This review aims at providing a comprehensive and updated picture of the field of hyperbolic metamaterials, from the foundations to the most recent progresses and future perspectives. The topics discussed embrace theoretical aspects, practical realization and key challenges for applications such as imaging, spontaneous emission engineering, thermal, active and tunable hyperbolic media.
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in ZnO nanostructures due to their variety of morphologies and availability of simple and low cost processing. While there are still unanswered questions concerning fundamental properties of this material, in particular those related to defects and visible luminescence lines, great progress has been made in synthesis methods and device applications of ZnO nanostructures. In this review, we will provide a brief overview of synthesis methods of ZnO nanostructures, with particular focus on the growth of perpendicular arrays of nanorods/nanowires which are of interest for optoelectronic device applications. Then, we will provide an overview of material properties of ZnO nanostructures, issues related to doping with various elements to achieve either p- or n-type conductivity. Doping to alter optical or magnetic properties will also be discussed. Then, issues related to practical problems in achieving good electrical contacts to nanostructures will be presented. Finally, we will provide an overview of applications of ZnO nanostructures to light-emitting devices, photodetectors and solar cells.
The development of parametric devices down-converting the laser frequency to the mid-infrared (3–30 µm) based on non-oxide nonlinear optical crystals is reviewed. Such devices, pumped by solid-state laser systems operating in the near-infrared, fill in this spectral gap where no such lasers exist, on practically all time scales, from continuous-wave to femtosecond regime. All important results obtained so far with difference-frequency generation, optical parametric oscillation, generation and amplification are presented in a comparative manner, illustrating examples of recent achievements are given in more detail, and some special issues such as continuum and frequency comb generation or pulse shaping are also discussed. The vital element in any frequency-conversion process is the nonlinear optical crystal and this represents one of the major limitations for achieving high energies and average powers in the mid-infrared although the broad spectral tunability seems not to be a problem. Hence, an overview of the available non-oxide nonlinear optical materials, emphasizing new developments such as wide band-gap, engineered (mixed), and quasi-phase-matched crystals, is also included.
Ripples are formed on the surface of solid materials after interaction with laser pulses of high intensity/irradiance. When ultra-short sub-1 ps laser pulses are used, the observed morphology of ripples on surfaces becomes much more complex as compared with ripples formed by long laser pulses. Uniquely for the short laser pulses, ripples can be formed in the bulk. A better understanding of the fundamentals of light-matter interaction in ripples formation is strongly required. Experimentally observed ripples and dependence of their parameters on laser fabrication conditions and material properties are summarized first. Then, a critical review of relevant ripple formation mechanisms is presented, discussed, and formation conjectures are presented. It is shown that formation of plasma at sub-critical or critical densities (i.e., solid state or breakdown plasmas) on the surface and in the bulk specific to the high-intensity ultra-short laser pulses has to be considered to account for the experimental observations. Surface and bulk ripples formed on/in dielectrics can be explained by the same model where electron–hole (solid state) plasma is formed at the very threshold of ripples formation. Ripple patterns have a strong application potential from sensing to light harvesting and (photo)catalysis mainly due to nanoscale features and self-replication of pattern over large macroscopic areas. Several emerging applications are shown.
Group-III nitride nanowire structures, including GaN, InN, AlN and their alloys, have been intensively studied in the past decade. Unique to this material system is that its energy bandgap can be tuned from the deep ultraviolet (~6.2 eV for AlN) to the near infrared (~0.65 eV for InN). In this article, we provide an overview on the recent progress made in III-nitride nanowire optoelectronic devices, including light emitting diodes, lasers, photodetectors, single photon sources, intraband devices, solar cells, and artificial photosynthesis. The present challenges and future prospects of III-nitride nanowire optoelectronic devices are also discussed.
In contrast to a conventional symmetric Lorentzian resonance, Fano resonance is predominantly used to describe asymmetric-shaped resonances, which arise from the constructive and destructive interference of discrete resonance states with broadband continuum states. This phenomenon and the underlying mechanisms, being common and ubiquitous in many realms of physical sciences, can be found in a wide variety of nanophotonic structures and quantum systems, such as quantum dots, photonic crystals, plasmonics, and metamaterials. The asymmetric and steep dispersion of the Fano resonance profile promises applications for a wide range of photonic devices, such as optical filters, switches, sensors, broadband reflectors, lasers, detectors, slow-light and non-linear devices, etc. With advances in nanotechnology, impressive progress has been made in the emerging field of nanophotonic structures. One of the most attractive nanophotonic structures for integrated photonics is the two-dimensional photonic crystal slab (2D PCS), which can be integrated into a wide range of photonic devices. The objective of this manuscript is to provide an in depth review of the progress made in the general area of Fano resonance photonics, focusing on the photonic devices based on 2D PCS structures. General discussions are provided on the origins and characteristics of Fano resonances in 2D PCSs. A nanomembrane transfer printing fabrication technique is also reviewed, which is critical for the heterogeneous integrated Fano resonance photonics. The majority of the remaining sections review progress made on various photonic devices and structures, such as high quality factor filters, membrane reflectors, membrane lasers, detectors and sensors, as well as structures and phenomena related to Fano resonance slow light effect, nonlinearity, and optical forces in coupled PCSs. It is expected that further advances in the field will lead to more significant advances towards 3D integrated photonics, flat optics, and flexible optoelectronics, with lasting impact in areas ranging from computing, communications, to sensing and imaging systems.
