As the IEEE Photonics Society's flagship meeting, the IEEE Photonics Conference's topics cover vast technical areas within the photonics community and the interests of our members. Attendees will be able to participate in plenaries, invited talks, panel discussions, tutorial sessions, short courses, and outreach events across the conference's topical areas.

Biophotonics and Medical Optics

Biophotonics and Medical Optics 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 and Medical Optics topics committee is soliciting papers in this multi-disciplinary field, covering the development, or refinement, of instruments and methods involving optics and photonics technology for applications in life sciences and biomedicine. 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
    • Optical tomography, including optical coherence tomography, photoacoustic imaging, and diffuse optical tomography
    • Spatial frequency domain and spectroscopic imaging
  • Dynamic light scattering techniques including diffusing wave spectroscopy and diffuse correlation spectroscopy
  • Endoscopy and other guided-wave implementations of imaging, such as catheters and needles
  • Biomedical spectroscopy, including Raman, fluorescence, and other techniques
  • Wavefront engineering for biomedical imaging, such as adaptive optics, light-sheet imaging, and imaging through scattering media
  • Computational imaging and computation and modeling in imaging and sensing
  • Materials (nano-, meta-, plasmonic) to enable emerging biophotonics applications
  • Biosensors, such as point-of-care devices, fiber sensors, and lab-on-chip, including micro- and opto-fluidics
  • Light and photonics-based techniques and procedures in biological manipulation, including optical trapping and actuation
  • Therapeutic uses of light and photonics-based technology
  • Applications of artificial intelligence in Biophotonics and Medical Optics

Detection, Sensing, and Energy

The subcommittee on Detection, Sensing, and Energy 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, quantum 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.
  • 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.

Light Sources

The subcommittee on Light Sources solicits papers on recent advances in the growths, computational designs, new theoretical concepts, fabrications, and characterizations of semiconductor lasers and sources. The subcommittee covers the basic sciences, devices, integrated technologies, and system-level implementation of semiconductor lasers and sources. The laser devices, sources, and integrated technologies will cover emission wavelengths from extreme ultraviolet up to terahertz spectral regimes. The specific areas of interest covered by this subcommittee include:

  • New theoretical and computational methods in semiconductor lasers
  • New material and engineered nanoscale active regions in semiconductor lasers
  • High-power lasers and laser arrays
  • Visible and short-wavelength lasers
  • Long-wavelength and quantum cascade lasers
  • Vertical cavity and other surface-emitting lasers
  • Light-emitting diodes, and solid state lighting
  • 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
  • Semiconductor lasers in quantum technologies and quantum engineering
  • Data sciences and machine learning in semiconductor laser designs
  • Application of semiconductor lasers in cyber-physical systems, resilient infrastructures, internet-of-things, and autonomous systems.

Materials, Foundries and Fabrication

Original papers bridging the gap between materials, integrated optoelectronic and photonic devices, circuits, systems, and PIC foundries are solicited in the subject areas including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Materials with novel electronic, optical, thermal, mechanical, and spin polarization and new properties, including the traditional solid-state materials, liquid crystals, materials for energy, epsilon-near-zero materials, emerging class of 2D materials (graphene, MoS2, TMDs, etc.), as well as quantum materials (h-BN, c-BN, diamond, etc.)
  • Material processing techniques: formation and processing of photonic materials and novel synthesis techniques for optical materials
  • Components and devices: lasers, modulators, detectors, waveguides; reflectors, filters, couplers, (de)multiplexers and sensors, ring resonators, etc.
  • Large-scale foundry PDK development for III-V and silicon-based integrated photonics
  • Monolithic, heterogeneous, hybrid integrations: blank and selective epitaxy, impurity disordering, organic/inorganic integration, nanomembrane and thin film stacking, dielectric/metallic integration.
  • Photonic integrated circuits and optoelectronic integrated circuits; photonic integrated circuits for non-telecom applications (sensing), visible and NIR PICs
  • Novel substrate integration/packaging techniques, including conventional semiconductors (III-Vs, Si, sapphire, etc.), glass, plastics, conformal and flexible substrates.
  • Advanced Packaging techniques: optical interposer, electronic, optical, mechanical device co-integration, 3D integration, fiber-to-chip attachment, polymer waveguides and waveguide arrays, housings and systems on chip, recent advances in manufacturing and packaging facilities supporting non-telecom photonics platforms.

Microwave Photonics and Vehicular Optics

The Microwave Photonics and Vehicular Optics topic area focuses on several exciting application areas for photonics. Microwave photonics describes photonic techniques and components that enable or enhance microwave systems, including signal generation and signal processing for defense and commercial applications. Vehicular optics incorporates photonic sensing and communications methods on moving platforms, including LIDAR for autonomous vehicles and free space optics for optical inter-satellite links. Papers are solicited on recent advances in this multidisciplinary topic area, including:

