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The Engineer
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Albany, New York
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Good Answers: 129

Light in a Photonic Crystal

04/12/2005 10:55 AM

Photonic crystals are materials in which a periodic variation of the dielectric constant results in a photonic band gap. Photons with wavelengths or energies in this gap cannot travel through the crystal. However, by introducing defects into photonic crystals it is possible to build "waveguides" that can channel light along certain paths (figure 1).

Existing methods to study photonic band structures compare the shapes of pulses leaving the crystal with the shapes of those entering. However, such techniques cannot identify exactly where the changes take place inside the device, and therefore provide only limited information about the band structure.

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