Volume 5 Issue 2, February 2011

Volume 5 Issue 2

The ability to capture sequential ultrafast images generated by femtosecond X-ray pulses could ultimately allow the realization of molecular movies.

Image courtesy of C. M. Gunther et.al.

Letter by C. M. Gunther et.al


  • Editorial |

    The Middle East is beginning to embrace research in photonics, particularly that related to photovoltaics.

Out of the lab

  • Out of the lab |

    New forms of advanced optical fibres featuring exotic glasses, carefully designed microstructures and cores that are either hollow, fluidic, semiconductor or piezoelectric are giving light guides a new lease of life, reports Duncan Graham-Rowe.

    • Duncan Graham-Rowe

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    The discrimination of chemical species with overlapping Raman bands is now possible in real time using a stimulated Raman scattering microscope with a fast, bipolar spectral correlator.

    • Kazuyoshi Itoh
    •  & Yasuyuki Ozeki
  • News & Views |

    A new woodpile-type photonic crystal nanocavity with a three-dimensional bandgap that supports lasing from embedded quantum dots paves the way for three-dimensional integrated photonic circuits and highly efficient nanolasers.

    • Stefan Strauf
  • News & Views |

    A high-resolution scheme for converting two-dimensional infrared images to the visible region has exciting consequences for applications such as night-vision technology and chemical sensing.

    • Steven Baldelli
  • News & Views |

    Optical analogues of gravity let scientists interrogate astronomical phenomena that are otherwise difficult or impossible to study.

    • Dentcho A. Genov
  • News & Views |

    A simple molecular gas sample can be used to achieve ultrafast optical buffering in two-dimensional optical imaging, thus serving as a promising extension of the well-developed liquid-crystal display technology.

    • Edouard Hertz
    • , Bruno Lavorel
    •  & Olivier Faucher
  • News & Views |

    It has long been thought that the detection of individual molecules in ambient conditions via their absorption signature was out of reach. Now, three independent research groups have developed three different methods that allow such a feat.

    • Johan Hofkens
    •  & Maarten B. J. Roeffaers



  • Letter |

    Researchers demonstrate the first laser confined in all three spatial dimensions by a three-dimensional photonic crystal. The device, in this case driven by quantum dots, represents the long-standing goal of achieving lasing in a cavity formed entirely by a complete-photonic-bandgap medium.

    • Aniwat Tandaechanurat
    • , Satomi Ishida
    • , Denis Guimard
    • , Masahiro Nomura
    • , Satoshi Iwamoto
    •  & Yasuhiko Arakawa
  • Letter |

    Highly sensitive absorption spectroscopy is used to image the presence of single molecules through their weak optical absorption signatures. Measurements are demonstrated at mutiple wavelengths and scanned over a 2D area to create spatial maps of absorption.

    • Michele Celebrano
    • , Philipp Kukura
    • , Alois Renn
    •  & Vahid Sandoghdar
  • Letter |

    Researchers demonstrate an X-ray holography method that records two independent images spaced by a femtosecond variable time delay. The concept overcomes the time limitations of two-dimensional area detectors by superimposing the separable X-ray holograms in a single detector exposure.

    • C. M. Günther
    • , B. Pfau
    • , R. Mitzner
    • , B. Siemer
    • , S. Roling
    • , H. Zacharias
    • , O. Kutz
    • , I. Rudolph
    • , D. Schondelmaier
    • , R. Treusch
    •  & S. Eisebitt



  • Interview |

    Christian Günther explained to Nature Photonics that holography offers great promise for capturing X-ray movies on femtosecond timescales.

    • David Pile