Volume 13

  • No. 12 December 2019

    Metamaterials in a spin

    The spins of bulk photonic modes inside a homogeneous bianisotropic metamaterial are found to be orientated transverse to the direction of light propagation. This is in contrast to all previous observations of transverse optical spins that rely on confinement to interfaces.

    See Zhang et al.

  • No. 11 November 2019

    Superior single-photon sources

    Artistic impression of an array of near-perfect single-photon emitters, each consisting of a single quantum dot embedded in the centre of an elliptical Bragg grating microcavity. The devices emit identical single photons on demand for applications in photonic quantum information technologies.

    See Lu et al.

  • No. 10 October 2019

    Terahertz-driven superconductivity

    Schematic of terahertz-pulse control of supercurrents in a sample of Nb3Sn. Jigang Wang and collaborators report how terahertz lightwaves can control the properties of superconducting states, including quantum oscillations thought to be forbidden by symmetry.

    See Wang et al.

  • No. 9 September 2019

    Wavefront shaping by thermo-optics

    Artistic image of an array of planar optical elements for wavefront shaping. Each element consists of a micrometre-scale resistor, surrounded by a polymer. Electrical heating of the resistor changes the local refractive index of the polymer thus allowing the optical wavefront to be shaped on-demand.

    See Quidant et al.

  • No. 8 August 2019

    Echo-enabled free-electron lasers

    Artistic impression of first lasing from a soft X-ray free-electron laser that uses echo-enabled harmonic generation. The development allows the generation of intense, fully coherent, multicolour, laser-like pulses with wavelengths extending into the water window (2–4 nm).

    See Ribič et al.

  • No. 7 July 2019

    Taming of random lasers

    Random lasers are notorious for their unpredictability and uncontrollability. Now, it’s been shown that a disordered two-dimensional photonic crystal can bring control over random lasing modes. The approach using an InP-based multiple-quantum-well epilayer enables precision control over the laser properties.

    See Jeon et al.

  • No. 6 June 2019

    Organic polariton logic gates

    A polariton transistor based on strong light–matter coupling in a thin organic layer in an optical microcavity allows fast switching and amplification of states at room temperature and the creation of all-optical logic.

    See Lagoudakis et al.

  • No. 5 May 2019

    Efficient quantum memory

    A quantum memory with an efficiency exceeding 85% has been achieved. In the approach, a ‘flying qubit’ encoded in the polarization of a single photon is efficiently stored in and retrieved from a cloud of laser-cooled rubidium atoms. This efficient quantum memory shows potential applications in quantum communication and quantum computation.

    See Zhu et al.

  • No. 4 April 2019

    High-density holography

    Example of a high-quality hologram generated by a spatial light modulator approach that eliminates crosstalk between different depth planes by using pre-shaped wavefronts with random phase. The result is large-volume, high-density, 3D projections containing up to 1,000 simultaneous image planes.

    See Ilday et al.

  • No. 3 March 2019

    Focus on frequency combs

    Photograph of integrated ring resonator circuitry that is used to generate quantum frequency combs.

    See Moss et al.

  • No. 2 February 2019

    Excitonic opportunities

    Interlayer excitons in transition metal dichalcogenide heterostructures have long lifetimes, making them interesting for the realization of a new generation of highly compact optoelectronic and valleytronic devices. Now, scientists have demonstrated a means to electrically control the excitons in such structures allowing the polarization, wavelength and intensity of their emission to be manipulated on demand.

    See Kis et al.

  • No. 1 January 2019

    On-chip Brillouin lasers

    Artistic impression of light travelling around a silicon nitride microring resonator. When pump light (blue) circulates around the ring it induces stimulated Brillouin scattering and yields lasing with an output (red) that is spectrally pure with a sub-hertz linewidth.

    See Blumenthal et al.