Issue 1: Frontiers of Optics and Photonics (2021)

Editorial

Editorial

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global humanitarian crisis. To support the people who are hit hardest by this pandemic, we organized a benefit by inviting leading scientists in the field of optics and photonics to contribute to this special issue. …

Section: Optoelectronics and Integrated Photonics

Section: Optoelectronics and Integrated Photonics

Disorder effects in nitride semiconductors: impact on fundamental and device properties

Disorder effects in nitride semiconductors: impact on fundamental and device properties

Semiconductor structures used for fundamental or device applications most often incorporate alloy materials. In “usual” or “common” III–V alloys, based on the InGaAsP or InGaAlAs material systems, the effects of compositional disorder on the …

Ultralow threshold blue quantum dot lasers: what’s the true recipe for success?

Ultralow threshold blue quantum dot lasers: what’s the true recipe for success?

The family of III-nitride materials has provided a platform for tremendous advances in efficient solid-state lighting sources such as light-emitting diodes and laser diodes. In particular, quantum dot (QD) lasers using the InGaN/GaN material system promise …

Waiting for Act 2: what lies beyond organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays for organic electronics?

Waiting for Act 2: what lies beyond organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays for organic electronics?

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays are now poised to be the dominant mobile display technology and are at the heart of the most attractive televisions and electronic tablets on the market today. But this begs the question: what is the next big …

On-chip broadband nonreciprocal light storage

On-chip broadband nonreciprocal light storage

Breaking the symmetry between forward- and backward-propagating optical modes is of fundamental scientific interest and enables crucial functionalities, such as isolators, circulators, and duplex communication systems. Although there has been progress in …

High-Q nanophotonics: sculpting wavefronts with slow light

High-Q nanophotonics: sculpting wavefronts with slow light

Densely interconnected, nonlinear, and reconfigurable optical networks represent a route to high-performance optical computing, communications, and sensing technologies. Dielectric nanoantennas are promising building blocks for such architectures since they …

Thermoelectric graphene photodetectors with sub-nanosecond response times at terahertz frequencies

Thermoelectric graphene photodetectors with sub-nanosecond response times at terahertz frequencies

Ultrafast and sensitive (noise equivalent power <1 nW Hz-1/2) light-detection in the terahertz (THz) frequency range (0.1–10 THz) and at room-temperature is key for applications such as time-resolved THz spectroscopy of gases, complex molecules and …

High-performance integrated graphene electro-optic modulator at cryogenic temperature

High-performance integrated graphene electro-optic modulator at cryogenic temperature

High-performance integrated electro-optic modulators operating at low temperature are critical for optical interconnects in cryogenic applications. Existing integrated modulators, however, suffer from reduced modulation efficiency or bandwidth at low …

Asymmetric photoelectric effect: Auger-assisted hot hole photocurrents in transition metal dichalcogenides

Asymmetric photoelectric effect: Auger-assisted hot hole photocurrents in transition metal dichalcogenides

Transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) semiconductor heterostructures are actively explored as a new platform for quantum optoelectronic systems. Most state of the art devices make use of insulating hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) that acts as a wide-bandgap …

Seeing the light in energy use

Seeing the light in energy use

As photonics researchers work from home, and as we enter the first stages of re-entry into our laboratories, the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of two things: 1) meeting global challenges requires globally scalable solutions and 2) infrastructure is …

Section: Lasers, Active Optical Devices and Spectroscopy

Section: Lasers, Active Optical Devices and Spectroscopy

A high-repetition rate attosecond light source for time-resolved coincidence spectroscopy

A high-repetition rate attosecond light source for time-resolved coincidence spectroscopy

Attosecond pulses, produced through high-order harmonic generation in gases, have been successfully used for observing ultrafast, subfemtosecond electron dynamics in atoms, molecules and solid state systems. Today’s typical attosecond sources, however, are …

Fast laser speckle suppression with an intracavity diffuser

Fast laser speckle suppression with an intracavity diffuser

Fast speckle suppression is crucial for time-resolved full-field imaging with laser illumination. Here, we introduce a method to accelerate the spatial decoherence of laser emission, achieving speckle suppression in the nanosecond integration time scale. The …

