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In This Issue

This issue pv

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.35


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Editorials

Concentrating on antennas p199

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.36

The burgeoning field of nanophotonics is taking light into places that did not seem possible. Optical antennas could, in the not-so-distant future, provide a new way of observing the different components of a cell and studying their interaction.

See also: Commentary by Garcia-Parajo | News and Views by Kino | News and Views by Zia | Letter by Tang et al. | Letter by Merlein et al. | Letter by Taminiau et al.


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Commentaries

Optical antennas focus in on biology pp201 - 203

Maria F. Garcia-Parajo

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.37

Biological processes often involve multimolecular interactions on a nanometre scale or at very large molecular concentrations, making them difficult to visualize. Optical antennas have the potential to become powerful tools for nanobioimaging by enhancing optical fields on this tiny scale.

See also: Editorial | News and Views by Kino | News and Views by Zia | Letter by Tang et al. | Letter by Merlein et al. | Letter by Taminiau et al.


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Out of the lab

Electronic paper targets colour video pp204 - 205

Duncan Graham-Rowe

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.38

Although electronic paper that can display monochrome static images has been growing in popularity, the next generation of products will soon be capable of displaying video in full colour. Duncan Graham-Rowe reports.


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Research Highlights


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News and Views

Light-emitting diodes: Bright and stable pp209 - 210

Uri Banin

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.40

The use of inorganic charge transport layers has enabled the fabrication of bright, environmentally stable LEDs that are based on electrically pumped colloidal solutions of quantum dots.


Optical antennas: Tuning in to optical wavelengths pp210 - 211

Gordon Kino

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.41

Optical antennas are able to concentrate light on a scale much smaller then the wavelength. By using the probe of an atomic force microscope, it is possible to manipulate a so-called bow-tie antenna, thereby tuning its optical response.

See also: Editorial | Commentary by Garcia-Parajo | News and Views by Zia | Letter by Tang et al. | Letter by Merlein et al. | Letter by Taminiau et al.


Photonic-crystal lasers: Designer blue beams p211

Oliver Graydon

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.44


Semiconductor optics: On the path to entanglement pp212 - 213

Henry M. van Driel

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.43

Two-photon emission has now been observed from an electrically pumped semiconductor. The process, which involves the simultaneous generation of correlated photons, could have important implications for quantum information technology.


Optical antennas: Redirecting single molecules pp213 - 214

Rashid Zia

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.42

Optical antennas have already been shown to dramatically enhance molecular excitation and emission processes. Now, a compelling new study illustrates how they can redirect the emission of single molecules.

See also: Editorial | Commentary by Garcia-Parajo | News and Views by Kino | Letter by Tang et al. | Letter by Merlein et al. | Letter by Taminiau et al.


Metamaterials: Towards the dark side pp215 - 216

Francisco J. Garcia-Vidal

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.45

How black is black? An ideally black material would absorb light perfectly at all angles for all wavelengths. Using arrays of carbon nanotubes, researchers based in New York have now engineered a metamaterial that constitutes the darkest material ever made.


View from...ASSP 2008: Ceramic future pp216 - 217

Rachel Won

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.46

Ceramic lasers look poised to make an impact in photonics thanks to the tantalizing possibilities of high output power, ultrashort-pulse generation and cost-effective production.


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Reviews

Femtosecond laser micromachining in transparent materials pp219 - 225

Rafael R. Gattass & Eric Mazur

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.47

Interactions between laser and matter are fascinating and have found a wide range of applications. This article gives an overview of the fundamental physical mechanisms in the processing of transparent materials using ultrafast lasers, as well as important emerging applications of the technology.


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Letters

Nanometre-scale germanium photodetector enhanced by a near-infrared dipole antenna pp226 - 229

Liang Tang, Sukru Ekin Kocabas, Salman Latif, Ali K. Okyay, Dany-Sebastien Ly-Gagnon, Krishna C. Saraswat & David A. B. Miller

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.30

By scaling down device size, the principles of radio antennas can be used in the optical regime. These optical antennas act as a bridge between optics and electronics, collecting and enhancing light to enable the creation of tiny semiconductor photodetectors.

