In an advance that could open new avenues for solar cells, lasers, metamaterials and more, at team of researchers led by SPIE Member Paul Braun at the University of Illinois have demonstrated the first optoelectronically active 3D photonic crystal.
Braun said that the team has discovered a way to change the three-dimensional structure of a well-established semiconductor material to enable new optical properties while maintaining its very attractive electrical properties.
Previous attempts at making 3D photonic crystals -- popular materials of study for applications in lasers, solar energy, LEDs, metamaterials and more -- have resulted in devices that are only optically active - that is, they can direct light - but not electronically active, so they can't turn electricity to light or vice versa.
The Illinois team's photonic crystal has both properties.
Other Illinois faculty involved in the project include SPIE Member James Coleman, author of more than 25 SPIE papers and editor of Selected Papers on Semiconductor Diode Lasers (SPIE Press); SPIE author Xiuling Li; and SPIE Member John Rogers, author of 20 paper published by SPIE and program committee member for the conference on Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics at SPIE Photonics West in January 2012.
Braun has authored more than 25 SPIE presentations, including a paper on "Electrically active 3D photonic and plasmonic crystals" to be presented at SPIE Optics + Photonics this month, and has chaired and served on program committees for several SPIE conferences, including Active Photonics Materials at Optics + Photonics.
Read the full article from Engineering at Illinois.