News & Comment

  • Comment |

    Father of the semiconductor laser, Nobel Prize laureate and director of the Ioffe Institute in St Petersburg, Zhores Alferov was a much-loved scientist and educator whose research changed the modern world.

    • Sergey Ivanov
  • Meeting Report |

    Dielectric antennas and metasurfaces open up new opportunities for future applications in advanced optoelectronics, light detection and ranging for autonomous vehicles, fluorescence-enhancing substrates for bioimaging and many more.

    • Rachel Won
  • News & Views |

    Engineering the thermal profile of a polymer by means of conducting microwires provides a path towards versatile tunable optical elements.

    • Rafael Piestun
  • Comment |

    Yaron Silberberg of the Weizmann Institute in Israel passed away in April. Here, some of his former students and friends remind us of who Yaron was: a creative researcher and a mentor without ego with major achievements in nonlinear optics, microscopy and quantum physics.

    • Dan Oron
    • , Nirit Dudovich
    • , Barak Dayan
    • , Nir Davidson
    •  & Mordechai (Moti) Segev
  • News & Views |

    Modulation of light by external waves is an essential function in any photonics-based system. Using an integrated plasmonic approach, the speed of modulation of 1.55-μm waves has now been extended to the ‘low’ THz band.

    • Guillaume Ducournau
  • News & Views |

    Judicious scaling of the waveguide properties of a simple hollow capillary fibre filled with helium allows for powerful pulse temporal compression down to the sub-femtosecond level, further enabling the efficient generation of ultrafast ultraviolet light.

    • Benjamin Wetzel
    •  & Fetah Benabid
  • News & Views |

    High-efficiency, time-domain, near-infrared fluorophores provide multiplexed colour channels for distinct deep bioimaging.

    • Shoujun Zhu
    •  & Xiaoyuan Chen
  • News & Views |

    Increased bandwidth and fluctuations are hurdles on the path towards generating intense fully coherent X-ray free-electron laser output. A recent experiment at FERMI Trieste demonstrated that these difficulties can be overcome by an approach called echo-enabled harmonic generation.

    • Li Hua Yu
    •  & Timur Shaftan
  • Comment |

    The Shockley–Queisser model is a landmark in photovoltaic device analysis by defining an ideal situation as reference for actual solar cells. However, the model and its implications are easily misunderstood. Thus, we present a guide to help understand and to avoid misinterpreting it.

    • Jean-Francois Guillemoles
    • , Thomas Kirchartz
    • , David Cahen
    •  & Uwe Rau
  • Comment |

    As a pioneer in the research on ultra-high-quality dielectric microresonators and their applications in nonlinear optics, frequency metrology and laser science, Mikhail Gorodetsky is badly missed.

    • Igor Bilenko
    • , Vladimir Ilchenko
    • , Farid Khalili
    •  & Tobias J. Kippenberg
  • News & Views |

    Josephson vortices are observed at the boundary between two exciton-polariton condensates, with lasers used to create the required local phase twist. The finding opens new opportunities for exploring fundamental physics and engineering novel quantum devices.

    • Taehyun Yoon
    •  & Na Young Kim
  • News & Views |

    The time it takes for a particle to tunnel through a potential barrier, and even the interpretation of this phenomenon, have long drawn debate. By performing an attosecond angular streaking experiment in connection with ab initio calculations, researchers have concluded that tunnelling is instantaneous for atomic hydrogen.

    • Jan M. Rost
    •  & Ulf Saalmann
  • News & Views |

    Emerging data reveal that amyloid fibrils possess intrinsic photonic activity, showing luminescence over a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared.

    • Per Hammarström
  • News & Views |

    High-speed optical modulators based on silicon, quantum cascade detectors, a photothermal phase-contrast microscope and spin light-emitting diodes with low threshold current density were highlights of the Japan Society of Applied Physics Spring Meeting.

    • Noriaki Horiuchi
  • Comment |

    As the most abundant biopolymer on Earth since it can be found in every plant cell wall, cellulose has emerged as an ideal candidate for the development of renewable and biodegradable photonic materials, substituting conventional pigments.

    • Bruno Frka-Petesic
    •  & Silvia Vignolini
  • News & Views |

    Ultra-long phosphorescence with an emission colour that can be tuned from violet to green is obtained from an organic phosphor featuring several different emitting centres. Such ‘smart’ materials are promising for applications in displays, sensors and bioimaging.

    • Hongwei Wu
    •  & Yanli Zhao
  • News & Views |

    Organic microcavity optical transistors open up opportunities for real-world optical switching at room temperature. Now, an all-optical switch at room temperature, using an organic exciton medium with high quantum yield, brings us a step closer to all-optical logical networks.

    • Zheng Sun
    •  & David W. Snoke
  • News & Views |

    A phonon laser made from a levitated silica nanosphere held in a controllable optical trap offers a useful tool for studying phonon–photon interactions.

    • Ran Huang
    •  & Hui Jing
  • News & Views |

    High-amplitude optical phase modulation has been challenging to achieve in nanophotonic integrated structures. Coherently combining multiple optomechanical modulators on a nanophotonic chip offers an approach to address this challenge.

    • Michał Karpiński
  • News & Views |

    The injection of rare-earth-doped upconversion nanoparticles into the eyes of mice allows them to visualize near-infrared light with a wavelength of ~1 μm.

    • Guochen Bao
    •  & Dayong Jin
  • Editorial |

    Nature Photonics pays tribute to the pioneering scientists that helped define the field of photonics in the latter part of the twentieth century with the launch of an online collection of profiles.

  • News & Views |

    Synthetic gauge fields that enable controllable confinement and guiding via bound states in the continuum are demonstrated, offering new ways to confine and manipulate localization of radiation in space and opportunities to new applications of artificial gauge fields in photonics.

    • Alexander B. Khanikaev
  • News & Views |

    The race of distributing provable-secure encryption keys by means of quantum key distribution over ever-increasing distances is on. A surprising development has now led to a new result that may affect how we build future quantum networks.

    • Wolfgang Tittel
  • Comment |

    The 2005 Nobel laureate, Roy Jay Glauber, sadly passed away on 26 December 2018 at the age of 93. He was highly regarded for his work on the quantum theory of coherence, as well as for his contributions to nuclear physics, scattering theory and statistical mechanics.

    • Fritz Haake
    •  & Maciej Lewenstein
  • News & Views |

    A type of near-field curved light field generated right at the output of a dielectric cuboid is experimentally observed. It is expected to have interesting applications in imaging and manipulation.

    • Kishan Dholakia
    •  & Graham D. Bruce
  • News & Views |

    By tailoring the anisotropy of light scattering along the surface of a macroscopic flat object, mechanical stabilization can be achieved without focused incident light or excessive constraints on the shape, size or material composition of the object.

    • Romain Quidant