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Optics and Photonics

A section of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

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Since 2009, several Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry have been awarded for research related to advanced materials for optics and photonics:

2009 – For groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication (Charles Kuen Kao), for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit – the CCD sensor (Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith);

2010 – For groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene (Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov);

2011 – For the discovery of quasicrystals (Dan Shechtman);

2014 – For the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources (Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura); for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy” (Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner);

2018 – For groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics, for optical tweezers and their application to biological systems (Arthur Ashkin), and for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses (Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland).

Optics and photonics are all methodologies and technologies that use photons over the entire spectrum from X-ray to ultraviolet, visible, and infrared, to the terahertz range, and their interaction with a variety of materials. Therefore, for optics and photonics, advanced and intelligent materials are needed to ensure the outstanding properties of light sources, light delivery devices, mirrors, fibers, and efficient laser active media. The methods and instruments of optics and photonics are widely used for the precise processing of all types of materials, using well-known and widely used technologies such as photolithography, laser printing, and laser engraving.

As part of photonics, biophotonics has been proven to be an important technology stimulating accelerated progress in medicine and biotechnology, arising at the junction of the most innovative technologies of the last century, including photonics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. This is an evolving interdisciplinary field of research covering all the optical technologies used in life sciences and medicine. Special, new, and biocompatible materials for implants, tissue phantoms, cell printing, cell labeling, light delivery, etc., require research from scientists from various professions, such as physicists, chemists, engineers, biologists, and doctors.

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