The Polytechnic City of Innovation (Science Park of the Universitat Politècnica de València) hosted the 20th European Conference on Integrated Optics (ECIO 2018) from the 30th May to the 1st June. The conference brought together more than 200 experts in integrated optics, optoelectronics and nano-photonics from all over the world.
Photonics, an emerging technology
“Photonics is a cutting-edge technology that sets the basis for innovation across a wide range of industrial sectors, including biomedicine, food, communications, biological weapons detection and aerospace, with a huge potential to fuel economic growth and provide highly qualified jobs”, stated prof. Pascual Muñoz, senior researcher at the Photonics Research Labs of the iTEAM Research Institute and co-chair of this edition located in Valencia.
Microchips we can massively find today in our smartphones and computers involve the flow of electrons. Integrated Optics industry is developing microchips that use photons (the elementary particle of light) instead, since photon-based technologies can go to much higher frequencies in a far more energy efficient manner.
Early disease diagnosis and quantum cryptography
Latest advances in biomedical photonic sensing presented during the conference demonstrate the increasing influence of Photonics in our everyday life. Photonic sensors enable early diagnosis of cardiovascular pathologies, certain types of cancer and serious diseases like Alzheimer, Parkinson and diabetes.
Quantum computing is another exciting field of application. The significant progress made in the development of quantum random number generators was discussed during the conference. This technology will play a key role in the future of cryptography, what will improve the privacy and security of bank transactions, e-commerce and electronic administration, to mention just a few examples.