Semiconductor nanowires have recently emerged as a new class of materials with significant potential to reveal new fundamental physics and to propel new applications in quantum electronic and optoelectronic devices. Semiconductor nanowires show exceptional promise as nanostructured materials for exploring physics in reduced dimensions and in complex geometries, as well as in one-dimensional nanowire devices. They are compatible with existing semiconductor technologies and can be tailored into unique axial and radial heterostructures. In this contribution we review the recent efforts of our international collaboration which have resulted in significant advances in the growth of exceptionally high quality III–V nanowires and nanowire heterostructures, and major developments in understanding the electronic energy landscapes of these nanowires and the dynamics of carriers in these nanowires using photoluminescence, time-resolved photoluminescence and terahertz conductivity spectroscopy. ► High quality III–V nanowires and nanowire heterostructures were grown. ► Electron microscopy elucidated nanowire crystal structure: zinc-blende or wurtzite. ► Photoluminescence revealed the electronic energy landscapes in these nanowires. ► Terahertz conductivity spectroscopy measured charge carrier dynamics in nanowires. ► Nanowires are prime candidates for applications in quantum electronics.
For a number of years, the scientific community has been paying growing attention to the monitoring and enhancement of public health and the quality of life through the detection of all dangerous agents for the human body, including gases, proteins, virus, and bacterial agents. When these agents are detected through label-free biochemical sensors, the molecules are not modified structurally or functionally by adding fluorescent or radioactive dyes. This work focuses on label-free optical ring resonator-based configurations suited for bio-chemical sensing, highlighting their physical aspects and specific applications. Resonant wavelength shift and the modal splitting occurring when the analyte interacts with microresonant structures are the two major physical aspects analyzed in this paper. Competitive optical platforms proposed in the literature are also illustrated together with their properties and performance. ► We reviews label-free optical ring resonator-based devices for bio-chemical sensing. ► We define the performance parameters of biochemical sensors. ► The main label-free biochemical sensing technologies are introduced. ► We discuss in detail the performance of optical biosensors based on ring resonators. ► We present experimental results on optical resonant sensors.
The tremendous interest in the field of waveguide lasers in the past two decades is largely attributed to the geometry of the gain medium, which provides the possibility to store optical energy on a very small dimension in the form of an optical mode. This allows for realization of sources with enhanced optical gain, low lasing threshold, and small footprint and opens up exciting possibilities in the area of integrated optics by facilitating their on-chip integration with different functionalities and highly compact photonic circuits. Moreover, this geometrical concept is compatible with high-power diode pumping schemes as it provides exceptional thermal management, minimizing the impact of thermal loading on laser performance. The proliferation of techniques for fabrication and processing capable of producing high optical quality waveguides has greatly contributed to the growth of waveguide lasers from a topic of fundamental research to an area that encompasses a variety of practical applications. In this first part of the review on optically pumped waveguide lasers the properties that distinguish these sources from other classes of lasers will be discussed. Furthermore, the current state-of-the art in terms of fabrication tools used for producing waveguide lasers is reviewed from the aspects of the processes and the materials involved. ► Waveguide lasers. ► Optical waveguides. ► Film growth and epitaxy. ► Materials micro- and nanofabrication and processing. ► Integrated optics devices.
Terahertz (THz) detectors play an increasing role in different areas of human activities (e.g., security, biological, drugs and explosions detection, imaging, astronomy applications, etc.). In the paper, issues associated with the development and exploitation of THz radiation detectors are discussed. The basic physical phenomena and the recent progress in both direct and heterodyne detectors are described. More details concern Schottky barrier diodes, pair braking detectors, hot electron mixers and field-effect transistor detectors, where links between THz devices and modern technologies such as micromachining are underlined. Also the operational conditions of THz detectors and their upper performance limits are reviewed.
