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Introduction: Advances in Optical Materials (AIOM) feature

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Abstract

Innovation of solid-state sources of coherent radiation, including lasers and nonlinear optical frequency convertors, has long been a materials-limited field. That is why advances in optical materials offer opportunities improvements in performance and new applications. In this special issue, we focus on laser and nonlinear materials with new device fabrication methods and designs for new light sources.

©2011 Optical Society of America

This multi-presented feature (June, July, and August Optical Materials Express issues) offers papers from the OSA topical meeting, ADVANCES IN OPTICAL MATERIALS (AIOM 2011), held 16–18 February in Istanbul, Turkey and encompasses the advances in optics, materials science, condensed matter physics, and chemistry relevant to the development of new optical materials for various applications. The AIOM featured approximately 60 presentations, with speakers representing 14 countries. The next topical meeting of AIOM 2012 will be held 1–3 February at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, California, USA.

Specifically, this feature issue has eight invited papers selected from papers presented at the collocated conferences AIOM 2011 and Advanced Solid-State Photonics (ASSP 2011). These include advances in the state-of-the-art laser performance enabled by new laser material properties (D. Rand et al., and M. Eichhorn); new laser materials (N. Ter-Gabrielyan et al. and F. Druon et al.); new laser ceramics (S.B. Mirov et al.); direct laser-written laser devices (T. Calmano et al.) and microstructured nonlinear optical materials for quasi phase matching (QPM) (A. Peña et al.,). As cutting edge lasers, optical parametric chirp amplification (OPCPA), by means of optimizing optical properties, for high-power ultrafast lasers and extremely high power laser fusion drivers is discussed. Of course, nonlinear optics is important for wavelength conversion for limited wavelength region of solid-state laser materials. However, the nonlinear wavelength conversions also depend on nonlinear material. Wavelength extension by solid-state laser material and nonlinear wavelength conversions are discussed from the point of view optical materials in the above invited papers. In addition, creation of new optical function materials; micro-domains, which are the unit of optical function; and controlled materials/devices are investigated by such means as laser ceramics and periodically poled devices toward giant micro-photonics (T. Taira).

The contributed papers in this AIOM issue also represent several topic areas. There are five papers for laser materials (N. Ter-Gabrielyan et al., Y. Sato et al., S. Balaji et al., N.P. Barnes et al., and W. Bolanos et al.), two papers for materials for fiber optics (J. Canning et al., and C. Vigreux et al.,), one paper for nanomaterials (Li-Y. Shao et al.), three papers for nonlinear optical materials (A. Zukauskas et al., M. Manzo et al., and V. Badikov et al.), one paper for thin films (O. Stenzel et al.) and one paper addressing glass defects (D.L. Griscom).

The editors feel that the future of AIOM lies in its applications of basic problems to photonics applications in the industrial field. Also, development of novel nonlinear techniques for lasers, such as incorporating high-power lasers, ultrafast lasers, and high-brightness lasers in useful wavelength regions should offer attractive areas for future research. The editors note that the contributors to this special issue represent many countries. We commend them for their outstanding work and encourage researchers to continue to develop exciting theoretical and applied research across the global community.

  • Feature editors
  • Takunori Taira, Institute for Molecular Science, Japan
  • Gerard Aka, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris, France

We thank Professor David J. Hagan, Editor in Chief of Optical Materials Express, for his help and encouragement of this project.

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