Focuses


2017

Tenth anniversary

Nature Photonics Vol. 11, No. 1 (January 2017)

In January 2017, Nature Photonics celebrates the tenth anniversary of its launch with a series of specially commissioned features. Eight articles discuss the evolution and future outlook of research in the fields of photovoltaics, optical communications, imaging, terahertz science, quantum optics, organic optoelectronics, X-ray science and plasmonics. These are complemented by a visual representation of the Nobel Prizes related to photonics that have been awarded in the past 10 years, a compilation of our favourite textbooks and an editorial reflecting on the developments of the past decade.

2016

2D materials

Nature Photonics Vol. 10, No. 4 (April 2016)

The development of atomically thin layers of van der Waals bonded solids with interesting optoelectronic properties has opened up new possibilities for exploring 2D physics and designing miniature photonic devices such as optical modulators, light emitters and saturable absorbers.

2015

Spin–orbit interactions

Nature Photonics Vol. 9, No. 12 (December 2015)

The ability to induce coupling between the spin angular momenta and orbital angular momenta of photons is creating new opportunities for preparing unique states of light and performing new forms of optical manipulation. This focus describes the theory and mechanisms behind the coupling and a discussion of the potential applications.

Maxwell anniversary

Nature Photonics Vol. 9, No. 1 (January 2015)

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the formulation of Maxwell's equations which lie at the heart of our understanding of electromagnetism and the behaviour of light waves. This focus brings together a collection of articles charting the development, impact and modern day use of Maxwell's equations.

2014

Performance of photovoltaics

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Nature Photonics (December 2014)

While power generation using silicon solar panels has steadily been increasing over the years, alternative materials that could compete with this technology in terms of efficiency and module costs are intensely being investigated. Yet, to allow for a fair assessment of new photovoltaic technologies, characterization of light-conversion performance should be conducted according to commonly agreed basic rules. This joint web focus collects a series of opinion pieces, recently published in Nature Materials, Nature Nanotechnology and Nature Photonics, that discuss the importance of reporting accurate device performance.

Nanophotonics and Metamaterials

Nature Photonics Vol. 8, No. 12 (December 2014)

The creation of photonic materials, circuitry, devices and probes that act on the nanoscale is yielding new opportunities for controlling light in the sub-wavelength regime. The result could be higher density information storage and processing, and improved sensing and imaging capabilities.

Attosecond photonics

Nature Photonics Vol. 8, No. 3 (March 2014)

Attosecond photonics, currently one of the most promising branches of modern photonics, is progressing at an extremely rapid pace. Although still in its infancy, it has already captured the imagination of the scientific community with its promise of enhancing our understanding of ultrafast phenomena of direct relevance to life, technology and potentially medicine.

2013

Fibre Lasers

Nature Photonics Vol. 7, No. 11 (November 2013)

Thanks to recent developments, lasers based on fibre media with gain are simple, reliable and cost effective. Topics covered in this focus include high-power sources, ultrafast fibre lasers, industry's perspective on the developments in the field over the past decade, applications such as biomedical imaging, and nanotube- and graphene–based saturable absorbers for fibre lasers

Terahertz Optics

Nature Photonics Vol. 7, No. 9 (September 2013)

This Focus Issue describes the interaction mechanism between terahertz radiation and matter. Topics covered include terahertz sources, on- and off-resonant control using intense terahertz pulses, quantum cascade lasers, superconducting terahertz emitters and terahertz plasmonics.

Disorder

Nature Photonics Vol. 7, No. 3 (March 2013)

The issue describes how light interacts with disordered, aperiodic and strongly scattering media to realize a variety of interesting optical phenomena. Topics covered include photonic quasi-crystals, random lasing, Anderson localization and hyper-transport of light as well as potential applications in imaging and next-generation light sources.

2012

Plasmonics

Nature Photonics Vol. 6, No. 11 (November 2012)

Plasmonics takes advantage of the coupling of light to charges like electrons in metals, and allows breaking the diffraction limit for the localization of light into sub-wavelength dimensions enabling strong field enhancements. This Focus Issue covers some of the recent developments in the field including, non-linear plasmonics, acousto-magneto effects, plasmons on graphene and bio-sensor applications.

