February 2003

Nematicons: Optical Spatial Solitons in Nematic Liquid Crystals

Gaetano Assanto, Marco Peccianti and Claudio Conti

Nematicons are self-trapped light beams in nematic liquid crystalline systems. Thanks to their optically nonlinear, saturable, nonlocal and nonresonant response, they enable light to self-confine and guide additional optical signals, making them an ideal testbed for applications in all-optical information processing.

Optoelectronic Microsystems Integration

In the quest to boost performance and shorten processing times, optical functions are being integrated into system-on-a-package and system-on-a-chip applications.

Femtosecond-Laser-Assisted Microstructuring of Silicon Surfaces

Femtosecond-laser-assisted chemical etching is being used to microstructure silicon surfaces. The technique offers new opportunities in areas including photodetector, sensor and display applications.

Structural Colors in Nature and Butterfly-Wing Modeling

Periodic structures, such as those found in photonic crystals, can generate iridescent colors. They allow some objects in nature, including opals, to display gleaming colors, even in the absence of pigment. Electromagnetic theory allows the phenomenon to be investigated through modeling.

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