Cover Story

Optofluidics: A Light Stream Interface

Carlos López-Mariscal

Through the burgeoning field of optofluidics, researchers are using fluids to create adaptive optical systems at the microscopic scale, with applications in biophotonics, information processing and sensing. more>>


Wireless-Over-Fiber Technology—Bringing the Wireless World Indoors

Chin-Pang Liu and Alwyn Seeds

The explosive growth of the Internet would not have been possible without optical fiber, which enables the movement of enormous amounts of data over thousands of kilometers. In an increasingly important application of wireless technology, fiber is being used to transport radio frequency signals and enhance coverage in buildings. more>>

How the Laser Launched Nonlinear Optics

Jeff Hecht

If the laser was a solution, nonlinear optics was one of the problems it was seeking. Intense pulses of coherent, monochromatic light were just what was needed to produce nonlinear effects. Once physicists got their first lasers, nonlinear optics blossomed in a golden age of discovery. more>>


Controlling Gas Flow with Light

Yvonne Carts-Powell

A "smart" membrane, developed by graduate student Eric Glowacki and his advisor Kenneth Marshall at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics, blocks gas when illuminated by ultraviolet light, but permits gas to flow when lit by purple light. more>>

Laser Controls the Pace of a Beating Heart

Yvonne Carts-Powell

Michael W. Jenkins and others at Case Western Reserve University and Vanderbilt University demonstrated that pulsed infrared light can control the pace of a quail heart. more>>

Carbon-Nanotube Coating Improves Thermal Detector

Patricia Daukantas

A very black carbon-nanotube coating, combined with an innovative fabrication process, makes a new infrared detector with nearly ideal performance over a wide range of wavelengths. more>>

Chemistry for Harvesting Sunlight

Yvonne Carts-Powell

Researchers reported advances in molecular systems for efficient solar energy conversion and storage at the recent American Chemical Society meeting in Boston (Massachusetts, U.S.A.). more>>


Career Focus

Peer Review 101: Building a Reputation as a Reviewer

Julio Gutiérrez-Vega and Carlos López-Mariscal

Taking part in the review process is critical to developing a scientific career. Here’s what you need to know to get started. more>>

Light Touch

Along Came a Spider

Stephen R. Wilk

How arachnids made their way into global legend— and optics history. more>>

And the Winners Are ...

Results from OPN's fifth annual After Image photo contest. more>>

Optical Engineering

Medical Laser Applications—From Manufacturing to Diagnostics

Greg Whiteside

Lasers are a key manufacturing technology for molded interconnect devices, which are helping to create portable medical equipment with higher-level functionality. more>>

Optics Innovations

Zygo Corp. Measures 40 Years

Carl Zanoni

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Zygo Corp., a worldwide supplier of optical metrology instruments and precision optical components. One of the company’s founders refl ects on the company’s past and the factors that have contributed to its success. more>>

Policy Matters

Broadband Becomes Global Priority

C. David Chaffee

Many countries are developing broadband plans as they look to provide faster Internet connections that will strengthen productivity, enhance health and education, and improve their citizens’ way of life. more>>