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6 February 2008 Metallo-dielectric nanophotonic materials via direct laser writing and electroless metallization
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Interest in three-dimensional (3D) metallo-dielectric photonic crystals (MDPCs) has grown considerably given their potential applications in optics and photonics. MDPCs can exhibit intriguing and potentially useful optical properties, including ultra-wide photonic bandgaps, engineered thermal emission, and negative refractive index. Yet experimental studies of such materials remain few because of the difficulties associated with fabricating 3D micron- and sub-micron-scale metallic structures. We report a route to MDPCs based on metallization of a 3D polymeric photonic crystal (PC) fabricated by multi-photon microfabrication (MPM). Polymeric PCs having face-centered tetragonal symmetry and micrometer-scale periodicity were created using a cross-linkable acrylate or epoxide pre-polymer. The resulting PCs were metallized by electroless deposition of silver or copper. Analysis of the metallized structures in cross-section by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy shows that silver deposited conformally onto the entire micro-porous lattice. The dielectric and metallized PCs were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The polymer photonic crystals exhibit a stop band with strong reflectance near 4 to 6 microns, depending upon the lattice period. In contrast, FTIR spectra of the metallized PCs show widened stop bands of nearly 6 microns and greater and maximum reflectance exceeding 90%. The appreciable broadening of the stop band due to the presence of the deposited metal is a result consistent with previously reported theoretical and experimental data for all-metallic 3D PCs. Thus, the approach reported here appears suitable for fabricating 3D MDPCs of many symmetries and basis sets and provides a path for integrating such structures with other micron-scale optical elements.
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Stephen M. Kuebler, Yun-Sheng Chen, and Amir Tal "Metallo-dielectric nanophotonic materials via direct laser writing and electroless metallization", Proc. SPIE 6883, Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics, 68830L (6 February 2008);

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