Volume 5 Issue 7, July 2011

Volume 5 Issue 7

Cells expressing green fluorescent protein can lase when placed in a reflective microcavity and optically pumped with blue light. These living lasers exhibit well-defined longitudinal and transverse laser modes, as depicted in the image.

Image courtesy of Malte C. Gather and Seok Hyun Yun.

Letter by Malte C. Gather and Seok Hyun Yun.

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    Experts in Europe have published a report that outlines the opportunities and challenges facing the emerging field of nanophotonics.

Books and Arts

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    The demonstration of a phase-sensitive optical amplifier with a noise figure of just 1.1 dB — three times lower than that of a conventional amplifier — could help significantly extend the reach of optical communications systems.

    • Guifang Li
  • News & Views |

    Green fluorescent protein — an important biological imaging tool for many years — now forms the foundation of the first cellular laser.

    • Steve Meech
  • News & Views |

    A four-year collaboration between Japan and Europe aims to increase the efficiency of concentrator solar cells to beyond 45%.

    • Oliver Graydon
  • News & Views |

    Researchers in Japan have now extended the capability of light-in-flight holography to femtosecond pulse durations in the visible wavelength range.

    • Nils Abramson
  • News & Views |

    Lensless X-ray imaging is no longer limited to monochromatic sources. A new approach that is compatible with polychromatic beams can increase the efficiency of diffractive imaging experiments, thus significantly reducing exposure times.

    • Sujoy Roy
  • News & Views |

    The use of carbon nanotube electrodes and new device geometries is enhancing the performance of organic light-emitting transistors.

    • Clara Santato
    • , Fabio Cicoira
    •  & Richard Martel
  • News & Views |

    Semiconductor light-emitting diodes may soon replace mercury lamps as the ultraviolet source of choice in a wide range of applications. Researchers around the world are now racing to increase the efficiency and output power of such ultraviolet solid-state devices.

    • David Pile

Review

Letters

  • Letter |

    Scientists demonstrate living biological lasers by pumping cells containing green fluorescent protein in a highly reflective microcavity. The researchers also investigate the thresholds and modes of their cellular lasers.

    • Malte C. Gather
    •  & Seok Hyun Yun
  • Letter |

    Scientists study the coupling, guiding and polarizing of electromagnetic waves in graphene and demonstrate a graphene-based fibre polarizer that exhibits a transverse-electric-pass polarization at an extinction ratio of up to 27 dB in the telecommunications band.

    • Qiaoliang Bao
    • , Han Zhang
    • , Bing Wang
    • , Zhenhua Ni
    • , Candy Haley Yi Xuan Lim
    • , Yu Wang
    • , Ding Yuan Tang
    •  & Kian Ping Loh
  • Letter |

    Poor coherence resulting from long exposure times is a problem for many coherent diffractive X-ray imaging schemes. Here, researchers show that coherent diffractive imaging using a broadband source can achieve a 60-fold reduction in exposure time.

    • Brian Abbey
    • , Lachlan W. Whitehead
    • , Harry M. Quiney
    • , David J. Vine
    • , Guido A. Cadenazzi
    • , Clare A. Henderson
    • , Keith A. Nugent
    • , Eugeniu Balaur
    • , Corey T. Putkunz
    • , Andrew G. Peele
    • , G. J. Williams
    •  & I. McNulty
  • Letter |

    Researchers demonstrate a microwave generator based on a high-Q optical resonator and a frequency comb functioning as an optical-to-microwave divider. They generate 10 GHz electrical signals with a fractional frequency instability of ≤8 × 10−16 at 1 s.

    • T. M. Fortier
    • , M. S. Kirchner
    • , F. Quinlan
    • , J. Taylor
    • , J. C. Bergquist
    • , T. Rosenband
    • , N. Lemke
    • , A. Ludlow
    • , Y. Jiang
    • , C. W. Oates
    •  & S. A. Diddams
  • Addendum

Article

  • Article |

    Scientists experimentally demonstrate an optical-fibre-based non-degenerate phase-sensitive amplifier link that offers broadband amplification, signal modulation-format independence and lower noise than links based on conventional erbium-doped fibre amplifiers.

    • Z. Tong
    • , C. Lundström
    • , P. A. Andrekson
    • , C. J. McKinstrie
    • , M. Karlsson
    • , D. J. Blessing
    • , E. Tipsuwannakul
    • , B. J. Puttnam
    • , H. Toda
    •  & L. Grüner-Nielsen

Interview

  • Interview |

    Researchers have now shown that lasers — usually thought of as being inanimate optoelectronic instruments — can also be made from certain biological gain media. Nature Photonics spoke to Malte C. Gather and Seok Hyun Yun about their realization of a living single-cell laser.

    • David Pile

Correction