This volume represents the fifth in a series of books entitled International Trends in Optics, initiated in 1989 by the International Commission for Optics (ICO). These books, which are published every three years, highlight the advances and thrusts in optics that are underway at the time of their publication. The books previously published in the series are
• International Trends in Optics (1991), edited by J.W. Goodman of the United
• Current Trends in Optics (1994), edited by J.C. Dainty of the United Kingdom;
• Trends in Optics—Research, Developments and Applications (1996), edited
by A. Consortini of Italy;
• International Trends in Optics and Photonics (1999), edited by T. Asakura
The first three volumes were published by Academic Press, and the fourth was published by Springer-Verlag (Tables of Contents for these may be found on pp. xxiii–xxvii, immediately following this preface). Another purpose of this series of books is to highlight the activities of ICO and, most importantly, to raise funds to support activities such as traveling lecturers, primarily to developing nations. As such, all royalties are given to the ICO for that purpose.
The world of optics has changed greatly since the first volume was published in 1991. The early tracts focused primarily on more theoretical and fundamental optics studies. However, principally as a result of the publication Harnessing Light, Optical Science and Engineering for the 21st Century, published by the National Research Council (the administrative arm of the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering and Institutes of Medicine, USA), the world is coming to recognize the ubiquitous nature of optics and its primarily enabling role in our everyday world; e.g., it is through a relatively small investment in the optical techniques of photolithography that we realize the major pervasiveness of semiconductor technology in our daily lives. I have therefore chosen to slightly alter the title of this series of volumes to “International Trends in Applied Optics,” as it is through the application of photonics and optics that we will appreciate the significance of optics in our life. It is through the contextual aspects of its use that we can appreciate its impact. In fact, many refer to the twenty-first century as the “Age of Light” because of the growing importance and significance of optics and photonics in new developing areas, such as information technology, biomedical, defense, manufacturing, the environment and energy, and education and research. One such emerging technology is nanoscience or micro-electro-mechanical systems, where by means of a single integrated device we will be able to sense, think, act, and communicate primarily through optical means or optically assisted fabrication techniques. Thus, I felt it was time to take a more applied approach in this text.
The reader will find herein a collection of significant contributions from leading scientists and engineers throughout the world. Hopefully this book will enhance the visibility of ICO as well as enable the society to meet its goal to promote the global optics enterprise. Many chapters also show the wide and diverse role optics plays in modern society throughout the world.
Optics cannot be considered as the sole technological activity used to achieve many of today’s applications, for we live in a multidisciplinary world; we now see optics taking its rightful place along with mechanical, thermal, electrical and electronic options, many times in collaboration in order to bring an optimum solution to an application. Thus, Volume V consists of 28 chapters, many of which show optics working in conjunction with other technologies for a resolution to some application. The book is divided into 7 sections:
1. Processing and Fabrication
2. Optical Materials
3. Components and Sources
5. Recognition and Sensing
6. Wave Optics
7. Miscellaneous Applications.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of the authors for their excellent contributions. It has been a pleasure to interact with these stellar individuals and recognize their stature through a contribution in this text, the purpose for which it is intended to fulfill. I would also like to specifically thank SPIE—The International Society of Optical Engineering, the society for applied optics, and in particular Sharon Streams for her most professional role in ensuring a timely and high-quality publication that will be brought to the attention of those who would most benefit from its exposure.
For Optics and Photonics,
Arthur H. Guenther
President, International Commission for Optics
Center for High TechnologyMaterials
University of New Mexico, USA