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These articles were highlighted on the covers of the Advanced Optical Materials December issue:
Cholesteric Liquid Crystals
Helical structures exist universally. Rationally designed cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) superstructures with arrangements of in-plane helical axes, as illustrated on the front cover by W. Hu, L.-J. Chen, and co-workers, result in unique fingerprint textures for potential advanced photonic applications. Their digital micromirror device-based photoalignment technique and demonstrate the growth of spiral and wave-like continuous gratings, producing CLCs with chirality, depth and integrity, just like our universe.
The inside cover illustrates a multiscale light-trapping system for thin-film photovoltaic cells. A compound parabolic trapper with a V-groove textured surface is attached on top of a substrate as a ray-optical scheme to maximize the bounces of incident photons. A thin active layer on the bottom is patterned with metal nanogratings, which induces surface plasmon resonance to compensate for insufficient band-edge absorption. J.-Y. Lee and co-workers describe their optical strategy to achieve a high power conversion efficiency by compensating optical losses of thin-film photovoltaic cells.
A host–guest–guest material, represented on the back cover, is prepared by S. Hirata and co-workers to demonstrate the photoreversible on–off recording of persistent room-temperature phosphorescence from the phosphorescent guest. The reversible photocyclization and decyclization of the photochromic guest allow and prevent dipole–dipole energy transfer from the phosphorescent guest to the photochromic guest, respectively. The occurrence and lack of energy transfer trigger the deactivation and activation of persistent room temperature phosphorescence, respectively.