFrance 
    Helmholtz-based Photoacoustic Sensors for Trace Gases Detection



Ken EwingUS Naval Research Laboratory, USA
Mario F.S. FerreiraUniversidade de Aveiro, Portugal
Paul Pellegrino, US Army Research Laboratory, USA

THz Sensing
Hou-Tong Chen, Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA, Subcommittee Chair
Enrique Castro Camus, Centro de Investigaciones en Optica, Mexico
Marco Rahm, Univ. of Kaiserslautern, Germany
Giacomo Scalari, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Yan Zhang, Capital Normal Univ., China

Optical Fiber Sensors
Gilberto Brambilla, Univ. of Southampton, UK, Subcommittee Chair
George Y. Chen, Univ. of South Australia, Australia
Christophe Caucheteur, Univ. of Mons, Belgium
Jose Miguel Lopez-Higuera, Univ. of Cantabria, Spain
Janet Lou, NRL, USA
Tong Sun, City Univ., UK
Fei Xu, Nanjing Univ., China

Laser Based Sensors
Yoonchan Jeong, Seoul National Univ., Korea, Subcommittee Chair
Peter Dragic, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Christian Grillet, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, France
Peter Horak, Univ. of Southampton, UK
Kwang Jo Lee, Kyung Hee Univ., Korea
Peter Vasil'ev, Univ. of Cambridge, UK

Optical Chemical and Biological Sensors
Paul M Pellegrino, US Army Research Laboratory, USA, Subcommittee Chair
Brain Cullum, Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County, USA
Ellen L. Holthoff, US Army Research Laboratory, USA
Srikanth Singamaneni, Washington Univ., USA

Micro- and Nano- Engineered Sensors
Mikhail (Misha) Sumetsky, Aston Univ., UK, Subcommittee Chair
Andrei A. Fotiadi, Faculte Polytechnique, Univ. of Mons, Belgium
Chengo Mou, Shanghai Univ., China
Sergei Popov, KTH Royal Inst. of Technology, Sweden
Xuewen Shu, Huazhong Univ. of Science and Technology, China
Limin Tong, Zhejiang Univ., China

Nanophotonic and Plasmonic Biosensors,
Björn Reinhard, Boston Univ., USASubcommittee Chair
Shyamsunder Erramilli, Boston Univ., USA
Peer Fischer, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Germany
Femius Koenderink, AMOLF, Netherlands
Frank Vollmer, Univ. of Exeter, UK


Plenary Session

Raman Kashyap

Polytechnique Montréal, Canada

State of the Art Ultra-long FBGs for Linear and Nonlinear Applications: Challenges and Opportunities

For four decades, fiber Bragg grating (FBG) have delivered outstanding performance for applications in many fields of engineering and science, including sensing, lasers, dispersion management, and filters. However, most FBGs for these applications have been confined to lengths of less than 100mm. Recent developments have led to a demand for longer gratings (~meter length) in applications such as Raman and Brillouin distributed feedback FBG lasers. Until recently, controlling the spatial characteristics of the FBG with a precision necessary for these applications has been difficult to achieve, since small errors accumulate leading to unpredictable and unrepeatable characteristics. These errors make it impossible to utilise long FBGs for linear and nonlinear applications routinely. By undertaking a step by step approach to understand the limitations of not only the technology of FBG inscription, but surprisingly, also from the uniformity of the optical fiber has led to near perfect ultra-long gratings. Although challenges remain, these advances have allowed the fabrication of single frequency fiber Raman and Brillouin DFB lasers with outstanding performance, also opening the doors to other nonlinear optical applications.

About the Speaker

Raman Kashyap is a Professor at Polytechnique Montreal with a dual appointment in the Departments of Engineering Physics and Electronics Engineering, a holder of a Canada Research Chair in Future Photonics Systems since 2003, and the head of the FABULAS Laboratory. He was previously the Head of a photonics company in Montreal, Corvis Canada Inc. At BT Research Laboratories in the UK for 25 years, he researched optical devices and applications in photonics, and discovered the optical "fiber fuse". He was the first to demonstrate how photonics could be integrated into cell-phones in 2014 (Making smart phones smarter with photonics, Optics Express), and according to OSA, with a potential media coverage of 19 million. He is the author of the first book on Fiber Bragg Gratings published in 1999, 550 technical papers and 44 patents.