Active optics with silk

Active optics with silk

Optical devices have been traditionally fabricated using materials whose chemical and physical properties are finely tuned to perform a specific, single, and often static function, whereby devices’ variability is achieved by design changes. Due to the …

Nanolaser arrays: toward application-driven dense integration

Nanolaser arrays: toward application-driven dense integration

The past two decades have seen widespread efforts being directed toward the development of nanoscale lasers. A plethora of studies on single such emitters have helped demonstrate their advantageous characteristics such as ultrasmall footprints, low power …

Two-dimensional spectroscopy on a THz quantum cascade structure

Two-dimensional spectroscopy on a THz quantum cascade structure

Understanding and controlling the nonlinear optical properties and coherent quantum evolution of complex multilevel systems out of equilibrium is essential for the new semiconductor device generation. In this work, we investigate the nonlinear system …

Homogeneous quantum cascade lasers operating as terahertz frequency combs over their entire operational regime

Homogeneous quantum cascade lasers operating as terahertz frequency combs over their entire operational regime

We report a homogeneous quantum cascade laser (QCL) emitting at terahertz (THz) frequencies, with a total spectral emission of about 0.6 THz, centered around 3.3 THz, a current density dynamic range Jdr = 1.53, and a continuous wave output power of 7 mW. …

Soliton dynamics of ring quantum cascade lasers with injected signal

Soliton dynamics of ring quantum cascade lasers with injected signal

Nonlinear interactions in many physical systems lead to symmetry breaking phenomena in which an initial spatially homogeneous stationary solution becomes modulated. Modulation instabilities have been widely studied since the 1960s in different branches of …

Section: Fiber Optics and Optical Communications

Section: Fiber Optics and Optical Communications

Propagation stability in optical fibers: role of path memory and angular momentum

Propagation stability in optical fibers: role of path memory and angular momentum

With growing interest in the spatial dimension of light, multimode fibers, which support eigenmodes with unique spatial and polarization attributes, have experienced resurgent attention. Exploiting this spatial diversity often requires robust modes during …

Perspective on using multiple orbital-angular-momentum beams for enhanced capacity in free-space optical communication links

Perspective on using multiple orbital-angular-momentum beams for enhanced capacity in free-space optical communication links

Structured light has gained much interest in increasing communications capacity through the simultaneous transmission of multiple orthogonal beams. This paper gives a perspective on the current state of the art and future challenges, especially with regards …

Section: Biomedical Photonics

Section: Biomedical Photonics

A fiber optic–nanophotonic approach to the detection of antibodies and viral particles of COVID-19

A fiber optic–nanophotonic approach to the detection of antibodies and viral particles of COVID-19

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator, told NBC News on “Meet the Press” that “he U.S. needs a ‘breakthrough’ in coronavirus testing to help screen Americans and get a more accurate picture of the virus’ spread.” …

Plasmonic control of drug release efficiency in agarose gel loaded with gold nanoparticle assemblies

Plasmonic control of drug release efficiency in agarose gel loaded with gold nanoparticle assemblies

Plasmonic nanoparticles (NPs) are exploited to concentrate light, provide local heating and enhance drug release when coupled to smart polymers. However, the role of NP assembling in these processes is poorly investigated, although their superior performance …

Metasurfaces for biomedical applications: imaging and sensing from a nanophotonics perspective

Metasurfaces for biomedical applications: imaging and sensing from a nanophotonics perspective

Metasurface is a recently developed nanophotonics concept to manipulate the properties of light by replacing conventional bulky optical components with ultrathin (more than 104 times thinner) flat optical components. Since the first demonstration of …

Hyperbolic dispersion metasurfaces for molecular biosensing

Hyperbolic dispersion metasurfaces for molecular biosensing

Sensor technology has become increasingly crucial in medical research and clinical diagnostics to directly detect small numbers of low-molecular-weight biomolecules relevant for lethal diseases. In recent years, various technologies have been developed, a …

Section: Fundamentals of Optics

Section: Fundamentals of Optics

A Tutorial on the Classical Theories of Electromagnetic Scattering and Diffraction

A Tutorial on the Classical Theories of Electromagnetic Scattering and Diffraction

Starting with Maxwell’s equations, we derive the fundamental results of the Huygens-Fresnel-Kirchhoff and Rayleigh-Sommerfeld theories of scalar diffraction and scattering. These results are then extended to cover the case of vector electromagnetic fields. …

