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'Top of the pops' on optics.org

01 Mar 2007

New year, new chart. January's figures for the Top 10 most-read stories on optics.org reveal that exciting, new material continues to set the agenda. You showed much interest in the relatively new topics of plasmonics and nanotubes.

In our regular analysis of your reading habits, optics.org presents the results from January 2007. Three old favourites from the past three years persist in the Top 10, including optics.org's own Bryan Adams: "Concrete casts new light in dull rooms". The "fiber laser improves micro-crack repairs" report drew an astonishing 100 000+ views in January and held on to its No 1 position. However, there are five new box-fresh arrivals.

These are led by "Solar bikini generates power while you sunbathe" – interesting enough, we agree, but it's important to point out that the accompanying photo is definitely a plastic mannequin and not a real beach babe. Our report on plasmonics, the emerging hybrid opto/electronic technology, now attracting funding and more than a laboratory project, also created a stir.

Five stories from December's most-read articles are still in the Top 10 for January but other technology news items hot from optics.org's year-end fill the other top positions.

And registered membership of optics.org continues to grow. Our community – who enjoy free access to all research and industry news, the optics.org archive as well as all news and features published in Optics & Laser Europe – has increased by a further 1500 since we last reported on visitor activity.

Signing up (at no cost) gives you access to exclusive content, where we feel we have dug extra deep to find the detailed information our readers are seeking.

So if you didn't catch them the first time round here are January's Top 10 most-read news reports (don't forget to keep checking us because new items go up every day).

optics.org's Top 10 in January 2007

No 1 Fiber laser improves micro-crack repairs. These days, almost everywhere you look, fiber lasers are growing in stature and looking like they'll take over from CO2 and Nd:YAGs at least in some materials processing jobs. This story, still at No 1 since November 2006, attracted more than 100 000 views in January alone.

No 2 Thin-disk laser beats power record. Disk lasers are on a roll. Now in its fourth year, this news item is still sparking interest and is joined by another disk laser story at No 3.

No 3 Disc laser improves glass cutting. Clean-cut and straight out of Germany, comes this method of achieving precise glass edges including on contours and tubes.

No 4 Concrete casts new light in dull rooms. This story is still shining almost exactly three years after its first publication.

No 5 Solar bikini generates power while you sunbathe. This may have started as a whimsical student design project at New York University last year, but many valuable innovations – such as cooling your beer or charging your MP3 player from your swimsuit – have humble origins.

No 6 Lasers tackle radioactive waste. A job for the super-hero sounding Vulcan glass laser at Rutherford. The story is still powerful after almost four years.

No 7 Plasmonics to revolutionize lighting and vision. This hybrid of photonics and electronics, is expected to improve performance of photosensors and LEDs.

No 8 Faster, cheaper route to solar cells. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Suss MicroTec have developed a method to improve production of solar cells.

No 9 Nanotubes light up solar cells. Researchers in the UK have made a new type of hybrid electrode from multiwalled carbon nanotubes and indium-tin oxide that could be used for solar cell applications.

No 10 Light squeezes through nano coax. Physicists at Boston College, Ma, US, have created the first nanoscale coaxial cables for the transmission of light.

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