Cover Story

State-of-the-Art Photonic Crystal Fiber

William Wadsworth, Jonathan Knight and Tim Birks

Photonic crystal fibers (PCFs) can change the way light is generated, delivered and used. Supercontinuum generation, four-wave mixing and hollow-core PCF technology may enable breakthroughs in science—especially in medicine and... more>>


Breaking the Tbit/s Barrier: Higher Bandwidth Optical Processing

Jochen Schröder, Trung D. Vo, Yvan Paquot and Benjamin J. Eggleton

The growing demand for broadband communications has inspired many approaches to increasing capacity. Our recent work shows that combining linear and nonlinear optical signal processing can overcome some of the challenges faced by high-symbol rate signals. more>>

Global Trends in Optical Manufacturing

Jeff Ferry

After the telecom bubble burst in 2002, many North American optical companies outsourced production to Asia on a grand scale. A decade later, the global industry is rebalancing itself in interesting ways. more>>

Changing the Lights: Are LEDs Ready to Become the Market Standard?

Jeff Hecht

Solid-state lighting promises higher efficiency than fluorescent or incandescent bulbs—and without their many limitations. Yet the bright new technology faces important challenges before it can truly replace Thomas Edison’s venerable invention.  more>>


Astronomers Eye Sungrazing Comet

Yvonne Carts-Powell

Images of the comet Lovejoy passing near the sun were captured by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s Sun-Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation instruments. more>>

Robust Fabrication of Tiny Resonators

Patricia Daukantas

A new method for creating tiny devices on the outer surfaces of optical fibers could turn out to be a practical technology for integrated photonic circuits. more>>

Hand-held Imager Spots Brain Bleeds Fast

Yvonne Carts-Powell

A multi-laboratory research team has developed a new proof-of-concept prototype that can quickly detect brain bleeds. more>>

Transient Absorption Microscopy Images Nanotubes in Cells

Patricia Daukantas

Researchers at Purdue University have learned how to detect both metallic and semiconducting nanotubes within biological tissue. more>>

Better Solar via Photonic Crystals

Yvonne Carts-Powell

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, U.S.A.) report designing a solar thermophotovoltaic system with a photonic crystal layer to trap and reflect light at the absorber. more>>


Optical Engineering

Wave Forms: A New Laser Tool

Mark Brodsky

An innovative laser design provides pulsed energy differently than traditional mirror/Q-switch cavities. It offers optical engineers a new option for quick processing and fine pulse control. more>>

Optics Innovations

How to Build a Winning Business Plan

Milton Chang

Preparing a good business plan is an essential first step for any startup. A business plan is used to convince investors and to recruit your founding team. But first and foremost, it is an essential planning tool that will help you succeed. more>>

Reflections in Diversity

Minority Women Scientists: At the Culture-Gender Crossroads

Anthony Johnson

As we engage in efforts to increase diversity among scientists, culture is an important part of the conversation. more>>

The History of OSA

Selig Hecht: Frederick Ives Medalist, 1941

John N. Howard

Selig Hecht, recipient of the 1941 Frederick Ives Medal, was known for his substantial contributions to the study of photoreception and vision. One of his most famous findings was his determination that a minimum of 5-14 photons are required to produce a visual response in the human eye. more>>

Conversations in Optics

OPN Talks with Milo Medin

Sarah Cogan

Our conversation with Milo Medin, Google VP and OFC/NFOEC plenary speaker. more>>

OPN Talks with Isao Sugino

Sarah Cogan

Our conversation with Isao Sugino, telecom policy expert and OFC/NFOEC plenary speaker. more>>