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Special Issue on the 100th Anniversary of Xiamen University

Though century-old, Xiamen University (XMU) has always been known for creativity and innovation. It was the first university in China to be established by overseas Chinese (Mr. Tan Kah Kee) and the first prestigious Chinese university to set up an overseas branch campus (Xiamen University Malaysia), which has been honoured as a “shinning pearl” of “Belt and Road Initiative”. Its 400,000 graduates to date have already carried XMU’s motto “Pursue Excellence, Strive for Perfection” with them to all corners of the world.

XMU has been selected for the “Double First-class Initiative” Scheme, as one of the leading pioneers in achieving China’s ambition of building world-class universities. It has achieved significant progress in the field of optics and photonics, and is leading in several aspects: development of laser holography that greatly promotes the anti-counterfeiting technology in China; study of entangled photon pairs that leads to quantum communications and optical micromanipulations, as well as the creation of facial recognition techniques based on the light beams; development of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) that not only conquers the material and surface limits of SERS, but also realizes the fast detection of trace hazards in the field of food safety; improvement of efficiency for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) via creative pathways, including deep ultraviolet LEDs and high colour rendering warm-white LEDs.

Research scientists across different disciplines in XMU are working on optoelectronic materials and devices, with interests in the designs and syntheses of luminescent materials, quantum dots, electrochromic materials as well as their applications in solid-state lighting, emissive displays, sensing, smart windows and photovoltaic cells. Experiments based on synchrotron-radiation light source as well as other advanced techniques are combined with computations/simulations to achieve better understanding of the composition-structure-property coupling mechanism of functional materials, providing guidelines for developing high-performance materials and optoelectronic devices.

This special issue is dedicated to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of XMU (6th April 2021) and the establishment of the LSA Editorial Office in Xiamen (3rd July 2021). It features some of the latest achievements in optical and optoelectronic sciences and technologies made by XMU scholars and alumni.


A material that records mechanical impacts and provides optical readouts at later dates shows promise for anti-counterfeiting devices and structural damage analysis. Phosphors, such as rare earth-doped silicates, can emit light in response to physical stress because they store charge carriers in easy-to-access energy states. Rong-Jun Xie from China’s Xiamen University and colleagues now report development of phosphors that release charges to less accessible ‘deep’ energy states after being stimulated mechanically. These carriers are retained in the deep states and then released on-demand as photon emissions following thermal treatments. The team demonstrated several applications for the new phosphors including sensors that can record signature traces and composite films that attach to vehicles to monitor for potential collisions.

Article | Open Access | | Light: Science & Applications

Chinese scientists have demonstrated a low-cost and compact ultrafast passively mode-locked laser that operates in the visible light spectrum and could see use in a range of industrial, scientific, and biomedical applications. Although Mode-locked fibre lasers (MLFLs) are the fundamental building blocks of many photonic systems, ultrafast lasers in the visible light spectral region are costly and challenging to make. For the first time, Zhengqian Luo and colleagues from Xiamen University in China have demonstrated a visible-wavelength passively mode-locked all-fibre laser that operates in the dissipative soliton resonance regime. The laser generates picosecond pulses of light at 635 nanometres and represents an essential step towards miniaturized ultrafast fibre lasers in the visible light range. The work lays the foundations for photonic devices for use in applications such as material processing, medicine, spectroscopy, and optical communications.

Article | Open Access | | Light: Science & Applications