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Specialty optical fibres

Optical fibres are getting sophisticated and proving to have important roles in applications beyond telecommunications.


Peer review is arguably the most important process a paper must pass through on its journey to being published in a journal.

Editorial | | Nature Photonics


Chalcogenide glasses are attracting significant attention thanks to their mid-infrared transparency and highly nonlinear properties. Nadya Anscombe talks to Dan Hewak from the University of Southampton in the UK.

Interview | | Nature Photonics

The use of intense ultrafast terahertz pulses to gate superconductivity not only provides insights into charge transport in such materials but may also lead to new forms of data switching, explains Andrea Cavalleri.

Interview | | Nature Photonics


Researchers show that thin films containing HgTe quantum dots with diameters of around 10 nm exhibit a photoresponse in the mid-infrared that extends to wavelengths as long as 5 µm. Such films could become the basis of a new form of low-cost mid-infrared photodetector.

Letter | | Nature Photonics


Researchers have fired ultracold-atom Bose–Einstein condensates towards the submicrometre-featured potentials formed by the optical near-fields of surface plasmons. The strength and structural dependence of the optical near-fields were determined from the reflection of cold atoms. It is hoped that the work paves the way towards plasmonic guiding and the manipulation of cold atoms.

Article | | Nature Photonics

Researchers experimentally demonstrate that light propagating through a path-averaged zero-index dielectric medium can have zero phase delay, despite a non-zero physical path length. The medium is a superlattice consisting of layers of negative-refractive-index dielectric photonic crystals and positive-refractive-index homogeneous dielectric media.

Article | | Nature Photonics


India has long been active in the field of photonics, dating back to famous scientists such as Raman and Bose. Today, India is home to numerous research groups and telecommunications companies that own a sizeable amount of the fibre-optic links installed around the globe.

Commentary | | Nature Photonics

Research Highlights

News and Views

Wavelength-tunable ultraviolet light sources are required for a wide range of applications, but are typically difficult to manufacture and operate. A simple gas-filled optical fibre that performs efficient frequency conversion from the infrared to the deep-ultraviolet could be a promising answer.

News & Views | | Nature Photonics

The use of terahertz pulses to 'gate' interlayer charge transport in a superconductor could lead to a variety of new and interesting applications.

News & Views | | Nature Photonics

A superlattice comprising alternating layers of negative-refractive-index photonic crystals and positive-refractive-index dielectric media has been shown to exhibit an effective refractive index of zero. Experiments show that light passing through such a material experiences no phase shift.

News & Views | | Nature Photonics

The interaction between atoms in a Bose–Einstein condensate and plasmon-enhanced fields is a step towards the goal of realizing hybrid atom–polariton systems for tasks in quantum information processing.

News & Views | | Nature Photonics

Photonic quasicrystals are specially designed aperiodic materials that possess long-range order and are capable of transmitting light. Contrary to intuition, introducing disorder can be used to enhance the propagation of light through such labyrinth structures.

News & Views | | Nature Photonics

The controlled 'catch and release' of individual quantum-information-carrying photons is an important ingredient for achieving scalable quantum networking. Recently, researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics succeeded in this task in two separate systems.

News & Views | | Nature Photonics

Ångström-scale lasing from SACLA in Japan — the world's second hard-X-ray free-electron laser facility — marks a new era in X-ray photonics.

News & Views | | Nature Photonics

Improvements in fibre, crystal and semiconductor technologies are helping to address the need for powerful and convenient light sources in the mid-infrared.

News & Views | | Nature Photonics

Business News


Over the past ten years, Crystal Fiber, now part of NKT Photonics, has been busy commercializing photonic crystal fibre. Nadya Anscombe finds out about the evolution of the technology and its applications.

Profile | | Nature Photonics

Industry Perspectives

Important developments in fibre technology now allow the realization of fibre lasers with reliable and stable single-mode operation at power levels beyond 1 kW.

Industry Perspective | | Nature Photonics

The photosensitive optical fibre — a work-horse of the telecommunications industry for many years — is now seeing rapid uptake in the sensor and laser industries.

Industry Perspective | | Nature Photonics

Twisting and microforming an optical fibre provides it with unique chiral properties that are useful for polarization control, harsh-environment sensing and dense multichannel coupling to photonic integrated circuits.

Industry Perspective | | Nature Photonics

Product Highlights