Skip To Content

OSA Incubator Meeting
Nanophotonic Devices: Beyond Classical Limits

14-16 May 2014
OSA Headquarters • 2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW • Washington, DC, USA


Volker J. Sorger, The George Washington University, United States; Jung Park, Intel Corporation, United States;
Pablo A. Postigo, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain; Fengnian Xia, Yale University, United States


Topic Overview

Over the last decade, on-chip integrated opto-electronic circuits such as the silicon and III-V platforms showed great potential for big-data bandwidth applications. However, while the photonic device performance is steadily increasing, the inherently weak light-matter-interactions (LMI) sets fundamental limits to critical performance metrics such as footprint (i.e. integration density), speed (i.e. bandwidth), and drive power.


The objective of this incubator was to determine the ultimate device limitations while suggesting potential solutions to overcome them. Expertise, vision, and insights from all-of-the-above (i.e. academia, industry, government) were shared, discussed, and gathered resulting in an accelerated pathway for future research and shortened communication between all players.

Guiding Questions

  1. Exploring the frontier: What are the fundamental and physical limitations of opto-electronic device?
  2. Staying real: What additional constraints are imposed by realistic challenges such as material, processing, integration?
  3. Ultimate Performance: How do these limitations relate to the ultimate achievable speed, power, and scaling for future photonic solutions?
  4. In the pipeline: What solutions are currently in the pipeline to overcome these challenges?
  5. Perspectives: What are the viewpoints of industry and the government (e.g. military & security) to guide future research towards faster time-to-market?

Program Overview

This incubator featured multiple discussion panels, in-depth breakout sessions for detailed discussions and exchange, in these four sessions:

  • Session A: Understanding & Determination of Device Limits
  • Session B: Solutions & Approaches to address Limitations
  • Session C: Industry & Government Perspective
  • Session D: Merging Nanophotonics with Classical Photonics

The aim for this Incubator Meeting was not only to investigate solutions from a hypothetical standpoint, but from a realistic and industrial-viable one with a potential time-to-market in 5-10 years. While this Incubator was primarily device-focused, constraints from systems and mission-critical performance were incorporated. With exploring topics such as short-reach interconnects, nanoscale light sources, and active switches, the meeting explored both the challenges and opportunities to overcome all relevant limits towards defining the “next generation” building blocks for photonics integrated circuits. In particular focusing on device integration that satisfies future data and computing demands for consumer IT, web 2.0, defense, and national security and intelligence purposes. By bringing together the research and development sides of the field, this Incubator aimed to kickstart a longer conversation to ultimately accelerate prototyping and time-to-market, while identifying potential funding opportunities.

Meeting Sponsors


Meeting Schedule

Click here to view the full agenda
Image for keeping the session alive