Optics and photonics

Definition

Optics and photonics is the study of the fundamental properties of light and harnessing them in practical applications. Optics and photonics covers the entire electromagnetic spectrum from high-energy gamma rays and X-rays, through the optical regime of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light, to long-wavelength microwave and radio waves.

Featured

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Artificial materials that replicate the mechanical properties of nacre represent important structural materials, but are difficult to produce in bulk. Here, the authors exploit the bottom-up assembly of 2D nacre-mimetic films to fabricate 3D bulk artificial nacre with an optimized architecture and excellent mechanical properties.

    • Huai-Ling Gao
    • , Si-Ming Chen
    • , Li-Bo Mao
    • , Zhao-Qiang Song
    • , Hong-Bin Yao
    • , Helmut Cölfen
    • , Xi-Sheng Luo
    • , Fu Zhang
    • , Zhao Pan
    • , Yu-Feng Meng
    • , Yong Ni
    •  & Shu-Hong Yu
  • Research | | open

    Salt weathering enhanced by global warming and environmental pollution is increasingly threatening stone monuments and artworks. Here, the authors present a bacterial self-inoculation approach with indigenous carbonatogenic bacteria and find that this technique consolidates and protects salt damaged stone.

    • Fadwa Jroundi
    • , Mara Schiro
    • , Encarnación Ruiz-Agudo
    • , Kerstin Elert
    • , Inés Martín-Sánchez
    • , María Teresa González-Muñoz
    •  & Carlos Rodriguez-Navarro
  • Research | | open

    Imaging of topological states of matter such as vortex configurations has generally been limited to 2D surface effects. Here Karpov et al. study the volumetric structure and dynamics of a vortex core mediated by electric-field induced structural phase transition in a ferroelectric BaTiO3 nanoparticle.

    • D. Karpov
    • , Z. Liu
    • , T. dos Santos Rolo
    • , R. Harder
    • , P. V. Balachandran
    • , D. Xue
    • , T. Lookman
    •  & E. Fohtung
  • Research | | open

    Atomically thin black phosphorus shows promise for optoelectronics and photonics, yet its instability under environmental conditions and the lack of well-established large-area synthesis protocols hinder its applications. Here, the authors demonstrate a stable black phosphorus ink suitable for printed ultrafast lasers and photodetectors.

    • Guohua Hu
    • , Tom Albrow-Owen
    • , Xinxin Jin
    • , Ayaz Ali
    • , Yuwei Hu
    • , Richard C. T. Howe
    • , Khurram Shehzad
    • , Zongyin Yang
    • , Xuekun Zhu
    • , Robert I. Woodward
    • , Tien-Chun Wu
    • , Henri Jussila
    • , Jiang-Bin Wu
    • , Peng Peng
    • , Ping-Heng Tan
    • , Zhipei Sun
    • , Edmund J. R. Kelleher
    • , Meng Zhang
    • , Yang Xu
    •  & Tawfique Hasan

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Kinetochores form the critical interface with spindle microtubules that accounts for chromosome movement and segregation fidelity during mitosis. Spatial and temporal control of motor protein and checkpoint signaling at kinetochores is now possible with a new set of optogenetic tools.

    • Ana C Figueiredo
    •  & Helder Maiato
  • News and Views |

    Conventional sensors based on devices called optical resonators have fundamentally limited sensitivity. Careful engineering has been used to overcome this constraint, opening the door to ultraprecise sensing. See Letters p.187 & p.192

    • Mikael C. Rechtsman
    Nature 548, 161–162
  • News and Views |

    Exosomes expressing CD47 and loaded with interfering RNA dodge phagocytosis and accumulate in pancreatic tumours to silence the expression of the oncogene Kras in mice, with remarkable therapeutic efficacy.

    • Sander A. A. Kooijmans
    • , Pieter Vader
    •  & Raymond M. Schiffelers
  • News and Views |

    Uniform iron oxide nanoparticles with a hydrodynamic diameter of about 12 nm offer high biocompatibility and diagnostic yield as contrast agents for the magnetic resonance imaging of large animals.

    • Ali Yilmaz