Open Questions: Optical and Optoelectronic Technology

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See also: Advanced networking technology -- Quantum effects technology -- Metamaterials


Photonic crystals



Optical storage media

Optical computing


Quantum optics

High-power lasers


Recommended references: Web sites

Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Recommended references: Books


Recommended references: Web sites

Site indexes

Photonic & Sonic Band-Gap Bibliography
Citations of over 2000 articles and other references on the subject, compiled by Jonathan P. Dowling, Henry Everitt, and Eli Yablonovitch, UCLA. Latest additions are on a separate page.
Photonic Crystal and Photonic Band Gap Links
Over 800 links, compiled by Yuri Vlasov.
Galaxy: Optoelectronics
Categorized site directory. Entries usually include descriptive annotations. Has a subcategory for optical computing.
Galaxy: Band Gap
Categorized site directory. Entries usually include descriptive annotations.

Sites with general resources
An online resource center for the field of photonics. Topics covered include lasers, fiber optics, and optoelectronics. There is good coverage of relevant news. The site is maintained by the Institute of Physics.
Optoelectronics - University of Bath
Research group Web site, dealing with semiconductor lasers, photonic crystal fibers, and optical fiber devices.
Photonic Bandgap Fibers and Devices Group
Web site of an MIT research group. Includes news releases, descriptions of research projects, and a list of publications.
Cardiff University Optoelectronics Group
Research group which is part of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University (Wales). Pages describe research interests and include links to related information.

Surveys, overviews, tutorials

Article from Wikipedia.
Photonic crystal
Article from Wikipedia.
Cloaking space-time
July 2011 article from Physics World. "Most existing invisibility cloaks are designed to hide objects from view. But as Martin McCall and Paul Kinsler explain, it could also be possible to make "space-time" cloaks that allow selected events to go undetected."
Plasmonics propagates into new optical fields
November 2009 article from Physics World. "Marie Freebody speaks to Niek van Hulst about the potential wealth of applications for plasmonics."
Photonic crystals shine on
February 2006 article from Physics World, by Thomas Krauss. "The ability of photonic crystals to act as perfect reflectors and to slow light down could lead to all-optical components and single-photon logic."
Taming light with cold atoms
September 2001 article from Physics World, by Lene Vestergaard Hau. "The ability to stop light in its tracks by passing it through a cloud of ultracold atoms could lead to new techniques for optical storage."
Rewriting the laws of optics
September 2001 article from Physics World, by Peter Rodgers and Valerie Jamieson. "New experiments are pushing our understanding of light and optics to the limit and are also opening up new areas of physics and novel applications."
Silicon lasers start to take shape
February 2001 article from Physics World, by Philippe Fauchet. "The observation of optical gain - a key feature of all laser systems - in silicon nanocrystals could revolutionize the semiconductor and telecommunications industries, although further work is needed to develop a practical silicon laser."
Quantum mechanics with single atoms and photons
December 2000 article from Physics World, by Gerhard Rempe. "Some 100 years after the birth of quantum mechanics, physicists are still learning more about the interactions between light and matter."
No thing goes faster than light
September 2000 article from Physics World, by Aephraim M Steinberg. "The observation of a light pulse leaving a gas-filled chamber before it had even arrived sparked a media frenzy, yet the laws of physics have remained intact."
Photonic crystals
August 2000 article from Physics World, by Greg Parker and Martin Charlton. "Artificial structures with the optical equivalent of the energy gap in semiconductors promise a wealth of new devices that could satisfy the demand for ever-faster computers and optical communications."
New 'light transistor' for optical circuits
April 2001 news article from PhysicsWeb about a device that can boost a laser signal by a factor of 60 based on the transfer of photons rather than electrons.
First light on silicon laser
November 2000 news article from PhysicsWeb about a device using silicon nanocrystals that has laser-like properties.
Defects boost optical communications
October 2000 news article from PhysicsWeb. Subject is a photonic-crystal structure that can add or drop photons of selected energies to streams of optical data.
Laser smashes light-speed record
July 2000 news article from Physics Web. "One of the most sacred laws of physics is that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light in vacuum. But this speed limit has been smashed in a recent experiment in which a laser pulse travels at more than 300 times the speed of light."
Bi-directional laser breakthrough
October 1999 news article from Physics World, about a new semiconductor laser in which the wavelength at which it lases can be changed.
Vortex look for lasers
July 1999 news article from Physics World about optical vortices in the output of semiconductor lasers.
Light feels the heat and slows down
July 1999 news article from Physics World about slowing light in a gas of hot rubidium atoms.
Putting the quantum brakes on light
February 1999 news article from Physics Web, about slowing the speed of light in a gas of ultracold sodium atoms to 17 meters per second.
Laser accelerators receive a boost
February 1999 news article from Physics Web, about generating particle beams in laser-based accelerators.
New look for optical fibres
November 1998 news article from Physics World about optical fibers that use a photonic band gap effect.
Laser emits multi-wavelength light
November 1998 news article from Physics World about the first semiconductor laser to emit multiple wavelengths of light.
Making Light of Silicon
August 2005 Scientific American In Focus article, subtitled "Finally, lasers from the low-cost semiconductor."
Ultimate Stop Motion
April 2001 Scientific American News Scan article about bringing light to a complete stop in extremely cold gases.
Coaxing Light through the Ultimate Coaxial Cable
July 2000 Scientific American Explore article, by Kristin Leutwyler. A new type of cable, called "coaxial omniguide", holds the promise of being able to transmit both infrared and radio frequency electromagnetic signals.

Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Lasing Beyond Light
Lisa Grossman
Science News, May 8, 2010
Physicists focus on whole new types of waves, from beams of sound and plasma swells to looking for ripples in spacetime.
The Promise of Plasmonics
Harry A. Atwater
Scientific American, April 2007
Photonic Crystals: Semiconductors of Light
Eli Yablonovitch
Scientific American, December 2001, pp. 46-55
Materials which have been produced with a photonic band gap are capable of manipulating light (photons) very similarly to the way that semiconductors manipulate electrons. Possible applications include high-cappacity optical fibers and photonic integrated circuits.
The Next Generation of Optical Fibers
Philip Ball
Technology Review, May 2001, pp. 55-61
Optical fibers of the next generation will conduct light through air instead of glass, using the photonic band gap phenomenon to confine light. They should have far greater capacity than present fibers and cut way down on the need for expensive repeater equipment. But they may be about a decade away from common use.

Recommended references: Books

David D. Nolte -- Mind at Light Speed: A New Kind of Intelligence
The Free Press, 2001
Nolte is a professor of physics at Purdue University, but his book is a nontechnical overview for general readers of optical technology as it relates to computers and information processing, and the prospects for an "optical computer". Topics include lasers, fiber optics, optical circuits, and optoelectronics. The final part of the book deals with quantum optics and optical forms of quantum computing.


Copyright © 2002 by Charles Daney, All Rights Reserved