Table of contents



The new oil? p1


Supply concerns over rare-earth elements mined in China are worrying the rest of the world.


Research Highlights

Our choice from the recent literature pp2 - 3



News and Views

Nonlinear optics: Diffraction cancellation pp4 - 5

Andrey Sukhorukov


The unusual nonlinear optical properties of rapidly cooled disordered ferroelectric crystals allow beam spreading to be completely suppressed, irrespective of the beam width and intensity, offering potentially important applications in imaging and all-optical beam control.

Spintronics: Coherent terahertz control pp5 - 6

Junichiro Kono


Spin and charge terahertz excitations in solids are promising for implementing future technologies such as spintronics and quantum computation, but coherently controlling them has been a significant challenge. Researchers have now manipulated coherent spin waves in an antiferromagnet using the intense magnetic field of ultrashort terahertz pulses.

Imaging: Second-harmonic nanoprobes p7

Noriaki Horiuchi


Optical manipulation: Sculpting the object pp7 - 8

Jesper Glückstad


Using intricately sculpted light fields to control tiny objects is a well-understood and important technique. Now, the concept of sculpting the object rather than the light field promises to propel light–matter research in an exciting new direction.

Research and development: Micro-optics one-stop shop pp9 - 10

Rachel Won


ACTMOST, a new initiative subsidized by the European Commission, looks poised to boost microphotonic innovation in Europe.

View from... UQCC 2010: Quantum secure video pp10 - 11

Noriaki Horiuchi


The demonstration of live video conferencing using quantum key distribution suggests that applications exploiting secure video communication may be just around the corner.

View from... IEEE photonics society annual meeting: Smaller is better p12

David Pile


Miniature lasers with dimensions approaching the nanoscale could provide the ultimate integrated source of bright and coherent light if losses can be overcome and electrical pumping made efficient.

Correction p12




Coherent terahertz control of antiferromagnetic spin waves pp31 - 34

Tobias Kampfrath, Alexander Sell, Gregor Klatt, Alexej Pashkin, Sebastian Mährlein, Thomas Dekorsy, Martin Wolf, Manfred Fiebig, Alfred Leitenstorfer & Rupert Huber


Researchers report the direct observation of ultrafast magnetic dynamics using the magnetic component of highly intense terahertz wave pulses with a time resolution of 8 fs. This concept provides a universal ultrafast method of visualizing magnetic excitations in the electronic ground state.

Subject terms: Spectroscopy | Ultrafast photonics | Terahertz optics

See also: News and Views by Kono

An array of integrated atom–photon junctions pp35 - 38

M. Kohnen, M. Succo, P. G. Petrov, R. A. Nyman, M. Trupke & E. A. Hinds


Scientists demonstrate a fully integrated and scalable waveguide chip that can control the polarization and intensity of light using a row of independent atomic junctions. The device may enable quantum states of matter and light to be engineered on a microscopic scale.

Subject term: Spectroscopy

Scale-free optics and diffractionless waves in nanodisordered ferroelectrics pp39 - 42

E. DelRe, E. Spinozzi, A. J. Agranat & C. Conti


The diffraction of light scales with wavelength, thereby placing fundamental limits on applications such as imaging, microscopy and communications. Here, researchers experimentally demonstrate scale-free propagation in supercooled structures and cancel diffraction, instead of merely compensating for it, as is the case for most approaches in nonlinear optics.

Subject terms: Fundamental optical physics | Nonlinear optics | Novel materials and engineered structures

See also: News and Views by Sukhorukov

Entanglement-enhanced measurement of a completely unknown optical phase pp43 - 47

G. Y. Xiang, B. L. Higgins, D. W. Berry, H. M. Wiseman & G. J. Pryde


Entangled photon states, obtained by post selection, are used to perform interferometric phase measurement with a sensitivity beyond the shot-noise limit.

Subject term: Quantum optics



Stable optical lift pp48 - 51

Grover A. Swartzlander, Jr, Timothy J. Peterson, Alexandra B. Artusio-Glimpse & Alan D. Raisanen


Scientists demonstrate an optical analogue of aerodynamic lift, in which an airfoil-shaped refractive object can be controlled through the radiation pressure induced by refracted and reflected rays of light.

Subject terms: Fundamental optical physics | Novel materials and engineered structures

See also: News and Views by Glückstad | InterviewGrover Swartzlander

A high-fidelity noiseless amplifier for quantum light states pp52 - 60

A. Zavatta, J. Fiurášek & M. Bellini


Researchers demonstrate a probabilistic noiseless linear amplifier based on photon addition and subtraction. The technique enables coherent states to be amplified to the highest levels of effective gain and final-state fidelity, and could become an essential tool for applications in quantum communication and metrology.

Subject terms: Quantum optics | Fibre optics and optical communications

Coherent coupling between distant excitons revealed by two-dimensional nonlinear hyperspectral imaging pp57 - 63

J. Kasprzak, B. Patton, V. Savona & W. Langbein


Researchers use a nonlinear coherent imaging technique to demonstrate distant coherent coupling between excitons in quantum wells. The long-range nature of the coupling is attributed to the existence of spatially extended exciton states up to the micrometre range.

Subject terms: Spectroscopy | Ultrafast photonics | Nonlinear optics | Imaging and sensing



Light-driven take-off p64

Interview with Grover Swartzlander


Light can now be used to raise a wing-shaped refractive object, in a technique analogous to aerodynamic lift. Grover Swartzlander from the Rochester Institute of Technology in the USA told Nature Photonics how his team achieved optical lift using a uniform collimated beam of light.


Application Note

Multiphoton microscopy

Adam M. Larson

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