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Optics in 2016

Guest editors: Robert D. Guenther and colleagues

This special issue of Optics & Photonics News highlights the most exciting peer-reviewed optics research to have emerged over the past 12 months.

Our panel of editors reviewed more than 150 research summaries from scientists from around the world. They selected for publication 30 stories that they felt most clearly communicated breakthroughs of interest to the optics community. Some of the summaries have related multimedia that you can access at Thanks to all who submitted summaries as well as to our panel of guest editors: Robert D. Guenther, the panel chair, and guest editors Svetlana Boriskina, Mihaela Dinu, Alexandre Fong, Andrew Forbes, Nicholas J. Frigo, G. Groot Gregory, Brooke Hester, Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan, Nick Lambert, Arlene Smith, Yanina Shevchenko, Zuleykhan Tomova and Stephen R. Wilk.


Optical Manipulation

Rotating micro-objects with ordinary light; “tug-of-war” optical tweezers for studying bacterial biofilms



OAM microlasers; integrated lasers for silicon photonics; understanding random-laser behavior; controlling spatial coherence



Design platform for “smart” cameras; high-resolution molecular imaging; improving optical imaging of embryos; molecular order in cells

Particle Diagnostics


Toward super-resolved deep-tissue imaging; widefield lensless endoscopy; neural activity in 3-D

Guided Waves

Solar Energy

Photoluminescent heat harvesting to boost power conversion


Quantum Optics

Sources of single and zero-area photons; on-chip quantum frequency combs; quantum formalisms for light-beam optics

Beam Shaping and Optical Control

Optical Instruments

Non-dispersive real-time Fourier transformation; tracking hidden objects; plasmon-assisted printing

Ultrafast Optics


Single-molecule detection; multitasking geometric-phase metasurfaces


Diffractive Optics

Ultra-broadband focusing with diffractive flat lenses

Mathematical Photonics


Dielectric metamaterials from III-V semiconductors; coordinate-based dielectric waveguide design; coding metamaterials

Publish Date: 01 December 2016

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