Technical papers on the fundamentals and applications of nanostructured thin films form a special section in this year’s Journal of Nanophotonics.
The SPIE e-journal, which publishes continuously throughout the year, posted eight special sections in 2011 and 2012. This is the first of what is expected to be three special sections for 2013.
The first papers published in the thin-films special section include a report on how a group of Taiwanese researchers replicated the structural color of a swallowtail butterfly; an open-access paper on oblique angle deposition (OAD); and a paper on chiral sculptured thin-film (STF) technology.
Guest editors for the special section are SPIE Fellows Tom G. Mackay of the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) and Raúl J. Martín-Palma of Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) and Pennsylvania State University (USA) and SPIE Senior Member Yi-Jun Jen of National Taipei University of Technology (Taiwan).
Biomimicry with butterflies
In “Replica of the structural color for Papilio blumei butterfly,” researchers at the National Central University (NCU), Chung Li (Taiwan), reproduced the distinctive green iridescence of the butterfly wing’s natural photonic crystal structure through self-assembly of polystyrene spheres, deposition using an electron-beam gun, and inductively coupled plasma etching.
The three-step biomimicry approach was proposed by SPIE Fellow C-C Lee, founder of the Department of Optics and Photonics and the Thin Film Technology Center at NCU and Sheng-Hui Chen, the current chair of the department. The work was carried out by them, Mei-Ling Lo, Wen-Hsin Li, Shao-Ze Tseng, and Chia-Hua Chan.
Lo, a PhD student, and Tseng, an assistant professor at NCU, are past officers of the SPIE Student Chapter at NCU.
More information on their paper: Replica of the structural color for Papilio blumei butterfly
Oblique angle deposition
SPIE member Motofumi Suzuki, an associate professor at Kyoto University (Japan), offers an open-access article, “Practical applications of thin films nanostructured by shadowing growth,” in the special section.
Suzuki reviews recent progress in the practical applications of OAD thin films and introduces two examples that have overcome manufacturing challenges: Au nanorod arrays for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and low-reflectivity wire-grid polarizers. Both products are currently available on the market.
Chiral sculptured thin films
Another article in the special section discusses the fabrication by thermal evaporation of ordinary chiral STFs and tilt-modulated chiral STFs.
In “Suppression of circular Bragg phenomenon in chiral sculptured thin films produced with simultaneous rocking and rotation of substrate during serial bideposition,” researchers at Pennsylvania State University (USA) show how chiral STF technology can be used to produce both ordinary and circular-polarization Bragg filters.
Authors are all SPIE members: PhD students Stephen E. Swiontek and Drew P. Pulsifer (also an SPIE Scholarship recipient in 2011), and faculty members Jian Xu and Akhlesh Lakhtakia. Lakhtakia is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Nanophotonics (JNP) and an SPIE Fellow. Xu is an associate editor of JNP.
Journal of Nanophotonics
The Journal of Nanophotonics focuses on the fabrication and application of nanostructures that facilitate the generation, propagation, manipulation, and detection of light from the infrared to the ultraviolet regimes. It can be found in the SPIE Digital Library.