A Little History Behind Photonic Band Gap Materials

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Photonic Band Gap Materials:

A little history behind Photonic Band Gap materials (PBG)?

In 1987, an American physicist and engineer named Eli Yablonovitch and Canadian physics professor from the University of Toronto Canada, Sajeev John constructed artificial structures that then became the concept of PBG material. In order to evaluate this concept they created a 3D prototype diamond lattice in Plexiglas, which is a type of acrylic glass material. With this creation they were able to prove that PBG materials are capable of propagating electromagnetic waves.

What are Photonic Band Gap materials (PBG)?

Photonic band gap materials (PBG), also known as photonic crystals (PC), were formerly introduced as a way to manage the optical properties of certain materials.

PBG materials are artificial, dielectrics that have a periodic composition of permittivity.

It was discovered that we could not only obtain frequency ranges for materials which light cannot propagate but also ranges in which light can propagate, these frequencies also said to be scale dependent. Diminishing the scale of the elementary cell in the periodic lattice causes the frequency ranges to change, making there values higher. As a result of this, we are able to alter a photonic crystal design from the microwave range into the visible or infrared range.

There are 3 band structures (Fig. 1), the 1D, the 2D and the 3D, in which the 1D material has only one ideal direction of wave propagation, the 2D material with 2 ideal directions that behave as an isotropic mirror and finally the 3D material in which behaves as an isotropic mirror for one or more frequency ranges.

Metallic lattices have curious properties while in the microwave dom...

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... Band Gap (PBG) materials. Retrieved from

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Sajeev John Department of physics University of Toronto Photonic Band Gap Materials: Engineering the Fundamental Properties of Light. Retrieved from

Soukoulis, C. M. (April, 1996) Photonic Band Gap Materials: The “Semiconductors” of the Future? Retrieved from

Dowling, P. Jonathan , Bowden, M. Charles (1994) Anomalous index of refraction in Photonic Band Gap Materials Retrieved from
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