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Photonic Crystals and Their Potential Applications

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A new class of composite materials has emerged which provides a means to control and manipulate light. These materials, known as photonic crystals, are periodic arrays of dielectric scatterers in homogeneous dielectric matrices. They affect the properties of photons in much the same way a semiconductor affects the properties of an electron. Consequently, photons can have band structures, localized defect states, surface states, etc. The ability to mold and guide light will lead to many applications in the control of spontaneous emission and in the fabrication of novel optoelectronic devices.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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