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Nonlinear Optics publishes primary papers reporting original research, review articles, and rapid communications. The journal is divided into four main sections.

1. Principles covering studies into the fundamental theoretical understanding of the origins and mechanisms of nonlinear optical processes, such as squeezing, phase conjugation, and optical bistability, and theoretical calculations of susceptibilities either by band theory or by quantum mechanical theory.

2. Materials including work on the solid state physics of semiconductors and dielectrics, and organic and polymer compounds exhibiting nonlinear and electrooptical behaviour.

3. Phenomena devoted to papers on: the discovery of new nonlinear optical phenomena; measurement of nonlinear optical processes; determination of nonlinear optical constants and figures of merit; observation of ultrafast and fast nonlinear optical processes; and the characterization of nonlinear optical materials by new measurement methods.

4. Devices featuring fundamental research articles on applications to devices, optical switches, optical bistable devices, phase conjugation, and optical logics.

The journal recognizes the multi-disciplinary nature of this field, and includes materials science and device implementation material, as well as the physicochemical aspects. The editors place great emphasis on the importance of the development of applications of nonlinear optical materials to practical devices.