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Spontaneous emission rates of dipoles in photonic crystal membranes

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Abstract

We show theoretically that two-dimensional (2D) photonic crystals in semiconductor membranes strongly modify the radiative decay of dipole emitters. Three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain calculations show over 7 times inhibition and 15 times enhancement of the emission rate compared with vacuum for judiciously oriented and positioned dipoles. Emission rate modifications inside the membrane mimic the local mode density in a simple 2D model. The inhibition of emission saturates with crystal size around the source, with a 1e size that scales as the inverse gap bandwidth. Owing to the vertically guided mode structure, inhibition occurs only near the slab center, but enhanced emission persists also outside the membrane. We find that emission changes can even be observed in experiments with ensembles of randomly oriented dipoles.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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