Photonics news and publications so far in 2021

Here is a brief “digest” of photonics/lasers/physics news and publications that interested me so far in 2021. Feel free to make a comment if you have reactions or any of your own news or publications to add.

Photonics news:

PhotonHUB Europe was launched, a “one-stop-shop open access to photonics innovation support for a digital Europe”.

Imec in Leuven, Belgium demonstrated 20 nm pitch lithography with a laser-based high-harmonic generation system.

The European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC) has created a Photonics Index so that European investors can finally invest directly in the growing photonics sector.

The EuPRAXIA project, a pan-European project to develop a laser-plasma-based particle accelerator (or two) in Europe has been included as part of the ESFRI Roadmap 2021.

A very interesting report was published by Mckinsy & Company “The next wave of innovation in photonics” summing up the recent advances and trends in photonics technologies.

Photonics publications:

04 January, Nature Communications
Real-time multispeckle spectral-temporal measurement unveils the complexity of spatiotemporal solitons

I don’t even fully understand this paper yet, but I think there is a lot to learn and the technique looks very powerful.

24 February, Optical Engineering
Structured light for ultrafast laser micro- and nanoprocessing

Besides basic science, laser processing is a big application of structured light and this article explains it perfectly.

11 March, Physical Review Letters
Bayesian Optimization of a Laser-Plasma Accelerator

Former colleagues of mine from Hamburg tuned all available input parameters of their laser-plasma accelerators to optimize the ouput electrno beams.

18 March, Physical Review A
Focused fields of ultrashort radially polarized laser pulses having low-order spatiotemporal couplings

I developed a general framework for describing very complex shaped vector beams.

26 April, Physical Review Letters
Optimal Beam Loading in a Laser-Plasma Accelerator

Again former colleagues from Hamburg, they found a unique operating regime of a laser-plasma accelerator that produced very low energy spread beams.

10 May, Nature Photonics
Temporal solitons in a coherently driven active resonator

The team at the ULB expanded upon seminal work from a decade ago in passive resonators to show that temporal solitons exist in driven active resonators as well.

17 June, Optica
Spectral vector beams for high-speed
spectroscopic measurements

A very interesting concept of beams that have a varying polarization with wavelength rather than in space. I’m very curious of the wider implications on light-matter interaction and am following it closely.

9 July, OSA Continuum
Spatio-spectral characterization of ultrashort laser pulses with a birefringent delay line

We demonstrated a version of the INSIGHT technique using a much more simple and robust setup involving optical wedges made of calcite, which is naturally birefringent. We used this technique for spatio-spectral characterization of laser pulses, but the company NIREOS in Italy has many more applications in mind.

21 July, Nature
Free-electron lasing at 27 nanometres based on a laser wakefield accelerator

A holy-grail use of laser-based accelerators was achieved – FEL operation, i.e. exponential gain in undulators, producing 27 nm radiation. This was a competition between many groups and I’m sure more results from across the world will follow.

(There is bias intended, as always, so this isn’t an authoritative list on the “best” of this year, just my favorites.)

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