Nonlinear Integrated Photonics

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Current photonic advances impact our lives in many ways, from improving our health and well-being to transforming how we work and communicate. In this framework, nonlinear integrated photonics, which lies at the intersection of optics, photonics, and nonlinear sciences, can unlock the full potential of advanced photonic technologies. These advances, however, often come with major challenges that the researchers are trying to meet, such as scalability, integration, economic viability, and improved functionalities. 

At its core, nonlinear integrated photonics explores the interactions between light and matter at the nanoscale and designs miniature photonic circuits that can manipulate light in complex and nonlinear ways. This is achieved by harnessing the nonlinear optical properties of specialized materials, such as silicon, lithium niobate, or silicon nitride, enabling the generation of new frequencies, high-speed light modulation, and even performing quantum operations. Furthermore, the possibility to fabricate chip-scale platforms makes them highly efficient, scalable, and easy to integrate with other components such as detectors and electronic devices.

Researchers in nonlinear integrated photonics are making significant progress, and the potential applications already span a broad spectrum of possibilities, from telecommunications and information processing to quantum computing and biomedical imaging. Also as we look into the future, it is likely that many more applications will emerge, transforming the way we harness light-matter interaction at the nanoscale, and enabling new discoveries in science and technology.

In this collection at Nature Communications and Communications Physics, we aim to bring together cutting-edge research on nonlinear Integrated photonics, crossing multidisciplinary areas.

Areas of interest include but are not limited to the following:

  • Discovering new materials and nanotechnologies that allow easier and better nonlinear optical signal control in integrated systems. 
  • Improving the efficiency of integrated nonlinear optical effects across the whole electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Enabling multiple functionalities in telecommunications (eg.5G/6G networks), sensing (e.g. LiDAR), quantum information processing, light sources, and optical computing, nonlinear optomechanics.


Silicon Nitride chips containing 1.4-meter-long spiral waveguides

Nature Communications

Communications Physics