Volume 4 Issue 1, January 2010

Volume 4 Issue 1

Light pulses so short that they contain just a single cycle of the electric field have now been demonstrated by interfering two distinct pulse streams emitted from an erbium-doped fibre laser. The trick is the careful spectral engineering of the two streams.

Cover design by Tom Wilson.

Letter by Krauss et al.

Editorials

Commentary

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    It has long been known that the optical resonances of ultrahigh-Q whispering gallery mode resonators can split under the influence of particle scattering. Now scientists have exploited this splitting to accurately determine particle sizes.

    • Tobias J. Kippenberg

    Focus:

  • News & Views |

    Optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) have now been realized in a CMOS-style process by exploiting nonlinear four-wave mixing. Such multiwavelength sources bring the prospect of ultrafast chip-to-chip optical data communications a step closer.

    • Jeremy Witzens
    • , Thomas Baehr-Jones
    •  & Michael Hochberg

    Focus:

  • News & Views |

    The entanglement of squeezed light beams is critical for quantum optical applications, but has so far been achieved with only two light beams. Now, researchers have surpassed this restriction and achieved entanglement with three beams of different colours. They also report a finite loss level for disentanglement of one beam from the other two.

    • Joseph H. Eberly
    •  & John C. Howell

    Focus:

  • News & Views |

    By combining the output from two synchronized light sources, single-cycle laser pulses at the telecommunications wavelength of 1.5 μm have been successfully generated. The achievement is set to benefit ultrafast optical spectroscopy and attosecond science.

    • Uwe Morgner

    Focus:

  • News & Views |

    The development of new light sources and focusing techniques suggests that ultrafast X-ray microscopy is poised to impact numerous fields of science.

    • David Pile

    Focus:

Business News

Profile

  • Profile |

    Start-up company Nanoscribe has developed table-top systems that can write intricate 3D structures not possible through other lithographic technologies. Nadya Anscombe finds out how the company was founded and what its plans are for the future.

    • Nadya Anscombe

    Focus:

Industry Perspectives

  • Industry Perspective |

    Extreme ultraviolet lithography extends photolithography to much shorter wavelengths and is a cost-effective method of producing more-advanced integrated circuits. Although some infrastructure challenges still remain, this technology is expected to begin high-volume microchip production within the next three years.

    • Christian Wagner
    •  & Noreen Harned

    Focus:

  • Industry Perspective |

    Advances in nano-imprint lithography have moved the technology out of the laboratory and onto the production floor for use in a wide variety of photonic applications.

    • Gerald Kreindl
    • , Thomas Glinsner
    •  & Ron Miller

    Focus:

Product Highlights

Interviews

  • Interview |

    John Warlaumont, vice president of advanced technologies at SEMATECH, a consortium of the world's chip manufacturers, talks to Nadya Anscombe about the future of optical lithography.

    • Nadya Anscombe

    Focus:

  • Interview |

    Few-cycle light pulses are important for attosecond science and extremely nonlinear optics. Alfred Leitenstorfer from the University of Konstanz spoke to Nature Photonics about how erbium-doped fibre laser technology can generate single-cycle pulses at telecommunications wavelengths.

    • Rachel Won

    Focus:

Letters

  • Letter |

    Based on a passively phase-locked superposition of a dispersive wave and a soliton from two branches of a femtosecond Er-doped fibre laser, researchers demonstrate that single cycles of light can be achieved using existing fibre technology and standard free-space components. The pulses have a pulse duration of 4.3 fs, close to the shortest possible value for a data bit of information transmitted in the near-infrared.

    • Günther Krauss
    • , Sebastian Lohss
    • , Tobias Hanke
    • , Alexander Sell
    • , Stefan Eggert
    • , Rupert Huber
    •  & Alfred Leitenstorfer
  • Letter |

    A monolithically integrated CMOS-compatible source is demonstrated using an optical parametric oscillator based on a silicon nitride ring resonator on silicon. Generating more than 100 wavelengths simultaneously and operating at powers below 50 mW, scientists say that it may form the basis of an on-chip high-bandwidth optical network.

    • Jacob S. Levy
    • , Alexander Gondarenko
    • , Mark A. Foster
    • , Amy C. Turner-Foster
    • , Alexander L. Gaeta
    •  & Michal Lipson

    Focus:

  • Letter |

    Through optical ‘hyper-parametric’ oscillation in a high-index silica glass microring resonator, scientists demonstrate a fully integrated CMOS-compatible low-loss multiple-wavelength source that has high differential slope efficiency at only a few tens of milliwatts of continuous-wave power. The achievement has significant implications for telecommunications and on-chip optical interconnects in computers.

    • L. Razzari
    • , D. Duchesne
    • , M. Ferrera
    • , R. Morandotti
    • , S. Chu
    • , B. E. Little
    •  & D. J. Moss

    Focus:

  • Letter |

    Utilizing a self-referenced detection scheme based on the mode-splitting in an ultrahigh-Q microresonator, scientists realize the real-time in situ detection and sizing of single nanoparticles with radii as small as 30 nm. Labelling of the particles and a priori information on the presence of nanoparticles in the medium are not required, thus providing an effective platform for studying nanoparticles at the single-particle resolution level.

    • Jiangang Zhu
    • , Sahin Kaya Ozdemir
    • , Yun-Feng Xiao
    • , Lin Li
    • , Lina He
    • , Da-Ren Chen
    •  & Lan Yang

    Focus:

  • Letter |

    Nanocavity plasmons are exploited as a coherent optical source with tunable energy and to actively control the radiative channels of molecules. Intense resonance enhancement of both excitation and emission, in an effect called resonant hot-electroluminescence, is demonstrated for porphyrin molecules confined inside a nanocavity.

    • Z. C. Dong
    • , X. L. Zhang
    • , H. Y. Gao
    • , Y. Luo
    • , C. Zhang
    • , L. G. Chen
    • , R. Zhang
    • , X. Tao
    • , Y. Zhang
    • , J. L. Yang
    •  & J. G. Hou

    Focus:

  • Letter |

    By combining Fourier transform spectroscopy with two frequency-shifted combs and cavity ring-down spectroscopy, scientists demonstrate a powerful new tool for ultrahigh sensitivity spectroscopy. The scheme can measure broadband, high-resolution spectra in tens of microseconds, does not require detector arrays and may allow tuning from terahertz to ultraviolet frequencies.

    • Birgitta Bernhardt
    • , Akira Ozawa
    • , Patrick Jacquet
    • , Marion Jacquey
    • , Yohei Kobayashi
    • , Thomas Udem
    • , Ronald Holzwarth
    • , Guy Guelachvili
    • , Theodor W. Hänsch
    •  & Nathalie Picqué

Article

  • Article |

    The generation of random bit sequences at a data rate of up to 300 Gbit s−1 — a rate many orders of magnitude faster than previously achieved — is realized by exploiting the output of a chaotic semiconductor laser. The randomness of the generated bits is verified by standard statistical tests.

    • Ido Kanter
    • , Yaara Aviad
    • , Igor Reidler
    • , Elad Cohen
    •  & Michael Rosenbluh

    Focus:

Correction

Focus

  • Focus |

    Lithography

    Lithography is a critical fabrication process underlying the computer and microelectronics industry as well as other applications.