01 December 2014 Optics in 2014

Direct observation of Dyakonov surface waves (GEDS)

ICFO appears twice in the Optics and Photonics News special edition. Each year, the December issue of Optics and Photonics News highlights the most exciting optics research to emerge in the preceding 12 months. A panel of editors reviewed a record 200 research summaries from scientists all over the globe. They selected for publication 30 reports that they felt most clearly communicated breakthroughs of interest to the optics community.

Two ICFO submissions were selected to appear in this special edition. Seth Cousin, Francisco Silva, Stephan Teichmann, Dr Michael Hemmer and Prof Jens Biegert, leader of the Attoscience and ultrafast optics group, appear with ‘Molecular Fine Structure from Water Window X-rays’ in which they demonstrate the first high-flux table top attosecond source reaching the soft-X-ray water window, corresponding to wavelengths between 2.3 and 4.5 nm. Covering the water window, with contains the fundamental absorption edges of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, now enables element-specific, high-resolution biological and molecular imaging, spectroscopy, materials science and observation of fundamental dynamics of matter at unprecedented timescales. The authors demonstrate their approach by retrieving the electronic structure of a solid state polyimide target with near-edge X-ray fine-structure absorption spectroscopy (NEXAFS).

Dr Osamu Takayama, Dr David Artigas and Prof Lluis Torner, leader of the Nonlinear optical phenomena group, appear with a report entitled ‘Nano Guiding of Light Using Dyakonov Waves’. In this study, researchers were able to steer light guided by nanosheet films, without suffering any sort of losses. This was accomplished by the implementation of Dyakonov surface waves as opposed to surface plasmons. The illustration of this research had the additional honor of gracing the cover of this special edition.

Congratulations to all and good work!!