Reflectionless excitation of arbitrary photonic structures: a general theory

Reflectionless excitation of arbitrary photonic structures: a general theory

We outline and interpret a recently developed theory of impedance matching or reflectionless excitation of arbitrary finite photonic structures in any dimension. The theory includes both the case of guided wave and free-space excitation. It describes the …

Section: Optimization Methods

Section: Optimization Methods

Multiobjective and categorical global optimization of photonic structures based on ResNet generative neural networks

Multiobjective and categorical global optimization of photonic structures based on ResNet generative neural networks

We show that deep generative neural networks, based on global optimization networks (GLOnets), can be configured to perform the multiobjective and categorical global optimization of photonic devices. A residual network scheme enables GLOnets to evolve from a …

Machine learning–assisted global optimization of photonic devices

Machine learning–assisted global optimization of photonic devices

Over the past decade, artificially engineered optical materials and nanostructured thin films have revolutionized the area of photonics by employing novel concepts of metamaterials and metasurfaces where spatially varying structures yield tailorable “by …

Artificial neural networks for inverse design of resonant nanophotonic components with oscillatory loss landscapes

Artificial neural networks for inverse design of resonant nanophotonic components with oscillatory loss landscapes

Machine learning offers the potential to revolutionize the inverse design of complex nanophotonic components. Here, we propose a novel variant of this formalism specifically suited for the design of resonant nanophotonic components. Typically, the first step …

Adjoint-optimized nanoscale light extractor for nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond

Adjoint-optimized nanoscale light extractor for nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond

We designed a nanoscale light extractor (NLE) for the efficient outcoupling and beaming of broadband light emitted by shallow, negatively charged nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in bulk diamond. The NLE consists of a patterned silicon layer on diamond and …

Section: Topological Photonics

Section: Topological Photonics

Non-Hermitian and topological photonics: optics at an exceptional point

Non-Hermitian and topological photonics: optics at an exceptional point

In the past few years, concepts from non-Hermitian (NH) physics, originally developed within the context of quantum field theories, have been successfully deployed over a wide range of physical settings where wave dynamics are known to play a key role. In …

Topological photonics: Where do we go from here?

Topological photonics: Where do we go from here?

Topological photonics is currently one of the most active research areas in optics and also one of the spearheads of research in topological physics at large. We are now more than a decade after it started. Topological photonics has already proved itself as …

Topological nanophotonics for photoluminescence control

Topological nanophotonics for photoluminescence control

Rare-earth-doped nanocrystals are emerging light sources that can produce tunable emissions in colours and lifetimes, which has been typically achieved in chemistry and material science. However, one important optical challenge – polarization of …

Anomalous Anderson localization behavior in gain-loss balanced non-Hermitian systems

Anomalous Anderson localization behavior in gain-loss balanced non-Hermitian systems

It has been shown recently that the backscattering of wave propagation in one-dimensional disordered media can be entirely suppressed for normal incidence by adding sample-specific gain and loss components to the medium. Here, we study the Anderson …

Section: Quantum Computing, Quantum Optics, and QED

Section: Quantum Computing, Quantum Optics, and QED

Quantum computing and simulation

Quantum computing and simulation

Quantum computers and simulators can have an extraordinary impact on our society. Despite the extraordinary progress they have made in recent years, there are still great challenges to be met and new opportunities to be discovered.

NIST-certified secure key generation via deep learning of physical unclonable functions in silica aerogels

NIST-certified secure key generation via deep learning of physical unclonable functions in silica aerogels

Physical unclonable functions (PUFs) are complex physical objects that aim at overcoming the vulnerabilities of traditional cryptographic keys, promising a robust class of security primitives for different applications. Optical PUFs present advantages over …

Thomas–Reiche–Kuhn (TRK) sum rule for interacting photons

Thomas–Reiche–Kuhn (TRK) sum rule for interacting photons

The Thomas–Reiche–Kuhn (TRK) sum rule is a fundamental consequence of the position–momentum commutation relation for an atomic electron, and it provides an important constraint on the transition matrix elements for an atom. Here, we propose a TRK sum …

Macroscopic QED for quantum nanophotonics: emitter-centered modes as a minimal basis for multiemitter problems

