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Volume 556 Issue 7699, 5 April 2018

The cover depicts a scanning electron microscope image of quantum-well infrared photodetectors created from a metamaterial array of metallic resonators. Technologies for the detection of infrared radiation in the long-wavelength range (8-12 micrometres) exist, but devices that are both very fast and sensitive require low-temperature operation, which limits their applications. In this issue, Daniele Palaferri and his collaborators show how photonic metamaterial ideas combined with the high speed of quantum-well infrared photodetectors leads to an ultrasensitive coherent detection, similar to that developed for radio waves: heterodyne detection. This enhanced sensitivity for the detection of long-wavelength infrared radiation at room temperature potentially opens up a range of applications, from thermal imaging and environmental remote sensing to coherent free-space communications. Cover image: Daniele Palaferri & Stephane Suffit/University Paris-Diderot

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    Governments must provide incentives for businesses to fix the global food system, not just punish them for acting irresponsibly, argues Lawrence Haddad.

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