New Focus™ and the Optical Society of America Announce Finalists for Student Award



Contact: New Focus, a division of Bookham:
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New Focus and the Optical Society of America Announce Finalists for Student Award

Students from Around the World to Compete for Awards Totaling $14,000 Recognizing Outstanding Scientific Achievements at CLEO/QELS 2007

WASHINGTON, May X The Optical Society of America (OSA) and New Focus, a division of Bookham today announced the finalists of the 2007 OSA New Focus Student Award, which recognizes student researchers who exemplify the skills critical to scientific achievement: excellence in research, presentation and leadership.

This years competition attracted 34 submissions from a number of prominent colleges and universities, both in the United States and abroad. Competition finalists are:

  • Kenneth Chau, University of Alberta, Canada
  • Michael Chung-Yi Huang, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • Keisuke Lucas Goda, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Hong Chuyen Nguyen, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Yoshi Okawachi, Cornell University, USA
  • Giovanni Volpe, Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques, Spain
  • Ying Zhou, University of Central Florida, USA

Six of the seven finalists will each receive a $1,500 cash prize and the top-ranked finalist will receive $5,000.

The OSA New Focus awards are designed to recognize students who exhibit exceptional technical proficiency plus deliver this expertise in a professional and inspiring manner to an audience of mentors and colleagues, said Elizabeth Rogan, OSA executive director. These seven finalists have worked hard to get to this point of the competition. Were all looking forward to their presentations on May 8th. New Focus plays a critical role in the development of these students in the optics and photonics community.

An independent selection committee chose the student finalists based on a thorough review of their individual research, as well as reference letters. The seven finalists will be evaluated on oral presentations of their research at the 2007 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO)/ Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (QELS), taking place May 6-11 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md. Each finalist will give a 15-minute presentation on his or her unique research, the last evaluation in the selection process.

Members of the press and the public are welcome to attend this event, which begins at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8 in room 328 of the Baltimore Convention Center. A reception precedes the presentations beginning at 4 p.m.

The finalist will be announced for the first time during the CLEO/QELS Plenary Session on Wednesday morning, May 9. The session begins at 8 a.m. in Ballroom III/IV on the fourth floor of the convention center.

This marks the tenth year of the OSA New Focus Student Awards Competition. In ten years, we have seen many outstanding student presentations and past winners have gone on to hugely successful careers," said Dr. Herman Chui, director of marketing for New Focus, a division of Bookham. This year's finalists demonstrate the qualities of today's industry thought leaders and we look forward to honoring them at the conference.

This years finalists will present their original papers on the following topics:

Kenneth Chau, University of Alberta
Magnetically Anisotropic Photon Transport
We report on observations of magnetically anisotropic terahertz transmission through mesoscopic ferromagnetic media. Transmission anisotropy arises from anisotropic magnetoresistance inherent to ferromagnets. The findings pave the way to a new class of magnetically-active devices.

Michael Chung-Yi Huang, University of California, Berkeley
Nano Electromechanical Optoelectronic Tunable VCSEL
We present nano-electromechanical optoelectronic (NEMO) tunable VCSELs utilizing an electrostatic-actuated single-layer, high-index-contrast subwavelength grating. Ultra-low threshold of 0.2mA and single mode emission with continuously wavelength tuning range of 6.5nm was experimentally obtained.

Keisuke Lucas Goda, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A Quantum-Enhanced Laser-Interferometric Gravity-Wave Detector
We report on the experimental demonstration of quantum-enhancement in a Heisenberg-limited laser-interferometric gravity-wave detector for detection of gravitational waves from astronomical sources. A squeezed field generated by an optical parametric oscillator is injected into the detector to increase the sensitivity and, thereby, the signal-to-noise ratio.

Hong Chuyen Nguyen, University of Sydney
Effect of Two-Photon Absorption on All-Optical Switching using Long-Period Gratings in As2 Se3 Chalcogenide Fiber
We show that two-photon absorption can actually improve the performance of a long-period grating switch in highly nonlinear As2 Se3 chalcogenide fiber. We demonstrate numerically and experimentally low power switching behavior at pulse intensities around 300MW/cm2.

Yoshi Okawachi, Cornell University
Large Tunable Optical Delays via Self-Phase Modulation and Dispersion
We demonstrate continuously tunable delays and advancements of 3.5-ps pulses over a total range of more than 1200 pulsewidths in optical fiber using a combination of nonlinear spectral broadening and filtering.

Giovanni Volpe, Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques, Spain
Photonic Torque Microscope
The statistical analysis of the Brownian motion of an optically trapped sub-micron sphere permits us to measure the torque acting on it. Compared to other techniques, this method achieves higher torque sensitivity and could be applied to proteins, DNA, or synthetic nanomotors.

Ying Zhou, University of Central Florida
High Performance Photonic Band-Edge Cholesteric Liquid Crystal Lasers
A high performance mirrorless cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) laser is demonstrated. By incorporating a CLC passive reflector or a CLC resonator cavity, the original photonic band-edge lasing mode is maintained while the output power is enhanced by more than two orders of magnitude and beam divergence reduced by one order of magnitude.


With a distinguished history as one of the industrys leading events on laser science, the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and the Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (CLEO/QELS) is where laser technology was first introduced. CLEO/QELS combines the strength of peer-reviewed scientific programming with an applications-focused exhibition to showcase the present and future of this technology. Sponsored by the American Physical Societys (APS) Laser Science Division, the Institute of Electronic Engineers/Laser and Electro-Optics Society (IEEE/LEOS) and the Optical Society of America (OSA), CLEO/QELS provides an educational forum, complete with a dynamic Plenary, short courses, tutorials, workshops and more, on topics as diverse as its attendee base whose broad spectrum of interests range from biomedicine to defense to optical communications and beyond. For more information, visit the conferences Web site at

About Bookham & New Focus, a division of Bookham

Bookham, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKHM) is a global leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of optical components, modules and subsystems. The companys optical components, modules and subsystems are used in various applications and industries, including telecommunications, data communications, aerospace, industrial and military. Since 2002, the company has acquired the optical components businesses from Nortel Networks and Marconi, as well as Ignis Optics, Inc., the business of Cierra Photonics Inc., New Focus, Inc., and Onetta, Inc. The company has manufacturing facilities in the UK, US, China and Switzerland; and offices in the US, UK, France and Italy and employs approximately 2000 people worldwide.

Since 1990 New Focus, a division of Bookham, has been a leader in innovative photonics solutions for the semiconductor, life sciences, defense, industrial, test and measurement and research markets. The New Focus product portfolio includes tunable lasers, optoelectronics, optomechanics and advanced photonics tools and subsystems.

More information on Bookham, Inc. is available at and

Bookham and all other Bookham, Inc. product names and slogans are trademarks or registered trademarks of Bookham, Inc. in the USA or other countries.

About OSA

Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society of America (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit