Reviews & Analysis

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  • Although optical communications continue to be the main driver for integrated photonics, new applications are emerging in computing and neural networks. That was the message from this year’s European Conference on Integrated Optics in Milan.

    • Giampaolo Pitruzzello
    Meeting Report
  • Breaking reciprocity at the nanoscale can produce directional formation of images due to the asymmetric nonlinear optical response of subwavelength anisotropic resonators. The self-induced passive non-reciprocity has advantages compared to magnet or time modulation approaches and may impact both classical and quantum photonics.

    • Christos Argyropoulos
    News & Views
  • A micropillar cavity that can impart a phase shift to single photons offers a promising route to scalable quantum information processing with light.

    • Stephan Dürr
    News & Views
  • Co-doping ytterbium and praseodymium ions in photon avalanche nanoparticles rapidly builds up huge optical nonlinearities, enabling confocal microscopy to achieve super-resolution imaging at high speed.

    • Chaohao Chen
    • Dayong Jin
    News & Views
  • Coherent multi-octave mid-infrared waveforms are created and manipulated by cascaded intrapulse difference-frequency generation, demonstrating absolute phase control, and adding to the growing arsenal of techniques for arbitrary light-wave control.

    • Jeffrey Moses
    • Shu-Wei Huang
    News & Views
  • The ability to create complex three-dimensional structures of light has reached new heights with the experimental observation of two distinct kinds of toroidal pulses, the optical analogue of smoke rings.

    • Filippo Cardano
    • Lorenzo Marrucci
    News & Views
  • Ferroelectric domain switching controlled by electrical pulses provides a controllable means to tune the refractive index of BaTiO3 thin films. Now, a device based on this material is presented that is capable of implementing low-power, high-speed and CMOS-compatible programmable phase shifters in silicon photonic chips.

    • José Capmany
    • Daniel Pérez-López
    News & Views
  • One hundred years ago, in 1922, Léon Brillouin discovered the scattering of light by sound waves. Within an optical fibre, Brillouin scattering may be used to create narrow-linewidth filters and spectrometers. A twisted optical fibre is now used to reduce these linewidths by over an order of magnitude, down to the sub-MHz level.

    • Thiago Alegre
    • Gustavo Wiederhecker
    News & Views
  • High-harmonics spectroscopy reveals the closure of the bandgap between adjacent conduction bands in solids driven by high-intensity laser fields, providing insight into light-driven modifications of band structures

    • Dieter Bauer
    News & Views
  • The strongly temperature-dependent band-edge absorption from gallium arsenide enables an optical thermometer with nanokelvin temperature resolution and microscale spatial resolution.

    • Chaman Gupta
    • Peter J. Pauzauskie
    News & Views
  • A single-pass free electron laser operating at 0.16 THz with an energy efficiency of ~10% promises compact and high-power sources in the terahertz spectral region.

    • Lixin Yan
    • Zhuoyuan Liu
    News & Views
  • The chiral nature of phonons in crystals of biomolecules is identified by terahertz spectroscopy, paving the way to a better understanding of biochemical processes.

    • Minkyu Kim
    • Vladimir V. Tsukruk
    News & Views
  • Researchers report a solid-state laser containing metasurfaces that generates a 10 × 10 array of phase-locked optical vortices with tunable orbital angular momentum.

    • Philippe St-Jean
    News & Views
  • Non-Abelian braiding, an essential process for realizing topological quantum computation, is implemented using an array of photonic integrated waveguides.

    • Stefan Scheel
    • Alexander Szameit
    News & Views
  • Non-reciprocal physical systems exhibit direction-dependent propagation of light, enabling a myriad of devices such as diodes and circulators. A new experiment demonstrates non-reciprocal amplification of light via atomic spins, driving photons on a one-way street through optical nanofibres.

    • Kanu Sinha
    • Elizabeth A. Goldschmidt
    News & Views