Macroscopic QED for quantum nanophotonics: emitter-centered modes as a minimal basis for multiemitter problems

We present an overview of the framework of macroscopic quantum electrodynamics from a quantum nanophotonics perspective. Particularly, we focus our attention on three aspects of the theory that are crucial for the description of quantum optical phenomena in …

Generation and dynamics of entangled fermion–photon–phonon states in nanocavities

Generation and dynamics of entangled fermion–photon–phonon states in nanocavities

We develop the analytic theory describing the formation and evolution of entangled quantum states for a fermionic quantum emitter coupled simultaneously to a quantized electromagnetic field in a nanocavity and quantized phonon or mechanical vibrational …

Polaritonic Tamm states induced by cavity photons

Polaritonic Tamm states induced by cavity photons

We consider a periodic chain of oscillating dipoles, interacting via long-range dipole–dipole interactions, embedded inside a cuboid cavity waveguide. We show that the mixing between the dipolar excitations and cavity photons into polaritons can lead to the …

Recent progress in engineering the Casimir effect – applications to nanophotonics, nanomechanics, and chemistry

Recent progress in engineering the Casimir effect – applications to nanophotonics, nanomechanics, and chemistry

Quantum optics combines classical electrodynamics with quantum mechanics to describe how light interacts with material on the nanoscale, and many of the tricks and techniques used in nanophotonics can be extended to this quantum realm. Specifically, quantum …

Enhancement of rotational vacuum friction by surface photon tunneling

Enhancement of rotational vacuum friction by surface photon tunneling

When a neutral sphere is rotating near a surface in vacuum, it will experience a frictional torque due to quantum and thermal electromagnetic fluctuations. Such vacuum friction has attracted many interests but has been too weak to be observed. Here we …

Section: Plasmonics and Polaritonics

Section: Plasmonics and Polaritonics

Shrinking the surface plasmon

Shrinking the surface plasmon

Surface plasmons at an interface between dielectric and metal regions can in theory be made arbitrarily compact normal to the interface by introducing extreme anisotropy in the material parameters. We propose a metamaterial structure comprising a square array …

Polariton panorama

Polariton panorama

In this brief review, we summarize and elaborate on some of the nomenclature of polaritonic phenomena and systems as they appear in the literature on quantum materials and quantum optics. Our summary includes at least 70 different types of polaritonic …

Scattering of a single plasmon polariton by multiple atoms for in-plane control of light

Scattering of a single plasmon polariton by multiple atoms for in-plane control of light

We study the interaction of a single photon in a surface plasmon polariton mode with multiple atoms. We propose a system of two atoms to achieve a tunable scattering from subscattering to superscattering regimes by changing the angle of the incident photon. …

A metasurface-based diamond frequency converter using plasmonic nanogap resonators

A metasurface-based diamond frequency converter using plasmonic nanogap resonators

Diamond has attracted great interest as an appealing material for various applications ranging from classical to quantum optics. To date, Raman lasers, single photon sources, quantum sensing and quantum communication have been demonstrated with integrated …

Selective excitation of individual nanoantennas by pure spectral phase control in the ultrafast coherent regime

Selective excitation of individual nanoantennas by pure spectral phase control in the ultrafast coherent regime

Coherent control is an ingenious tactic to steer a system to a desired optimal state by tailoring the phase of an incident ultrashort laser pulse. A relevant process is the two-photon–induced photoluminescence (TPPL) of nanoantennas, as it constitutes a …

Semiconductor quantum plasmons for high frequency thermal emission

Semiconductor quantum plasmons for high frequency thermal emission

Plasmons in heavily doped semiconductor layers are optically active excitations with sharp resonances in the 5–15 ?m wavelength region set by the doping level and the effective mass. Here, we demonstrate that volume plasmons can form in doped layers of …

Origin of dispersive line shapes in plasmon-enhanced stimulated Raman scattering microscopy

Origin of dispersive line shapes in plasmon-enhanced stimulated Raman scattering microscopy

Plasmon-enhanced stimulated Raman scattering (PESRS) microscopy has been recently developed to reach single-molecule detection limit. Unlike conventional stimulated Raman spectra, dispersive-like vibrational line shapes were observed in PESRS. Here, we …

