Paul Crump served as the General Chair of the 27th ISLC and is the Head of Lab for High Power Diode Lasers at Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Berlin, Germany (

It’s a wrap! After years of preparation and in spite of the operating challenges from the COVID-pandemic, the ISLC returned successfully to Germany in 2021 after a 20-year pause. The conference wrapped up on 14 October, on a beautiful autumn day in the Dorint Hotel in historic Potsdam, just outside the capital Berlin. The 27th ISLC was the first hybrid event in the conference’s history and was filled to capacity, with both in-person attendance (over 100) and the in-person exhibition selling out, complemented by over 100 on-line attendees, more than matching attendance in previous years. The ISLC succeeded thanks to a huge effort by its organizers, the team at the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, excellent support from the conference chairs, the program committee and the IEEE Photonics Society as technical sponsors as well as enthusiastic participation from the semiconductor laser community. We saw especially strong technical on-line participation from the Japanese community, even though travelling was not possible. Indeed, Program Chair Akihiko Kasukawa from Furukawa Electric, was the only in-person representative from the entire Asia-Pacific region, continuing his untiring support of the ISLC.

General Chairs of the ISLC in 2021 (Crump, Right) and next time in 2022 (Kasukawa, Left) [Image (C) FBH / Vlach].
Aris Koulas-Simos from TU Berlin receiving his poster prize for his nice work on nanolasers [Image (C) FBH / Vlach].
Chairs of the ISLC in 2021, at the conference banquet. Left to right: Leisher (Americas chair), Crump (General chair), Kasukawa (Program chair) and Bente (Europe, Mid-East and Africa chair). Nobu Nishiyama the Asia / Pacific chair sadly could not attend in person [Image (C) FBH / Vlach].
Lively discussion in hybrid mode during David Schleuning’s Sunday Workshop on LIDAR sources [Image (C) FBH / Vlach].

We had a packed program with many exciting legend-, plenary-, invited- and contributed talks, workshops and discussions in the traditional multi-topic, single-session ISLC format, including live and online poster sessions and a packed post-deadline session. The content was truly internationally organized and attended, and offered a condensed summary of progress across the whole semiconductor laser and LED field, including a first-time expanded discussion of advanced detectors. For example, in my own expert area of high-power diode lasers, I was delighted to see strongly increased output powers and efficiencies in many different classes of devices, including THz lasers (first exceeding 1 W), PSCELs (first with 29 W continuous wave) and edge-emitters (first 1-cm bars with 2.2 kW). 

The technology behind the hybrid conference, courtesy of our partners at Bärlin Team GmbH. Here, enabling Nobu Nishiyama’s Sunday Workshop on Advanced Photodetection [Image (C) FBH / Vlach].
Questions and answers during technical sessions [Image (C) FBH / Vlach].
Technical discussions during the exhibition [Image (C) FBH / Vlach].
Tour of the sights of historical Potsdam on the final day [Image (C) FBH / Vlach].

In an important step, the ISLC community also took time to honor the achievements of two sadly departed eminent scientists, who both made a major contribution to the field and the ISLC itself, in a special in-memoriam session: Prof. Markus-Christian Amann (Walter Schottky Institute of the Technical University of Munich) and Prof. Peter S. Zory (University of Florida). We also recognized exciting progress by the next generation of laser scientists, with the IEEE Photonics Society’s $400 prize for the best student poster awarded to Aris Koulas-Simos from TU Berlin for his nice work on nanolasers.

In a final effort after the conference closes, ISLC authors have the opportunity to publish expanded versions of their 2021 conference presentations as articles in a special issue of the IEEE Photonics Journal on Advances in Semiconductors – deadline 4 Feb 2022, don’t forget! (Call for Papers)

Overall, it’s been an honor to serve, I’m pleased and proud of the results of all our efforts on the ISLC, and excited by the ongoing excellent progress and many opportunities in the semiconductor laser field. Now though, the conference moves on, with Akihiko Kasukawa taking over from me as General Chair for the next ISLC2022 in Matsue, Japan: I wish Aki and his team much success, and encourage you all to attend!