Reviews & Analysis

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  • A single-pass free electron laser operating at 0.16 THz with an energy efficiency of ~10% promises compact and high-power sources in the terahertz spectral region.

    • Lixin Yan
    • Zhuoyuan Liu
    News & Views
  • The chiral nature of phonons in crystals of biomolecules is identified by terahertz spectroscopy, paving the way to a better understanding of biochemical processes.

    • Minkyu Kim
    • Vladimir V. Tsukruk
    News & Views
  • Researchers report a solid-state laser containing metasurfaces that generates a 10 × 10 array of phase-locked optical vortices with tunable orbital angular momentum.

    • Philippe St-Jean
    News & Views
  • Non-Abelian braiding, an essential process for realizing topological quantum computation, is implemented using an array of photonic integrated waveguides.

    • Stefan Scheel
    • Alexander Szameit
    News & Views
  • Non-reciprocal physical systems exhibit direction-dependent propagation of light, enabling a myriad of devices such as diodes and circulators. A new experiment demonstrates non-reciprocal amplification of light via atomic spins, driving photons on a one-way street through optical nanofibres.

    • Kanu Sinha
    • Elizabeth A. Goldschmidt
    News & Views
  • The local polarization of light in nanophotonic waveguides changes with the light’s direction of propagation. By electrically controlling the polarization of optically created waveguide-coupled excitons in a two-dimensional semiconductor, researchers demonstrate voltage-controlled routing of photons in an integrated nanophotonic device.

    • Arno Rauschenbeutel
    • Philipp Schneeweiss
    News & Views
  • A record-breaking microwave-to-optics conversion efficiency of 82% over a 1 MHz bandwidth for low photon numbers is achieved by using a gas of Rydberg atoms, paving the way towards applications in quantum technologies.

    • Jacob P. Covey
    News & Views
  • A photonic quantum memristor is experimentally demonstrated, paving the way to neuromorphic quantum computing.

    • Lucas Lamata
    News & Views
  • Weak interaction of light with matter makes its tunable control notoriously challenging, resulting in bulky and inefficient devices. Now, a study demonstrates that van der Waals antiferromagnets featuring strong spin-charge induced anisotropy could offer excellent control of light polarization selectivity.

    • Haonan Ling
    • Artur R. Davoyan
    News & Views
  • Harnessing birefringence in a photonic chip featuring an array of coupled waveguides brings new opportunities for investigating quantum effects such as bunching and antibunching.

    • Hao Tang
    • Xian-Min Jin
    News & Views
  • Recent progress of table-top isolated attosecond light sources is reviewed with a focus on the related technologies for high-average-flux and high-peak-intensity attosecond bursts of light. An outlook on its applications is also provided.

    • Katsumi Midorikawa
    Review Article
  • A liquid crystal doped with a diarylethene enantiomer can be switched by light into stable reflection states of different colour, creating new opportunities for lasing and labelling.

    • Bohan Chen
    • Zimo Zhao
    • Stephen M. Morris
    News & Views
  • Homogenized AgBiS2 nanocrystals with enhanced light absorption have helped realize an ultrathin solar cell with a certified efficiency of 8.85%.

    • Xiaoyu Yang
    • Rui Zhu
    News & Views
  • Directional control of the diffusion of excitons is desired for excitonic devices, but being neutrally charged they can’t be transported by applying a bias voltage as for conventional electronic transport. It is now shown that surface acoustic waves can direct the flux of excitons over micrometre distances, even at room temperature.

    • Jorge Quereda
    • Andres Castellanos-Gomez
    News & Views
  • This Review details the fundamental photonics and thermodynamics concepts that underlie the processes of radiative cooling, and discusses a few emerging directions associated with radiative cooling research.

    • Shanhui Fan
    • Wei Li
    Review Article