Epitaxial aluminum plasmonics covering full visible spectrum

Epitaxial aluminum plasmonics covering full visible spectrum

Aluminum has attracted a great deal of attention as an alternative plasmonic material to silver and gold because of its natural abundance on Earth, material stability, unique spectral capability in the ultraviolet spectral region, and complementary …

Section: Metaoptics

Section: Metaoptics

Metamaterials with high degrees of freedom: space, time, and more

Metamaterials with high degrees of freedom: space, time, and more

In this brief opinion article, I present a personal perspective on metamterials with high degrees of freedom and dimensionality and discuss their potential roles in enriching light–matter interaction in photonics and related fields.

The road to atomically thin metasurface optics

The road to atomically thin metasurface optics

The development of flat optics has taken the world by storm. The initial mission was to try and replace conventional optical elements by thinner, lightweight equivalents. However, while developing this technology and learning about its strengths and …

Active nonlocal metasurfaces

Active nonlocal metasurfaces

Actively tunable and reconfigurable wavefront shaping by optical metasurfaces poses a significant technical challenge often requiring unconventional materials engineering and nanofabrication. Most wavefront-shaping metasurfaces can be considered “local” …

Giant midinfrared nonlinearity based on multiple quantum well polaritonic metasurfaces

Giant midinfrared nonlinearity based on multiple quantum well polaritonic metasurfaces

Ultrathin engineered metasurfaces loaded with multiple quantum wells (MQWs) form a highly efficient platform for nonlinear optics. Here we discuss different approaches to realize mid infrared metasurfaces with localized second-harmonic generation based on …

Near-field plates and the near zone of metasurfaces

Near-field plates and the near zone of metasurfaces

A brief, tutorial account is given of the differences between the near and far regions of the electromagnetic field emphasizing the source-dependent behavior of the former and the universal properties of the latter. Field patterns of near-field plates, that …

High-efficiency metadevices for bifunctional generations of vectorial optical fields

High-efficiency metadevices for bifunctional generations of vectorial optical fields

Vectorial optical fields (VOFs) exhibiting tailored wave fronts and spatially inhomogeneous polarization distributions are particularly useful in photonic applications. However, devices to generate them, made by natural materials or recently proposed …

Printing polarization and phase at the optical diffraction limit: near- and far-field optical encryption

Printing polarization and phase at the optical diffraction limit: near- and far-field optical encryption

Securing optical information to avoid counterfeiting and manipulation by unauthorized persons and agencies requires innovation and enhancement of security beyond basic intensity encryption. In this paper, we present a new method for polarization-dependent …

Optical response of jammed rectangular nanostructures

Optical response of jammed rectangular nanostructures

Random jammed dipole scatterers are natural composite and common byproducts of various chemical synthesis techniques. They often form complex aggregates with nontrivial correlations that influence the effective dielectric description of the medium. In this …

Dynamic phase-change metafilm absorber for strong designer modulation of visible light

Dynamic phase-change metafilm absorber for strong designer modulation of visible light

Effective dynamic modulation of visible light properties has been significantly desired for advanced imaging and sensing technologies. In particular, phase-change materials have attracted much attention as active material platforms owing to their broadband …

Arbitrary polarization conversion for pure vortex generation with a single metasurface

Arbitrary polarization conversion for pure vortex generation with a single metasurface

The purity of an optical vortex beam depends on the spread of its energy among different azimuthal and radial modes, also known as $ell $- and p-modes. The smaller the spread, the higher the vortex purity and more efficient its creation and detection. There …

Enhanced harmonic generation in gases using an all-dielectric metasurface

Enhanced harmonic generation in gases using an all-dielectric metasurface

Strong field confinement, long-lifetime resonances, and slow-light effects suggest that metasurfaces are a promising tool for nonlinear optical applications. These nanostructured devices have been utilized for relatively high efficiency solid-state …

Monolithic metasurface spatial differentiator enabled by asymmetric photonic spin-orbit interactions

Monolithic metasurface spatial differentiator enabled by asymmetric photonic spin-orbit interactions

Spatial differentiator is the key element for edge detection, which is indispensable in image processing, computer vision involving image recognition, image restoration, image compression, and so on. Spatial differentiators based on metasurfaces are simpler …