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18 April 2006 3D defect engineering in polymer opals
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The possibility to create defined structures inside a synthetic opal is a key step towards applications in optics, where control of the propagation of light inside a photonic crystal is necessary. Here we report different methods for realizing defined embedded defects in opaline structures. Monodisperse colloids are synthesized by surfactant free emulsion polymerization of the acid labile monomer t-butyl-methacrylate (tBMA). The PtBMA colloids can be filled with sensitizer and photo acid generator and it is possible to crystallize them into photosensitive polymer opals. One method for the introduction of defects is a multilayer build-up of photo-labile (filled with photo acid generator) and photo-stable (not filled with photo acid generator) polymer beads. Irradiation through a mask with UV-light followed by baking and development with aqueous base allows subsequent patterning of the opaline film. Alternatively defects can be directly produced in the depth of an opal by two photon lithography. For this method a photo stable opal is infiltrated with ORMOCER, which is then polymerized. After removing the PtBMA opal an inverse opal structure is obtained. The holes are then filled with a resin and polymerization takes places at defined places via two photon lithography.
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Birger Lange, Rudolf Zentel, Shalin J. Jhaveri, and Christopher K. Ober "3D defect engineering in polymer opals", Proc. SPIE 6182, Photonic Crystal Materials and Devices III (i.e. V), 61821W (18 April 2006);

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