His current research interests are focused on laser induced cooling, nonlinear optics, sensors, fiber Raman DFB lasers, Stimulated Brillouin scattering, Plasmonics, integrating photonics into cell-phones, and perfecting ultra-long fiber gratings. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, the Optical Society of America, the SPIE, the Engineering Institute of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Physics (UK).

Michal Lipson

Columbia University, USA

Next Generation Photonics based on 2D Materials

Two dimensional materials such as monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) are expected to have large changes in their optical sheet conductivity by controlling their carrier densities. We demonstrate a platform for waveguide-integrated phase modulators in the near-infrared regime based on Tungsten disulphide (WS2) gating.

About the Speaker

Professor Michal Lipson joined the Electrical Engineering faculty at Columbia University in July 2015. She completed her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Physics at the Technion in 1998 followed by a Postdoctoral position at MIT in the Materials Science Department until 2001. In 2001 she joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University. She was named Cornell Given Foundation Professor of Engineering in 2013. Lipson was one of the main pioneers in the field of silicon photonics and is the inventor of several of the critical building blocks in the field including the GHz silicon modulator. She holds over 20 patents and is the author of over 200 technical papers. Professor Lipson's honors and awards include the MacArthur Fellow, Blavatnik Award, IBM Faculty Award, and the NSF Early Career Award. She is a fellow of OSA and IEEE. Since 2014 she has been named by Thomson Reuters as a top 1% highly cited researcher in the field of Physics.

Lukas Novotny

ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Levitated Optomechanics

Optically levitated nanoparticles in ultrahigh vacuum exhibit very low damping and constitute a highly sensitive optomechanical system. By using active parametric feedback the particle's center-of-mass temperature can be cooled below 100 microKelvin, limitedby photon recoil heating.

About the Speaker

Lukas Novotny is a Professor of Photonics at ETH Zürich. His research is focused on understanding and controlling light-matter interactions on the nanometer scale. Novotny did his PhD at ETH Zürich and from 1996-99 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, working on new schemes of single molecule detection and nonlinear spectroscopy. In 1999 he joined the faculty of the Institute of Optics where he started one of the first research programs with focus on nano-optics. Novotny is the author of the textbook 'Principles of Nano-Optics', which is currently in its second edition. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Martin Schell

Heinrich Hertz Institute, Germany

Photonic Integration for Communication and Sensing-Economic Success and Failure

Photonic Integration has the chance to revolutionize photonics probably as much as electronic integration has done since the 1970ies. Prior failures and successes will be analyzed, and current technologies and developments will be overviewed.

About the Speaker

Martin Schell is professor for Optic and Optoelectronic Integration at Technical University Berlin, and director of the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI, Berlin. His research interest is photonic integration for communication and sensing.

Martin Schell joined HHI in 2005. From 2000 to 2005, he was first product line manager, then head of production and procurement at Infineon Fiber Optics. From 1996 to 2000 he was management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group. Before that, he spent one year as a visiting researcher at The Tokyo University, Japan. He received the Dipl.-Phys. degree from the RWTH Aachen in 1989, and the Dr. rer. nat. degree from the Technical University Berlin in 1993.

Martin Schell is a board member of EPIC (European Photonics Industry Consortium), speaker of the board of OptecBB (Competence Network Optical Technologies Berlin/Brandenburg), member of the Photonics21 Board of Stakeholders, and member of the Public Policy Committee of The Optical Society.

Linda Thomas

Naval Research Laboratory, USA

Progress and Challenges in Free-space Optical Networks

Free space optics (FSO) technology allows access to currently unregulated spectrum; and provides an augmentation to RF wireless in congested areas.  In order to more broadly adopt the technology, FSO must be implemented as a networked wireless system, versus simply a point-to-point link.

