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Volume 16 Issue 1, January 2022

Electrically tunable nonlinear metasurfaces

Artistic image of an electrically tunable nonlinear metasurface that combines a plasmonic nanocavity and a quantum-engineered semiconductor heterostructure. The magnitude and phase of local nonlinear responses of the metasurface are controlled by bias voltage through the quantum-confined Stark effect, enabling dynamic intensity modulation and beam steering.

See Yu et al.

Image: Jaeyon Yu and Jongwon Lee, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology; cover design by Pilsu Heo. Cover Design: Bethany Vukomanovic


  • Two visionaries of optical lattice clock technology have received recognition in this year’s Breakthrough Prizes.



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  • Jun Ye from the University of Colorado was recently co-awarded the 2022 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics with Hidetoshi Katori for their pioneering research on optical lattice clocks. Ye spoke to Nature Photonics about the history of clocks and his future plans.

    • Oliver Graydon
  • The 2022 Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics was awarded to Hidetoshi Katori and Jun Ye, who have been independently working on optical lattice clocks. They are the first winners from the photonics community. Nature Photonics interviewed Hidetoshi Katori on how he overcame difficulties in the study of optical lattice clocks, and what the next challenges are.

    • Noriaki Horiuchi
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News & Views

  • Giorgio Parisi recently shared a Nobel Prize in Physics for his contribution to the theory of complex systems. What is not well known is that photonics was crucial to validating Parisi’s predictions.

    • Claudio Conti
    • Eugenio DelRe
    News & Views
  • A sub-cycle modulation in reflectivity is observed in bulk crystals subjected to intense laser fields. The effect provides a new way to probe attosecond dynamics in materials.

    • Shambhu Ghimire
    News & Views
  • The introduction of piezo-optomechanical phase shifters into silicon optical chips enables the realization of complex, controllable optical processing circuits with negligible static power dissipation, high-speed configuration and compatibility with wafer-scale fabrication.

    • David A. B. Miller
    News & Views
  • Plasmonic lasers display many unique features, but these were so far unrelated to magnetism. Recent research shows that plasmonic lasers can be switched on and off magnetically.

    • Peter M. Oppeneer
    • Vassilios Kapaklis
    News & Views
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Review Articles

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  • Researchers demonstrate the tuning of a plasmonic laser by magneto-optical effects. The results offer a new pathway for externally adjusting nanolasers.

    • Francisco Freire-Fernández
    • Javier Cuerda
    • Sebastiaan van Dijken
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  • Light-field-induced electron dynamics in a silicon dioxide dielectric system are exploited to directly measure the attosecond relative electronic delay response in the dielectric system, potentially extending the speed of data processing and information encoding into the petahertz realm.

    • Dandan Hui
    • Husain Alqattan
    • Mohammed Th. Hassan
  • Near-infrared emission at around 2 µm is observed from HgTe nanocrystals. LEDs based on this material platform could prove to be a useful low-cost, convenient light source for applications in gas sensing and other tasks.

    • Junling Qu
    • Mateusz Weis
    • Emmanuel Lhuillier
  • Absorption lineshape of H2 is coherently controlled by using intense near-infrared laser pulses. Depending on the time delay between the near-infrared and extreme ultraviolet pulses, the profiles display a Lorentzian or an asymmetric Fano lineshape.

    • Peng Peng
    • Yonghao Mi
    • D. M. Villeneuve
  • The quantum aspect of soliton microcomb from an integrated silicon carbide microresonator is studied in several regimes — below threshold, above threshold and in the soliton regime — using a single-photon optical spectrum analyser for second-order photon correlation measurement.

    • Melissa A. Guidry
    • Daniil M. Lukin
    • Jelena Vučković
  • A four-port programmable interferometer based on aluminium nitride piezo-optomechanical actuators coupled to silicon nitride waveguides is reported. Its low-power mechanism, which can be fabricated in a complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor foundry, facilitates operation at cryogenic temperatures.

    • Mark Dong
    • Genevieve Clark
    • Matt Eichenfield
    Article Open Access
  • Researchers demonstrate a microring cavity with a photonic crystal on its inside edge, which enables a simultaneous high quality factor (1,000,000) and slow light (10 times slower than for conventional whispering gallery modes). Defect modes with a high quality factor (600,000) and high localizations (20 times smaller) are also enabled.

    • Xiyuan Lu
    • Andrew McClung
    • Kartik Srinivasan
  • By coupling plasmonic resonators with a semiconductor heterostructure, researchers control the nonlinear response by a bias voltage, thereby enabling spectral tuning, dynamic intensity modulation and dynamic beam manipulation for second-harmonic generation.

    • Jaeyeon Yu
    • Seongjin Park
    • Jongwon Lee
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Amendments & Corrections

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