Advanced Optical Materials: International Year of Light Article Series

In 2015 we celebrated the International Year of Light, proclaimed by the United Nations to recognize the achievements of light science and its applications, and its contributions to humankind. Advanced Optical Materials has joined in the activities of this special iniciative through publishing a special series of review articles. These “International Year of Light” articles are written by experts in their fields, especially invited for this event. Below you can find all twelve articles of the series.


Active Nanophotonic Circuitry Based on Dielectric-loaded Plasmonic Waveguides

plasmonic waveguidesAlexey V. Krasavin and Anatoly V. Zayats

Adv. Optical Mater. 2015, 3, 1662–1690


Plasmonics offers a unique opportunity to break the diffraction limit of light and localize optical signals at nanoscale dimensions. One of the prospective applications of plasmonics is in integrated nanophotonic circuits with high bandwidths. This review summarizes the recent advances in the development of active and passive nanophotonic components based on dielectric-loaded plasmonic waveguides.


Three-Dimensional μ-Printing: An Enabling Technology

direct laser writingJudith K. Hohmann, Michael Renner, Erik H. Waller and Georg von Freymann

Adv. Optical Mater. 2015, 3, 1488–1507


Three-dimensional μ-printing is a mature technology, enabling novel research fields in various disciplines based on three-dimensional microstructures: aperiodic deterministic materials in optical physics, templates for cell-growth studies in biology, and mechanical metamaterials. These, as well as upcoming research directions, are discussed.


Heterogeneously Integrated Optoelectronic Devices Enabled by Micro-Transfer Printing

micro-transfer printingJongseung Yoon, Sung-Min Lee, Dongseok Kang, Matthew A. Meitl, Christopher A. Bower and John. A. Rogers

Adv. Optical Mater. 2015, 3, 1313–1335


Micro-transfer printing is a materials assembly technique that enables heterogeneous integration of various classes of micro- and nanostructured materials. This article presents recent progress in functional materials and advanced transfer printing methods for active components that emit, absorb, and/or transport light, ranging from solar cells to light-emitting diodes, lasers, photodetectors, and integrated functional systems, where the key ideas provide unique solutions to address limitations with traditional technologies.


Advances and Prospects for Whispering Gallery Mode Microcavities

WGM mircocavitiesShancheng Yang, Yue Wang and Handong Sun

Adv. Optical Mater. 2015, 3, 1136–1162


Whispering gallery mode (WGM) microcavities and microlasers exhibit outstanding optical performances with high quality factors and small mode volumes, which ensure low lasing thresholds. The WGM fundamentals and advances in the fabrication methodologies, as well as the application prospects including wavelength modulation, sensitive biological and chemical sensors, and coupling mechanisms are presented.



Uncooled Carbon Nanotube Photodetectors

carbon nanotube photodetectorsXiaowei He, François Léonard and Junichiro Kono

Adv. Optical Mater. 2015, 3, 989–1011


Carbon nanotubes possess unique optoelectronic properties for applications in photodetectors. This material may provide some day new modalities for optical detection that can be harnessed through a detailed understanding of their photodetection mechanisms.



Micro- and Nanostructured Surfaces for Selective Solar Absorption

Iryna E. Khodasevych, Liping Wang, Arnan Mitchell and Gary Rosengarten

Adv. Optical Mater. 2015, 3, 852–881


Structured surfaces allow wavelength-selective manipulation of electromagnetic properties, such as the absorption of visible and infrared radiation, via changes to the structural geometry affecting the resonance mechanisms. Various aspects of the design and fabrication of selective absorptive micro- and nanostructures from photonic crystals to metal–dielectric–metal slab arrays, metamaterials, and nanoparticle arrays are reviewed.


Complex Photonic Structures for Light Harvesting

adom201400514-gra-0001-mMatteo Burresi, Filippo Pratesi, Francesco Riboli and Diederik Sybolt Wiersma

Adv. Optical Mater. 2015, 3, 722–743


Light-trapping mechanisms based on nanophotonics principles can enhance light absorption in thin-film solar cells without changing their material composition. In this review, the latest achievements in this field are reported, with a focus on the realization of prototypes, spanning from deterministic to disordered photonic architectures, and from dielectric to metallic nanostructures.



Modern Applications of Plasmonic Nanoparticles: From Energy to Health

plasmonic nanoparticlesDorleta Jimenez de Aberasturi, Ana Belén Serrano-Montes
and Luis M. Liz-Marzán

Adv. Optical Mater. 2015, 3, 602–617


Plasmonic nanoparticles present unique optical properties that render them extremely useful for application in many different fields. Current applications of plasmonic nanoparticles include their use as nanoheaters to effectively kill cancer cells, but they also contribute to the progress of solar energy technology. In this progress report, modern applications of plasmonic nanoparticles from which society may ultimately benefit are highlighted.

The Fluoride Host: Nucleation, Growth, and Upconversion of Lanthanide-Doped Nanoparticles

Fluride Host

Rafik Naccache, Qing Yu and John A. Capobianco

Adv. Optical Mater. 2015, 3, 482–509


Lanthanide-doped fluoride nanoparticles are regarded as efficient upconverting materials. A summary of the progress achieved to date in their synthesis is presented, with a particular emphasis on the nucleation and growth processes. A fundamental understanding of the synthesis can result in the ability to tailor nanoparticles and drive the application development of lanthanide-based nanoparticle materials.


Diketopyrrolopyrroles: Synthesis, Reactivity, and Optical Properties

Marek Grzybowski and Daniel T. Gryko

Adv. Optical Mater. 2015, 3, 280–320


New, important organic compounds are often discovered by happenstance. In this review, the chemistry of diketopyrrolopyrroles and the reasons why these high-quality pigments became the work-horse of organic photonics and electronics is comprehensively described. A critical overview of the optical properties of a variety of diketopyrrolopyrroles and their π-expanded analogues is also provided.


Black Silicon Photovoltaics

black silicon

Martin Otto, Michael Algasinger, Howard Branz, Benjamin Gesemann, Thomas Gimpel, Kevin Füchsel, Thomas Käsebier, Stefan Kontermann, Svetoslav Koynov, Xiaopeng Li, Volker Naumann, Jihun Oh, Alexander N. Sprafke, Johannes Ziegler, Matthias Zilk and Ralf B. Wehrspohn

Adv. Optical Mater. 2015, 2, 147–164



Black Silicon is a class of sub-micrometer stochastically structured silicon surface with extremely high optical absorption. The optoelectronic properties of black silicon fabricated by different methods are reviewed and guidelines to optimize the relevant physical parameters are given.

Optical Properties of Gyroid Structured Materials: From Photonic Crystals to Metamaterials

Optical Properties of Gyroid Structured Materials James A. Dolan, Bodo D. Wilts, Silvia Vignolini,
Jeremy J. Baumberg, Ullrich Steiner and Timothy D. Wilkinson

Adv. Optical Mater. 2015, 1, 12–32





Gyroids are chiral minimal surface morphologies which are found in a variety of natural and synthetic systems, ranging from butterfly wing scales to self-assembled block copolymers. The optical properties of gyroid structured materials are reviewed here on two fundamental length scales, which behave as either photonic crystals or optical metamaterials.