Volume 7 Issue 3, March 2013

Volume 7 Issue 3

The diffusive spreading of laser light by a disordered collection of submillimetre-sized glass spheres.

Review p188




  • Editorial |

    Two Nobel Prizes, as well as a growing number of papers and potential applications, suggest that research into disorder and aperiodicity is an increasingly popular undertaking that could offer a wealth of important applications.



  • Interview |

    The study of random lasers based on disordered, scattering media has become an active topic of research in recent years. Nature Photonics spoke to Hui Cao from Yale University about developments in the area, potential applications and future opportunities.

  • Interview |

    Capturing the dynamics of atoms and molecules using X-ray free-electron laser pulses requires femtosecond timing between the pump and probe beams. Nature Photonics spoke with Marion Harmand and Marco Cammarata about their progress.

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    A single ion embedded in a high-finesse optical cavity can now transfer its qubit state to a single photon, which is an important stepping stone towards the implementation of ion-based quantum networks.

    • Dominik Maxein
    •  & Julien Laurat
  • News & Views |

    AIP/ACOFT 2012 was last year's biggest and most diverse scientific meeting in the Australian physics calendar. Optics and photonics dominated; although traditional Australian strengths like quantum optics and X-ray science were well represented, there were some shifts to other fields.

    • David Pile


  • Review Article |

    The optical characteristics and applications of the quasicrystal, a special form of aperiodic engineered structure, are explored in this Review article.

    • Z. Valy Vardeny
    • , Ajay Nahata
    •  & Amit Agrawal
  • Review Article |

    While historically considered as a great nuisance, disordered structures which scatter light are now yielding a wealth of applications in photonics, such as the creation of random lasers, the study of Anderson localization or the design of broadband reflection coatings. This Review artilce summarizes the opportunities explored to date.

    • Diederik S. Wiersma
  • Review Article |

    The Anderson localization of light within disordered media has become a topic of great interest in recent years. Here the characterization of the effect and its related phenomena are reviewed, with a discussion on the role that nonlinearity and quantum correlated photons can play.

    • Mordechai Segev
    • , Yaron Silberberg
    •  & Demetrios N. Christodoulides


  • Letter |

    Researchers develop a fiber-coupled single-photon-detection system using amorphous tungsten silicide superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors. The system detection efficiency is higher than 90% in the wavelength range between 1520 nm and 1610 nm. The device dark-count rate, timing jitter and reset time are 1 cps, 150 ps and 40 ns, respectively.

    • F. Marsili
    • , V. B. Verma
    • , J. A. Stern
    • , S. Harrington
    • , A. E. Lita
    • , T. Gerrits
    • , I. Vayshenker
    • , B. Baek
    • , M. D. Shaw
    • , R. P. Mirin
    •  & S. W. Nam
  • Letter |

    By taking advantage of free-carrier generation in optically transparent media researchers have improved synchronization between optical lasers and free-electron laser pulses. This technique has an optical/X-ray delay with a sub-10 fs r.m.s error.

    • M. Harmand
    • , R. Coffee
    • , M. R. Bionta
    • , M. Chollet
    • , D. French
    • , D. Zhu
    • , D. M. Fritz
    • , H. T. Lemke
    • , N. Medvedev
    • , B. Ziaja
    • , S. Toleikis
    •  & M. Cammarata
  • Letter |

    Researchers demonstrate deterministic quantum-state transfer from a 40Ca+ ion to a photon in an optical cavity by controlling the transition probabilities and the frequency difference of two simultaneous Raman fields. They used process tomography to characterize the quantum-state transfer, providing a process fidelity of 92% and a state-transfer efficiency of 16%.

    • A. Stute
    • , B. Casabone
    • , B. Brandstätter
    • , K. Friebe
    • , T. E. Northup
    •  & R. Blatt


  • Article |

    Researchers present a photonic demonstration of a full quantum algorithm without knowing the answer in advance. The unknown eigenvalues are truly calculated by the iterative phase estimation algorithm circuit. The demonstrated scheme is essential for practical applications of the phase estimation algorithm, including quantum simulations, quantum metrology and factoring.

    • Xiao-Qi Zhou
    • , Pruet Kalasuwan
    • , Timothy C. Ralph
    •  & Jeremy L. O'Brien
  • Article |

    Researchers use squeezed light to track the constituents of yeast cells with a performance that overcomes the quantum noise limit. This approach allows for the utilization of low optical power, which helps to minimize cell damage.

    • Michael A. Taylor
    • , Jiri Janousek
    • , Vincent Daria
    • , Joachim Knittel
    • , Boris Hage
    • , Hans-A. Bachor
    •  & Warwick P. Bowen
  • Article |

    Through simultaneous five-photon absorption, scientists observe efficient frequency-upconverted stimulated emission from the mid- or near-infrared to the visible region in a novel fluorophore. The fifth-order dependence on the input light intensity provides much stronger spatial confinement than lower-order nonlinear absorption, thus offering much higher contrast for imaging.

    • Qingdong Zheng
    • , Haomiao Zhu
    • , Shan-Ci Chen
    • , Changquan Tang
    • , En Ma
    •  & Xueyuan Chen
  • Article |

    Colour filters that split light by employing near-field interference effects instead of absorption provide enhanced signal levels for dense, small-pixel image sensors.

    • Seiji Nishiwaki
    • , Tatsuya Nakamura
    • , Masao Hiramoto
    • , Toshiya Fujii
    •  & Masa-aki Suzuki




  • Focus |


    The issue describes how light interacts with disordered, aperiodic and strongly scattering media to realize a variety of interesting optical phenomena. Topics covered include photonic quasi-crystals, random lasing, Anderson localization and hyper-transport of light as well as potential applications in imaging and next-generation light sources.