Cover Story

This special issue of OPN highlights the most exciting peer-reviewed optics research to have emerged over the past 12 months. more>>



The diffusion of light allows biologists to study tissue at various depths below the surface of a person’s skin. One novel development is the construction of a biological laser from a single cell. more>>


A key component in any optical system is the detector that is used to transform light into a measurement. more>>


Microstructured optical fibers constitute a versatile platform for developing novel optofluidic, sensing and actuating devices—bringing together photonics and microfluidics. more>>


Spectral imaging is particularly important in the biosciences. Raman scattering provides unique spectral signatures that can be used in the study of cell chemistry. more>>


A key optical tool for metrology allows us to use a ruler calibrated in wavelengths of light. more>>

Nonlinear Optics

Nonlinear optics allows us to generate sources in new spectral regions and to provide increased signal propagation capability. more>>

Photonic Structures

We have learned how to construct ordered index-of-refraction-modulated structures that allow us to control the propagation of light. Initially, researchers were simply interested in fabrication; now they are exploring limitations in the structures. more>>


Surface plasmons have the unique capacity to confine light to very small dimensions, but the losses that occur when they propagate have limited their utility. more>>

Quantum Optics

Exciting work is being done in quantum information theory and the detection of low light levels. more>>


The atmosphere is nearly opaque at wavelengths from the far-infrared to the millimeter wave, but there are applications that work around this restriction. more>>

Transformation Optics

A new design concept for optical devices comes from the mathematical view of space-time in general relativity. The desired optical path is determined by coordinate transformations. more>>

Ultrafast Optics

Techniques that use optical pulses extending from the picosecond to the attosecond have become an important adjunct to nanoscale science. more>>

3-D Recording and Display

The display of 3-D objects has always been fascinating. Recent research explores new possibilities in holographic imaging and 3-D television. more>>