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Direct laser writing of three-dimensional photonic-crystal templates for telecommunications


The past decade has witnessed intensive research efforts related to the design and fabrication of photonic crystals1,2. These periodically structured dielectric materials can represent the optical analogue of semiconductor crystals, and provide a novel platform for the realization of integrated photonics. Despite intensive efforts, inexpensive fabrication techniques for large-scale three-dimensional photonic crystals of high enough quality, with photonic bandgaps at near-infrared frequencies, and built-in functional elements for telecommunication applications, have been elusive. Direct laser writing by multiphoton polymerization3 of a photoresist has emerged as a technique for the rapid, cheap and flexible fabrication of nanostructures for photonics. In 1999, so-called layer-by-layer4 or woodpile photonic crystals were fabricated with a fundamental stop band at 3.9 μm wavelength5. In 2002, a corresponding 1.9 μm was achieved6, but the important face-centred-cubic (f.c.c.) symmetry was abandoned. Importantly, fundamental stop bands or photonic bandgaps at telecommunication wavelengths have not been demonstrated. In this letter, we report the fabrication—through direct laser writing—and detailed characterization of high-quality large-scale f.c.c. layer-by-layer structures, with fundamental stop bands ranging from 1.3 to 1.7 μm.

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Figure 1: Three-dimensional photonic crystals fabricated by DLW.
Figure 2: Examples of different lattice constants.
Figure 3: Optical transmission spectra of samples with different in-plane rod spacings.
Figure 4: Comparison of experiment and simulation.
Figure 5: Angular dependence of photonic-crystal transmission.


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We acknowledge the support by the Center for Functional Nanostructures (CFN) of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within project A.1.2 and A.1.4. The research of K.B. is further supported by DFG-project Bu 1107/2-3 (Emmy-Noether program), that of M.W. by the DFG-Leibniz award 2000 and that of C.M.S. by the Alexander von Humboldt senior-scientist award 2002, and by the US Department of Energy.

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Correspondence to Costas M. Soukoulis.

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Deubel, M., von Freymann, G., Wegener, M. et al. Direct laser writing of three-dimensional photonic-crystal templates for telecommunications. Nature Mater 3, 444–447 (2004).

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