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  • Real-time electron dynamics studies of complex systems require bright attosecond pump-probe capabilities at X-ray wavelengths. Nano-focusing schemes reaching intensities in excess of 1022 W cm–2 and superradiant cascaded amplification of attosecond pulses to TW powers at free-electron lasers are providing transformative capabilities in this burgeoning field.

    • Sam M. Vinko
    News & Views
  • Following first lasing at LCLS-II — a coherent X-ray laser source driven by a 700-m superconducting linear accelerator — several upgrades are already in the works. Nature Photonics spoke to LCLS director Mike Dunne about LCLS-II commissioning hurdles as well as future plans.

    • David Pile
  • Global proliferation of free-electron laser X-ray sources has improved accessibility. Now the race is on for high repetition rates, attosecond pulses, and full coherence.

  • Novel optical components that withstand high-power laser irradiation and micro light-emitting diodes capable of full-colour emission were highlights of the Japan Society of Applied Physics Spring Meeting.

    • Noriaki Horiuchi
    Meeting Report
  • The electrochemical triggering of fluorophores in dSTORM enables one to actively control their switching behaviours, resulting in improved spatial resolution and precise molecular counting down to the single molecule level in emitter-dense areas.

    • Christian Franke
    • Christian Eggeling
    News & Views
  • A high-dimensional photodetection system that combines a lens and a thin-film interface enables simultaneous measurements of light spectrum and polarization states, with the aid of a deep neural network.

    • Weiwei Cai
    • Zongyin Yang
    • Tawfique Hasan
    News & Views
  • Broadband energy can be delivered to extended targets deep inside a multiple-scattering system, paving ways for using broadband, partially incoherent light in a wide range of applications, such as deep-tissue imaging, laser therapy and optogenetics.

    • Roarke Horstmeyer
    • Lucas Kreiss
    News & Views
  • A new design of electron gun that uses terahertz waves to accelerate electrons in a high field gradient brings a tabletop answer to the generation of ultrashort electron bunches.

    • Gyula Polónyi
    • János Hebling
    News & Views
  • Ångström-scale terahertz time-domain spectroscopy is demonstrated in a lightwave-driven scanning tunnelling microscope. Employing a metal surface as a reference, local terahertz near-fields are used for spectroscopy of a single atom resonator defect in doped gallium arsenide.

    • V. Jelic
    • S. Adams
    • T. L. Cocker
  • Free-electron Ramsey imaging enables space-, time- and phase-resolved electron imaging of weak optical near fields. Owing to its phase-resolving ability, this technique images chiral vortex–anti-vortex phase singularities of phonon-polariton modes in hexagonal boron nitride.

    • Tomer Bucher
    • Harel Nahari
    • Ido Kaminer
  • Spatial distribution of the photoluminescence of interlayer excitons in van der Waals heterostructures comprising MoSe2 and WSe2 monolayers and encapsulated in rather thick hexagonal boron nitride is investigated, revealing interlayer exciton long-range transport with 1/e decay distances reaching and exceeding 100 μm.

    • L. H. Fowler-Gerace
    • Zhiwen Zhou
    • L. V. Butov