Development of focal plane arrays started in seventies last century and has revolutionized imaging systems in the next decades. This paper presents progress in optical detector technology of focal plane arrays during the past twenty years. At the beginning of paper, emphasises are given on integrated detector assembly and cooling requirements of different types of detectors. Next, the classification of two types of detectors (photon detectors and thermal detectors) is done on the basis of their principle of operation. This topic is followed by general overview of focal plane array architectures. The main subject of paper is concentrated on describing of material systems and detectors operated in different spectral ranges. Special attention is given on recent progress in their detector technologies. Discussion is focused mainly on current and the most rapidly developing focal plane arrays including: CdZnTe detectors, AlGaN photodiodes, visible CCD and CMOS imaging systems, HgCdTe heterostructure photodiodes, quantum well AlGaAs/GaAs photoresistors, and thermal detectors. Emphasis is also given on far-infrared and sub-millimetre wave detector arrays. Finally, the outlook for near-future trends in optical detector technologies is presented.
Nematic liquid crystals possess large and versatile optical nonlinearities suitable for photonics applications spanning the femtoseconds to milliseconds time scales, and across a wide spectral window. We present a comprehensive review of the physical properties and mechanisms that underlie these multiple time scales nonlinearities, delving into individual molecular electronic responses as well as collective ordered-phase dynamical processes. Several exemplary theoretical formalisms and feasibility demonstrations of ultrafast all-optical transmission switching and tunable metamaterials and plasmonic photonic structures where the liquid crystal constituents play the critical role of enabling the processes are discussed. Emphasis is placed on all-optical processes, but we have also highlighted cases where electro-optical means could provide additional control, flexibility and enhancement possibility. We also point out how another phase of chiral nematic, namely, Blue-Phase liquid crystals could circumvent some of the limitations of nematic and present new possibilities.
The field of optically pumped planar waveguide lasers has seen a rapid development over the last two decades driven by the requirements of a range of applications. This sustained research effort has led to the demonstration of a large variety of miniature highly efficient laser sources by combining different gain media and resonator geometries. One of the most attractive features of waveguide lasers is the broad range of regimes that they can operate, spanning from continuous wave and single frequency through to the generation of femtosecond pulses. Furthermore, their technology has experienced considerable advances to provide increased output power levels, deriving benefits from the relative immunity from the heat generated in the gain medium during laser operation and the use of cladding-pumped architectures. This second part of the review on optically pumped planar waveguide lasers provides a snapshot of the state-of-the-art research in this field in terms of gain materials, laser system designs, and as well as a perspective on the status of their application as real devices in various research areas.
Perovskite solar cell research has been attracting increasing attention in recent years. In this review paper, we will provide an overview of the recent developments in terms of material composition, deposition techniques, and the device architecture (the choice of charge transport layers and electrodes). Then, we will critically discuss some of the major problems, namely device stability, hysteresis, environmental implications due to the presence of a toxic metal (lead), and difficulties in fabrication of large area and/or flexible devices. In addition, we will also discuss tandem cells and modules, as well as the application of perovskites in other devices and the integration of perovskite solar cells with other devices. Finally, we discuss future outlook and important issues which need to be addressed for the wide scale applications of these devices. Lifetime and stability are identified as the key issue to be addressed for wide scale applications, and the majority of environmental impact is due to the use of organic solvents or other components in the device, not the lead-containing perovskite absorber. The standardisation of the testing conditions and more studies involving outdoor testing are needed for convincing demonstrations of good stability as opposed to dark storage testing. Another key issue is upscaling and reproducibility of the film preparation, which can be problematic due to high sensitivity of the perovskite film to the processing conditions. To overcome these obstacles multilaboratory collaborative efforts would be highly desirable.
Photonic crystals have achieved a lot of research significance due to their projected applications. Their use as sensors is enabled due to their well-defined physical properties such as reflectance/transmittance, superior levels of sensitivity resulting in precise detection limits as well as due to the sparkling visual quality they display in the visible range of wavelengths. The sensor itself is very small when the photonic crystal technology is employed and measurements are possible through coupling the incident and reflected/transmitted light to optical fibers and analyzing them in remote locations. For any sensing technology to be viable in the long-term, it is important to consider the cost-effectiveness of the product and the reliability of measurements over other existing techniques. In this review, a variety of sensing devices based on photonic crystals have been discussed along with the physical parameters of the photonic crystals that enable them.
The essential functionality of photonic and electronic devices is contained in thin surface layers leaving the substrate often to play primarily a mechanical role. Layer transfer of optimised devices or materials and their heterogeneous integration is thus a very attractive strategy to realise high performance, low-cost circuits for a wide variety of new applications. Additionally, new device configurations can be achieved that could not otherwise be realised. A range of layer transfer methods have been developed over the years including epitaxial lift-off and wafer bonding with substrate removal. Recently, a new technique called transfer printing has been introduced which allows manipulation of small and thin materials along with devices on a massively parallel scale with micron scale placement accuracies to a wide choice of substrates such as silicon, glass, ceramic, metal and polymer. Thus, the co-integration of electronics with photonic devices made from compound semiconductors, silicon, polymer and new 2D materials is now achievable in a practical and scalable method. This is leading to exciting possibilities in microassembly. We review some of the recent developments in layer transfer and particularly the use of the transfer print technology for enabling active photonic devices on rigid and flexible foreign substrates.
