Table of contents



Celebrating philanthropy p281


The 2016 Rank Prize for optoelectronics has been awarded to the inventors of the arrayed waveguide grating. Lord Rank's philanthropy deserves greater recognition.



Photocarrier lifetime and recombination losses in photovoltaic systems pp282 - 283

Almantas Pivrikas, Bronson Philippa, Ronald D. White & Gytis Juska



Books and Arts

New titles at a glance p284

Tunable Laser Applications Edited by Francisco J. Duarte



News and Views

Optical sources: A laser for complex spatial modes pp286 - 288

Robert R. Alfano, Giovanni Milione, Enrique J. Galvez & Lingyan Shi


A cavity design that makes it possible to directly generate Laguerre–Gaussian modes on demand looks set to benefit applications in microscopy and data communications.

See also: Article by Naidoo et al.

X-ray imaging: Perovskites target X-ray detection pp288 - 289

Wolfgang Heiss & Christoph Brabec


Single crystals of perovskites are currently of interest to help fathom fundamental physical parameters limiting the performance of perovskite-based polycrystalline solar cells. Now, such perovskites offer a technology platform for optoelectronic devices, such as cheap and sensitive X-ray detectors.

See also: Article by Wei et al.

Quantum optics: A new take on the slit experiment pp290 - 291

Almut Beige


A double-slit experiment performed with two rubidium atoms precisely held in an optical lattice inside an optical cavity provides a new platform for exploring quantum effects.

See also: Letter by Neuzner et al.

Nanophotonics: Momentum in metamaterials pp291 - 293

Brandon A. Kemp


Optical forces are increasingly relevant in nanoscale optical science and engineering, but optical momentum in materials is still not fully understood. It is now shown that microstructure details as well as macroscopic optical parameters are important in determining optical momentum.

Optical manipulation: Light-driven delivery p293

Noriaki Horiuchi




Correction p293




Perovskite photonic sources pp295 - 302

Brandon R. Sutherland & Edward H. Sargent


The prospects for light-emitting diodes and lasers based on perovskite materials are reviewed.



Interference and dynamics of light from a distance-controlled atom pair in an optical cavity pp303 - 306

A. Neuzner, M. Körber, O. Morin, S. Ritter & G. Rempe


Unconventional interference and statistics of photon fields are studied using two-state 87Rb atoms interacting with photons in an optical cavity. The observations are well described by the Tavis-Cummings model in the strong-coupling regime.

See also: News and Views by Beige

Electrically pumped continuous-wave III–V quantum dot lasers on silicon pp307 - 311

Siming Chen, Wei Li, Jiang Wu, Qi Jiang, Mingchu Tang, Samuel Shutts, Stella N. Elliott, Angela Sobiesierski, Alwyn J. Seeds, Ian Ross, Peter M. Smowton & Huiyun Liu


The growth of III–V quantum dot lasers directly onto a silicon substrate aids photonics and electronics integration.

Quantum key distribution without detector vulnerabilities using optically seeded lasers pp312 - 315

L. C. Comandar, M. Lucamarini, B. Fröhlich, J. F. Dynes, A. W. Sharpe, S. W.-B. Tam, Z. L. Yuan, R. V. Penty & A. J. Shields


Quantum cryptography immune from detector attacks is realized by the development of a source of indistinguishable laser pulses based on optically seeded gain-switched lasers. Key rates exceeding 1 Mb s−1 are demonstrated in the finite-size regime.

Broadband dispersion-engineered microresonator on a chip pp316 - 320

Ki Youl Yang, Katja Beha, Daniel C. Cole, Xu Yi, Pascal Del'Haye, Hansuek Lee, Jiang Li, Dong Yoon Oh, Scott A. Diddams, Scott B. Papp & Kerry J. Vahala


Design and fabrication techniques that allow analogous dispersion control in chip-integrated optical microresonators are presented, allowing higher-order, wide-bandwidth dispersion control over an octave of spectrum.



Resolving the build-up of femtosecond mode-locking with single-shot spectroscopy at 90 MHz frame rate pp321 - 326

G. Herink, B. Jalali, C. Ropers & D. R. Solli


Using time-stretch dispersive Fourier transform, scientists directly observe the spectro-temporal dynamics of the mode-locking transition on a single-shot basis over long record lengths of ~900,000 consecutive pulses.

Controlled generation of higher-order Poincaré sphere beams from a laser pp327 - 332

Darryl Naidoo, Filippus S. Roux, Angela Dudley, Igor Litvin, Bruno Piccirillo, Lorenzo Marrucci & Andrew Forbes


By exploiting geometric phase control inside a laser cavity to map polarization to orbital angular momentum, a new class of laser that is able to generate all states on the higher-order Poincaré sphere is reported.

See also: News and Views by Alfano et al.

Sensitive X-ray detectors made of methylammonium lead tribromide perovskite single crystals pp333 - 339

Haotong Wei, Yanjun Fang, Padhraic Mulligan, William Chuirazzi, Hong-Hua Fang, Congcong Wang, Benjamin R. Ecker, Yongli Gao, Maria Antonietta Loi, Lei Cao & Jinsong Huang


Single-crystal perovskite devices 2–3 mm thick exhibit 16.4% X-ray detection efficiency with sensitivity four times higher than α-Se X-ray detectors.

See also: News and Views by Heiss & Brabec

Near-optimal single-photon sources in the solid state pp340 - 345

N. Somaschi, V. Giesz, L. De Santis, J. C. Loredo, M. P. Almeida, G. Hornecker, S. L. Portalupi, T. Grange, C. Antón, J. Demory, C. Gómez, I. Sagnes, N. D. Lanzillotti-Kimura, A. Lemaítre, A. Auffeves, A. G. White, L. Lanco & P. Senellart


A single photon with near-unity indistinguishability is generated from quantum dots in electrically controlled cavity structures. The cavity allows for efficient photon collection while application of an electrical bias cancels charge noise effects.

Coherent coupling between radiofrequency, optical and acoustic waves in piezo-optomechanical circuits pp346 - 352

Krishna C. Balram, Marcelo I. Davanço, Jin Dong Song & Kartik Srinivasan


Scientists report a piezo-optomechanical circuit platform that combines localized and interacting 1,550 nm photons and 2.4 GHz phonons with photonic and phononic waveguides, enabling new devices for signal transduction between the optical, electrical and mechanical domains.


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