Frequency conversion is one of the fundamental functionalities in optics. Nonlinear susceptibility based frequency conversion such as high harmonic generation and optical parametric oscillation is commonly used. In contrast, frequency converting luminescent materials rely on the strong interaction between optically active ions or molecules, exhibiting many orders of magnitude higher conversion efficiency than the better known mechanisms like second harmonic generation. The ability to convert incoherent photons at low intensities opens a variety of new applications such as solar energy conversion and fluorescence imaging.
Continued progress requires both deeper scientific understanding and novel technologies. For inorganic photon upconversion materials, the development of novel synthesis techniques has been and continues to be a key research area. Synthesis of high quality nanomaterials is of fundamental importance for both high performance and investigation of photon upconversion mechanisms. Also, it is necessary to explore new optically active ions and their interaction in various host materials. For organic materials, a deeper understanding of the chemical and physical properties of the interacting chromophores is required, as well as the development of novel chromophores and host media, to tune the spectral properties and excited-state photophysics to match the requirements of the desired application. Surface modification techniques for bioconjugation and coupling with other functional materials are also crucial for application developments. Also, the use of photonic nanostructures to control and enhance the photon conversion processes is of great interest. The nonlinear nature of the photon conversion process not only promises dramatic enhancements but also provides an excellent system to study nonlinear optical interactions in the nanoscale.
The symposium will gather a diverse set of researchers from physics, chemistry, materials science, and engineering. Cross-fertilization between inorganic and organic materials communities is particularly exciting. Invited abstracts on a diverse set of topics will be strategically arranged so as to ensure interdisciplinary interaction and accelerated progress toward high performance photon conversion materials.