Subject Categories: Nanophotonics | Optoelectronic devices and components

See also: Editorial | Commentary by Garcia-Parajo | News and Views by Kino | News and Views by Zia | Letter by Merlein et al. | Letter by Taminiau et al.


Nanomechanical control of an optical antenna pp230 - 233

Jörg Merlein, Matthias Kahl, Annika Zuschlag, Alexander Sell, Andreas Halm, Johannes Boneberg, Paul Leiderer, Alfred Leitenstorfer & Rudolf Bratschitsch

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.27

Optical antennas are able to concentrate light on a scale much smaller then the wavelength. Bow–tie–shape nanostructures are one example. It is now possible to tune the response of such an antenna by precisely moving one half of the bow tie.

Subject Categories: Nanophotonics | Novel materials and engineered structures

See also: Editorial | Commentary by Garcia-Parajo | News and Views by Kino | News and Views by Zia | Letter by Tang et al. | Letter by Taminiau et al.


Optical antennas direct single-molecule emission pp234 - 237

T. H. Taminiau, F. D. Stefani, F. B. Segerink & N. F. van Hulst

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.32

Antennas are used to direct the propagation of radio waves. However, this directionality is not so easy to achieve at optical frequencies. Optical antennas that can direct the emission from single fluorescent molecules represent an intriguing route to single-photon sources.

Subject Category: Nanophotonics

See also: Editorial | Commentary by Garcia-Parajo | News and Views by Kino | News and Views by Zia | Letter by Tang et al. | Letter by Merlein et al.


Observation of two-photon emission from semiconductors pp238 - 241

Alex Hayat, Pavel Ginzburg & Meir Orenstein

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.28

It is possible that when an electron relaxes from an excited state, it generates not one but two photons. Such two–photon emission has been seen in atomic systems, but never in semiconductors, until now. The experimental observation could have intriguing implications for quantum optics.

Subject Category: Nonlinear optics

See also: News and Views by van Driel


High-throughput silicon nanophotonic wavelength-insensitive switch for on-chip optical networks pp242 - 246

Yurii Vlasov, William M. J. Green & Fengnian Xia

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.31

Silicon photonics is deemed to be the solution for dense on-chip optical networks. Now, by using cascaded silicon microring resonators, scientists demonstrate an ultracompact switch that is insensitive to wavelength and temperature. The switch also has fast error-free operation in multiple 40-Gbit s- 1 optical channels and is suitable for scalable networks.

Subject Categories: Optoelectronic devices and components | Fibre optics and optical communications | Novel materials and engineered structures


Colloidal quantum-dot light-emitting diodes with metal-oxide charge transport layers pp247 - 250

J. M. Caruge, J. E. Halpert, V. Wood, V. Bulovic acute & M. G. Bawendi

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.34

The authors show that metal oxide and colloidal quantum dots can be combined to fabricate monochrome LEDs with a brightness that matches that of the best organic-based quantum-dot LEDs, but with the advantage of improved shelf-life robustness. The reported maximum external electroluminescence efficiency is nearly 0.1% , which represents a 100-fold improvement over previously reported structures

Subject Categories: Lasers, LEDs and light sources | Quantum optics

See also: News and Views by Banin


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Product Focuses

Diode drivers pp252 - 253

Neil Savage

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.49

The increase in laser-diode sales has had a knock-on effect on activity in the diode-driver market. Neil Savage gives an update of the latest products on offer.


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Interviews

Two photons are better than one p256

Interview with Meir Orenstein & Alex Hayat

doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.50

Single-photon emission is a well-explored process. But in recent years interest in two-photon emission has grown. Nature Photonics spoke to Meir Orenstein and Alex Hayat in Israel about their latest work, which reports two-photon emission in a semiconductor.


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