About the Speaker

Linda Thomas is a Senior Research Engineer in the Electro-optics Technology Section, Code 8123, of the Naval Center for Space Technology, at the U. S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C. She has been working at NRL since 2004. Her current research interests are free-space laser communications, hybrid optical and RF communications networks, satellite laser ranging, and single photon detectors.

Dr. Thomas received her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Duke University, Durham, NC, and has a Master’s degree and Doctorate in the field of Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. She was an Associate Editor of the IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology from 2014-2016, and prior Conference Chair of the SPIE Conference on Atmospheric Propagation.

Peter Winzer

Nokia Bell Labs, USA

Scaling Optical Networks into the Next Decade and Beyond

Informed by long-term historic traffic and technology scaling, we extrapolate the evolution of optical networking technologies into the next decade and beyond, highlighting the challenges that research will have to address.

About the Speaker

Peter J. Winzer received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, in 1998. Supported by the European Space Agency (ESA), he investigated photon-starved space-borne Doppler lidar and laser communications using high-sensitivity digital modulation and detection. At Bell Labs since 2000, he has focused on various aspects of high-bandwidth fiber-optic communication systems, including Raman amplification, advanced optical modulation formats, multiplexing schemes, and receiver concepts, digital signal processing and coding, as well as on robust network architectures for dynamic data services. He contributed to several high-speed and high-capacity optical transmission records with interface rates from 10 Gb/s to 1 Tb/s, including the first 100G and the first 400G electronically multiplexed optical transmission systems and the first field trial of live 100G video traffic over an existing carrier network. Since 2008 he has been investigating and internationally promoting spatial multiplexing as a promising option to scale optical transport systems beyond the capacity limits of single-mode fiber. He currently heads the Optical Transmission Systems and Networks Research Department at Bell Labs in Holmdel, NJ. He has widely published and patented and is actively involved in technical and organizational tasks with the IEEE Photonics Society and The Optical Society (OSA). Dr. Winzer is a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher, the only one from industry in the Engineering category in 2015, a Bell Labs Fellow, a Fellow of the IEEE and the OSA, and an elected member of the US National Academy of Engineering. He received a Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award in 2017 and is the recipient of the 2018 John Tyndall Award.


Special Events

Special Symposium on Optical Fiber Sensing Technologies for Monitoring in Harsh Environment I and II

Monday, 2 July; 14:00-18:30
Location: Room D1.1

Organizers: Guillaume Laffont, CEA, France; Matthieu Lancry, Université Paris Sud, France
Supported by: CEA, Micron Optics, and IFOS

This symposium reports on the latest research and development related to the use of fiber optic sensing technologies to perform monitoring under harsh environments. These elements can be low or high temperatures (typically well outside of standards defined for telecommunications), high strain, high pressures, high voltage, high magnetic fields, vibrations, dust, explosive environments, and aggressive chemical and biological environments. The program features 3 invited speakers and 11 contributed papers. 

Invited speakers:
Richard J. Black, Intelligent Fiber Optic Systems, USA
Robert B. Walker, National Research Council Canada, Canada
Eric Lindner, FBGS Technologies GmbH, Germany

Congress Reception

Monday, 2 July; 18:30 - 20:00
Location: Polyterressa (Rain Location: Main Hall)

Enjoy food and drinks with your network and colleagues during the Congress Reception.

BGPP Industry Session

Tuesday, 3 July; 11:30 - 12:30
Location: Room D1.1

BGPP 2018 continues the long-standing tradition of addressing fundamental and technical issues of immediate and long-term application of fiber Bragg gratings and other devices fabricated by laser-matter-interaction. While fundamental aspects are covered by invited and contributed proceeding papers, the technical aspect is addressed in the Industry Session.

Speakers from 6 different companies have been invited to make a 10 min presentation to showcase their advanced products, to explain the underlying technology and working principle. Company professionals that are also presenting scientific work during the conference have been favored. Therefore, the scientists in the auditorium working in closely related areas may get easily into contact with the company professionals for various reasons. Scientist may see how applied research translates into new products and applications. Junior scientists may be stimulated to create tomorrow a start-up in the field or join a company. In this way BGPP encourages greater interaction between the industry professionals and scientist.

