Although there have been intense efforts to fabricate large three-dimensional photonic crystals in order to realize their full potential, the technologies developed so far are still beset with various material processing and cost issues. Conventional top-down fabrications are costly and time-consuming, whereas natural self-assembly and bottom-up fabrications often result in high defect density and limited dimensions. Here we report the fabrication of extraordinarily large monocrystalline photonic crystals by controlling the self-assembly processes which occur in unique phases of liquid crystals that exhibit three-dimensional photonic-crystalline properties called liquid-crystal blue phases. In particular, we have developed a gradient-temperature technique that enables three-dimensional photonic crystals to grow to lateral dimensions of ∼1 cm (∼30,000 of unit cells) and thickness of ∼100 μm (∼ 300 unit cells). These giant single crystals exhibit extraordinarily sharp photonic bandgaps with high reflectivity, long-range periodicity in all dimensions and well-defined lattice orientation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)