Recent developments in laser sources operating in the mid-IR ( ) have been motivated by the numerous possibilities for both fundamental and applied research. One example is the ability to unambiguously detect pollutants and carcinogens due to the much larger oscillator strengths of their absorption features in the mid-IR spectral region compared with the visible. Broadband sources are of particular interest for spectroscopic applications since they remove the need for arduous scanning or several lasers and allow simultaneous use of multiple absorption features thus increasing the confidence level of detection. In addition, sources capable of producing ultrashort and intense mid-IR radiation are gaining relevance in attoscience and strong-field physics due to wavelength scaling of re-collision based processes. In this paper we review the state-of-the-art in sources of coherent, pulsed mid-IR radiation. First we discuss semi-conductor based sources which are compact and turnkey, but typically do not yield short pulse duration. Mid-IR laser gain material based approaches will be discussed, either for direct broadband mid-IR lasers or as narrowband pump lasers for parametric amplification in nonlinear crystals. The main part will focus on mid-IR generation and amplification based on parametric frequency conversion, enabling highest mid-IR peak power pulses. Lastly we close with an overview of nonlinear post-compression techniques, for decreasing pulse duration to the sub-2-optical-cycle regime.
The progression of carrier confinement from quantum wells to quantum dots has received considerable interests because of the potential to improve the semiconductor laser performance at the underlying physics level and to explore quantum optical phenomena in semiconductors. Associated with the transition from quantum wells to quantum dots is a switch from a solid-state-like quasi-continuous density of states to an atom-like system with discrete states. As discussed in this paper, the transition changes the role of the carrier interaction processes that directly influence optical properties. Our goals in this review are two-fold. One is to identify and describe the physics that allows new applications and determines intrinsic limitations for applications in light emitters. We will analyze the use of quantum dots in conventional laser devices and in microcavity emitters, where cavity quantum electrodynamics can alter spontaneous emission and generate nonclassical light for applications in quantum information technologies. A second goal is to promote a new connection between physics and technology. This paper demonstrates how a first-principles theory may be applied to guide important technological decisions by predicting the performances of various active materials under a broad set of experimental conditions.
Mid-infrared (mid-IR) supercontinuum (SC) sources have recently gained much interest, as a key technology for such applications as spectral molecular fingerprinting, laser surgery, and infrared counter measures. However, one of the challenges facing this technology is how to obtain high power and broadband light covering a spectral band of at least 2–5 µm, especially with a very efficient output power distribution towards the mid-IR region. This directly affects their usage in the practical applications mentioned above. Typically, an SC is generated by pumping a piece of nonlinear fibre with high-intensity femtosecond pulses provided by mode-locked lasers. Although this approach can lead to wide continuum generation, the output power is limited only to the milliWatt level. Therefore, to achieve high-power SC light, other laser systems need to be employed as pump sources. This paper briefly reviews SC sources, restricted to those with an average output power of over 0.4 W and simultaneously with a long-wavelength edge of the continuum spectrum of over 2.4 µm. Firstly, the concepts of SC generation, including the nonlinear phenomena governing this process and the most relevant mid-IR fibre materials, are presented. Following this study, a review of the main results on SC generation in silica and soft-glass fibres, also including my experimental results, is presented. Emphasis is given to high-power SC generation with the use of different pump schemes, providing an efficient power distribution towards longer wavelengths. Some discussion and prospective predictions are proposed at the end of the paper.
A review of theoretical and experimental studies of thermal effects in solid-state lasers is presented, with a special focus on diode-pumped ytterbium-doped materials. A large part of this review provides however general information applicable to any kind of solid-state laser. Our aim here is not to make a list of the techniques that have been used to minimize thermal effects, but instead to give an overview of the theoretical aspects underneath, and give a state-of-the-art of the tools at the disposal of the laser scientist to measure thermal effects. After a presentation of some general properties of Yb-doped materials ( ), we address the issue of evaluating the temperature map in Yb-doped laser crystals, both theoretically and experimentally ( ). This is the first step before studying the complex problem of thermal lensing ( ). We will focus on some newly discussed aspects, like the definition of the thermo-optic coefficient: we will highlight some misleading interpretations of thermal lensing experiments due to the use of the d /d parameter in a context where it is not relevant. will be devoted to a state-of-the-art of experimental techniques used to measure thermal lensing. Eventually, in , we will give some concrete examples in Yb-doped materials, where their peculiarities will be pointed out.