Student & Early Career Professional Development & Networking Lunch and Learn

Tuesday, 3 July; 12:30 - 13:30
Location: Room F33.1

Join us for an interactive lunch and learn program focused on professional development within the Advanced Photonics Field. This program will engage students and early career professionals with the key leaders in the field who will share their professional development journey and provide useful tips to those who attend. Lunch will be provided.

Programs are open to OSA Members.

Congress Banquet on Lake Zurich (Separate Fee Required)

Tuesday, 3 July; 19:00 - 22:00
Location: Zurich Burkliplatz

Join your colleagues for a special evening boat banquet on Lake Zurich. After a welcome beverage and brief welcome, dine aboard the MS Panta Rhei and enjoy the picturesque shoreline of Lake Zurich with the Alps in the distance. An additional ticket is required for this event; purchase ticket within registration.

Special Symposium on Innovative Grating-components and Grating-configurations for Fiber Lasers I and II

Wednesday, 4 July; 14:00-18:30
Location: Room D1.1

Organizers: Martin Bernier, COPL, Canada; Morten Ibsen, ORC - University of Southampton, UK
Supported by: Teraxion,PhotoNova, Inc., ITF Technologies, and Shenzhen JPT Opto-electronics

This symposium reports on novel and innovative configurations of gratings, including fiber and volume Bragg gratings, in conjunction with fiber lasers to further their performance and facilitate new application areas. It also covers innovative gratings and grating configurations from their design and optimization, through to their fabrication and application. The program features 4 invited speakers and 8 contributed papers.

Invited Speakers:
Real Vallee,  Universite Laval, Canada
Alex Fuerbach,  Macquarie University, Australia
Alexei L. Glebov, OptiGrate Corp., USA
Paul Westbrook, OFS Laboratories, USA

Lab Automation Hackathon

Wednesday, 4 July; 19:00 - 21:00
Location: Room F33.1
Organizers: Nick Fontaine and Roland Ryf, Nokia Bell Labs, USA

Have you ever wanted to automate your lab, get better/quicker at processing your data, make beautiful plots and figures and at the same time meet a bunch of cool scientists?  Well, you are in luck! We have 8 demos for various common lab automation tasks, ranging from simple remote control of optical instrumentation, data processing and photonic design simulations, all the way to full lab automation.  Students, professionals of all levels are welcome to learn and share their secret tips and tricks developed over the years.

Lab automation is becoming more and more important as lab equipment is growing more capable and optical experiments more complex. Especially experiments performed over longer time periods or requiring the acquisition of massive amount of data can significantly benefit from automation and allows researchers to concentrate on the more fun part of the experimental work. Open source software, which is widely available, can offer significant advantages over standard commercial software in terms of flexibility, modularity and compatibility. Low-cost system-on-chip controller running Linux (like the Raspberry Pi for example) can provide local controls and interfaces for instrumentation and coordinated using a local area network using Python as rapid prototyping programming language. Python is fun to learn and useful for lab automation as it runs on almost any computer and the functionality can be easily extended based on a comprehensive set of modules with good support for scientific applications.

In this hackathon, we will provide 8 stations/demos, each staffed with a researcher experienced in lab automation, which will cover the following topics:
  • Installing python on your computer (beginners)
  • Introduction to the Python programming language (beginners)
  • Python programming environment and web based tools (beginners)
  • Plots and graphics in Python (beginners)
  • Instrumentation control in Python
  • Remote control and coordination of multiple computer for lab automation (advanced)
  • Data processing on multicore and GPU based systems (advanced)
  • Python software for photonic design
Bring a laptop to participate in the exercise. There will be plenty of time for mingling and discussion.

BGPP Reception at The Lion Pub (for BGPP-registered attendees only; RSVP required)

Wednesday, 4 July; 19:00-22:00
Location: The Lion Pub
Sponsored by: Shenzhen JPT Opto-electronics

Join fellow BGPP attendees and sponsors for a BGPP-only reception at The Lion Pub Zurich. After a welcome beverage and brief welcome, network and enjoy drinks and hot & cold appetizers in this British Pub atmosphere.