  • Components for analog systems (including low noise lasers, modulators, and photodetectors for microwave, millimeter wave, and terahertz frequencies)
  • Novel modeling / simulation and demonstrations of microwave photonic (MWP) and FSO components and systems, including monolithic, heterogeneous, and hybrid MWP integrated platforms
  • Photonic signal generation and characterization for microwave, millimeter-wave, and terahertz applications
  • RF Photonic Transport / RF over Fiber Systems
  • LADAR/LiDAR systems and applications
  • FSO communication links for air and ground vehicles
  • Qualification and packaging of photonic components, systems, and standards for field and platform applications in harsh environments
  • MWP subsystems and integration of photonic-electronic platforms, including photonic filtering, conversion between analog and digital signals, and manipulation of microwave amplitude and phase in the optical domain
  • Vehicle optical network architectures, wavelength division multiplexing, and components
  • Operation and maintenance of fielded photonic systems

Nano Photonics, Plasmonics, and Metamaterials

This topic covers theoretical and experimental advances in engineering light-matter interactions through photonic and plasmonic structures, metamaterials, and novel material systems. Representative areas include but are not limited to:

  • Micro- and nano-photonics in dielectric and metallic materials and low-dimensional materials
  • Optical phenomena in nanophotonic, plasmonic, and metamaterial systems across UV, visible, infrared, mid-infrared, and THz regimes
  • Design and fabrication of material platforms with periodic or subwavelength dielectric profiles (such as photonic bandgap structures, metamaterials, and metasurfaces)
  • Quantum-confined systems including quantum dots and nanowires
  • Nanoscale control of optical forces (such as optical tweezers) and optomechanics (such as cavity optomechanics and acoustic metamaterials)
  • Nanophotonic, plasmonic, and metamaterial systems for communication, computing, sensing, and energy applications

Nonlinear Photonics and Novel Optical Phenomena

This topic focuses on the general area of nonlinear photonics and novel optical phenomena. The topic seeks contributions ranging from theoretical and experimental studies of novel phenomena using light to engineering developments of devices and systems utilizing nonlinearities. Example topics include but are not limited to:

  • Nonlinear optics in solids, fluids, gasses, and plasma
  • Nonlinear optics in nanophotonics and integrated platforms
  • Nonlinear dynamics including laser dynamics, soliton formation, and related phenomena
  • Collective behaviors of coupled optical systems
  • Topological and non-Hermitian Photonics
  • Coherent sources in unconventional wavelength ranges from THz to mid-infrared, visible, UV, and x-ray
  • Novel sources of coherent radiation and applications
  • Ultrafast optics and applications
  • Attosecond physics and applications
  • Optical frequency comb sources and applications
  • Intense field phenomena
  • New nonlinear photonic materials 

Topic Keywords:
Nonlinear photonics and phenomena; parametric processes; wavelength conversion; supercontinuum generation; nonlinear dynamics; photonic solitons; non-Hermitian photonics; topological phenomena in photonics; ultra-short pulse and ultrafast photonics; nonlinear pulse propagation and interaction; X-rays and plasma; attosecond science; high precision metrology and frequency comb technology; magnetophotonics; acoustophotonics; photoacoustic effects; light-matter interactions; integrated nonlinear optics; nano-scale nonlinear optics; Mie-resonant dielectric and semiconductor nanoparticles, bound states in the continuum, near-zero-index materials, spin angular momentum of light and photonic skyrmions; new materials and nano- and micro-structures for nonlinear optics; nonlinear scattering effects.

Optical AI and Computational Photonics

Information processing is taking an ever-increasing relevance in businesses and our daily lives. With massive data being routed in the optical domain, naturally the question arises of what opportunities and advances exist in (pre)processing those optical data in the optical domain. The committee seeks papers discussing highlights and discusses recent advances, roadmaps, and innovation prospects from academia and industry alike. Of particular interest are approaches and system considerations on i) photonics for machine learning; ii) photonic hardware accelerators; iii) algorithm-hardware homomorphism; iv) reconfigurable photonic systems; and v) emerging materials for storage, quantum, and AI applications. Topics of interest and focus but not limited are summarized here:

  • Neural Networks & Spiking Neurons
  • Tensor Core Processors
  • Non Van-Neumann Optical Information Accelerators
  • Brain-inspired computing
  • Memristive Materials & Photonic Memory
  • Coherent Ising Machines
  • Inverse Design Approaches
  • Parallelization Strategies   
  • Modeling & Software Approaches
  • AI for Photonics & Photonics for AI
  • Free-space Optics Solutions
  • Ultra-fast Optics for IT
  • System Analysis: Domain-crossing Challenges & Solutions
  • Scaling Laws & Roadmapping
  • Artificial Vision
  • Network-edge vs. Cloud Applications

Optical Communication and Networks

This sub-committee solicits papers on analysis, modeling, demonstration, and implementation of digital optical networks and systems, ranging from telecom and datacom applications to radio-over-fiber and free-space, and including software defined optical networks orchestration and control. The topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

Optical Fiber Transmission Systems and Subsystems

  • Optical modulation, detection, coding, and digital signal processing in optical fibers and spatial division multiplexing systems
  • Impairments specific to digital optical fiber communication systems (e.g., fiber nonlinearity, 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
  • Machine learning methods for signal processing and network planning and design
  • All-optical signal processing
  • Design, performance and control of network elements and nodes