Mid-infrared photonics

Nature Photonics Vol. 6, No. 7 (July 2012)

The mid-infrared spectral region of 2-20 μm contains strong characteristic vibrational transitions of many important molecules as well as two atmospheric transmission windows of 3-5 μm and 8-13 μm, which makes it crucial for applications in spectroscopy, materials processing, chemical and biomolecular sensing, security and industry. This Focus Issue covers recent developments in sophisticated laser technologies such as quantum cascade lasers, fibre lasers and frequency combs, and discusses how plasmonics can be exploited in the mid-infrared regime.

Photovoltaics

Nature Photonics Vol. 6, No. 3 (March 2012)

Photovoltaics is expected to provide the next generation of safe, secure, sustainable and affordable energy. The challenges now are to reduce costs and improve power-conversion efficiencies. This Focus Issue covers cutting-edge solar cell technologies such as polymer, dye-sensitized and intermediate-band solar cells, as well as advanced light-harvesting techniques based on plasmonics and quantum dots. Also included is an interview with the world's largest solar-cell manufacturer on the future of the photovoltaic industry.

2011

Optofluidics

Nature Photonics Vol. 5, No. 10 (October 2011)

Although the term 'optofluidics' is less than 10 years old, the combination of light and non-solids is being exploited by researchers who are finding applications in fields ranging from imaging, detection of chemical or biological agents and particle control, through to enhancing photonic circuits and energy generation. The October 2011 issue of Nature Photonics has a special focus on optofluidics dedicated to some of the latest advances in field.

Optical Manipulation

Nature Photonics Vol. 5, No. 6 (June 2011)

Since their invention 25 years ago, optical tweezers have become the method of choice for physical, chemical and biological experiments that require access to nanometre-scale distances and piconewton-scale forces. The June 2011 issue of Nature Photonics has a special focus on optical manipulation that describes how beam shaping, the orbital angular momentum of laser light, nano-optics and optoelectronics could help advance the field, as well as detailing the impact of optical manipulation in single-molecule biophysics.

Next-Generation Metrology

Nature Photonics Vol. 5, No. 4 (April 2011)

This focus issue brings together a collection of articles that describe the importance and latest progress of optical frequency combs, optical lattice clocks and quantum metrology, as well as techniques for measuring Casimir forces in complex microstructured geometries and ultrashort laser pulses — all of which are essential for realizing next-generation optical metrology.

2010

X-rays

Nature Photonics Vol. 4, No. 12 (December 2010)

New X-ray sources that combine laser technology with novel imaging techniques promise to probe the world around us at atomic spatial and temporal scales. This month, Nature Photonics presents a special focus issue dedicated to the latest advances in X-ray optics.

Silicon photonics

Nature Photonics Vol. 4, No. 8 (August 2010)

The field of silicon photonics is gaining significant momentum because it allows optical devices to be made cheaply using standard semiconductor fabrication techniques and integrated with microelectronic chips. This Focus Issue provides a comprehensive collection of articles that review up-to-date progress and the latest news in the field, as well as giving some ideas about what the future has in store and what challenges should be expected.

2009

Quantum optics

Nature Photonics Vol. 3, No. 12 (December 2009)

The optical world has long been the perfect playground for exploring quantum mechanics. Quantum dreams, from communications and teleportation through to computing and metrology, are shaping into reality. This special Focus Issue provides a glimpse into the tremendous progress that has been made and the challenges that remain for the bright future of quantum optics.

Super-resolution imaging

Nature Photonics Vol. 3, No. 7 (July 2009)

Optical imaging beyond the diffraction limit of light is revolutionizing sample analysis in the biological and physical sciences. In this special Focus Issue, a collection of articles are presented, detailing the fundamental physics, the different approaches and the applications where super-resolution imaging can be of help.

2008

Slow light

Nature Photonics Vol. 2, No. 8 (August 2008)

Control over the velocity of light pulses leads to a host of exciting opportunities. In this special issue of Nature Photonics, we present a collection of articles that describe the evolution of the field, the fundamental physics and the different approaches that are developing.

First-anniversary highlights

Nature Photonics Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 2007)

January 2008 marks the first anniversary of the launch of Nature Photonics. To celebrate, the editors have put together their highlights from the first 12 issues. The selection reflects the diversity of Nature Photonics content — in style of article and in the topics covered. We hope you enjoy it.

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