Core and Metro Optical Networks

  • Optical network architectures, design and performance evaluation
  • Traffic modelling, routing algorithms and protocols
  • Bandwidth allocation algorithms and protocols
  • Optical performance monitoring for transport networks
  • Energy efficient/green optical networks
  • Optical network security
  • Elastic networks and networking
  • Transport network demonstrations, test-beds, and field trials

Access Optical Networks and Systems

  • High-speed optical access system technologies and applications 
  • WDM-PON, TDM-PON, TWDM-PON and other multiple access PON technologies
  • PON virtualization and network function virtualization applied to optical access
  • Energy efficient optical access networks 
  • FTTx and next-generation passive optical networks
  • Access network demonstrations, test-beds, and field trials

Datacom and Computercom Networks and Systems

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

Radio-over-Fiber and Free Space Optical Systems
Radio-over-fiber and free-space optical systems, which are concerned with the development and improvement of broadband wireless communication systems and networks.

  • Radio-over-fiber (RoF) systems including analog and digital transport
  • Hybrid wireless-optical systems
  • Visible and IR free-space optical communication systems, including visible light communications (VLC) and under-water communications.

Optical Communication: Devices, Interconnects and Subsystems

This topic seeks original submissions in the design and/or realization of active/passive devices, interconnects, and subsystems that support optical communications at all levels, i.e., intra and inter fiber optics, photonic integrated circuits, boards, and modules. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Amplifiers, modulators, multiplexers, filters, equalizers, switches, routers
  • Signal processing, performance monitoring, compensation
  • Solutions for integration and packaging, technologies for transceivers and modules
  • The use of light’s degrees of freedom, i.e., space, mode, polarization, wavelength, orthogonal frequency, time
  • The application of Raman, Brillouin, phase-sensitivity and -insensitivity, supercontinuum, mid-infrared, other nonlinearities, optical frequency combs
  • The use of LCOS, MEMS, plasmonics, metasurfaces, bulk optics, integrated photonics, gratings, phase masks, and optical fibers
  • The use of novel optical fibers such as multicore, multi-/few-mode, hollow core, chalcogenide, semiconductor, photonic crystal, doped
  • Co-packaging of optical interconnects including packaging, applications, data rates, energy consumption, fiber routing, etc.

Propagation, Spectroscopy and Imaging

This sub-committee solicits papers on advancements in optics and photonics with applications to spectroscopy, imaging, and microscopy/nanoscopy. The topics include (but are not limited to) the following:


  • Applications in spectral ranges covering the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and THz
  • Linear and nonlinear spectroscopic methods (fluorescence, photoacoustic, photothermal, multiphoton, etc)
  • Techniques for in-situ measurements in turbulent/scattering media (atmosphere, water, etc)
  • Ultrafast spectroscopy
  • Multidimensional spectroscopy
  • Applications of frequency combs and super continuum generation to spectroscopy and imaging
  • Hyperspectral techniques for inspection and remote sensing
  • Vibrational spectroscopy

Imaging, Microscopy, and Nanoscopy

  • Diffraction-limited and super-resolution optical techniques including PALM, STORM, STED, adaptive optics to enhance the spatial resolution
  • Structured illumination microscopy and other wide-field super-resolution techniques
  • Deep learning and neural networks for imaging
  • Nonlinear optical imaging/microscopy, including techniques such as SHG, THG, CARS, SRS, 2PEF, 3PEF, transient absorption (pump-probe) microscopy, multi-photon and multi-modal imaging.
  • Photoacoustic imaging and photothermal infrared microscopy
  • Ultrashort pulse/ultrafast microscopy and time-stretch imaging
  • Interferometric techniques including interferometric scattering (iSCAT) microscopy, Quantitative phase imaging/microscopy, and optical coherence tomography
  • THz imaging and nanoscopy
  • LIDAR and multi/hyperspectral imaging
  • Lensless and computational imaging
  • Fourier ptychography
  • Compressive sensing and image processing
  • Novel imaging and microscopic methods

Nonlinear Optics

  • Surface enhancement and plasmonics
  • Metamaterials
  • Supercontinuum phenomena
  • Nonlinear phenomena in synthetic structures/materials
  • Nonlinear propagation
  • THz region nonlinear phenomena
  • Integrated nonlinear optics

Quantum Photonics

The topic focuses on photonic engineering solutions and technologies for quantum information science. These encompass complex systems such communication links, high capacity quantum channels, optical networks and photonic processing circuits as well as components comprising such systems, such as quantum gates and memories, quantum encoders and transducers. We are interested in on-chip hybrid quantum photonic integration technologies and novel light-matter interactions paradigms as well as methods and approaches to creation, manipulation, storage, control and transmission of entangled quantum states. Novel applications of optical quantum processors and networks as well as technologies that enable these applications and functionalities in communication, sensing, metrology, distributed computing and quantum information processing.

  • Quantum Information Systems: computational circuits, quantum communication networks.
  • System Components: high-capacity photonic channels, gates, memories, quantum encoders and transducers, on-chip miniaturization approaches.
  • Demonstrated functionalities: creation, storage, control and distribution of entangled states
  • Application of quantum processors in sensing, metrology, distributed quantum information processing