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Photonic Crystal

  • 16 Nov 2022
  • 2 min read

Why in News?

A soft tunable photonic crystal with enhanced thermal stability and optical purity developed by researchers that reflects vivid colours in the visible spectrum has potential applications in making more durable and better reflective displays and laser devices.

What are Photonic Crystals?

  • About:
    • Photonic crystals are optical nanostructures in which the refractive index changes periodically.
      • Refractive index, also called index of refraction is the measure of the bending of a ray of light when passing from one medium into another.
    • This affects the propagation of light in the same way that the structure of natural crystals gives rise to X-ray diffraction and that the atomic lattices (crystal structure) of semiconductors affect their conductivity of electrons.
    • Photonic crystals occur in nature in the form of structural coloration and animal reflectors.
      • Examples found in nature include opal, butterfly wings, peacock feathers, etc., exhibiting distinct iridescent colours.
  • Uses:
    • Photonic crystals promise to be useful in a range of applications ranging from reflection coatings to optical computers when artificially produced or engineered in laboratories.
    • They enable the PCs to exhibit structural colours in the visible spectral regime.
    • Researchers have also been on the constant lookout for tuning the properties in-situ post-fabrication.
    • The development of advanced photonic materials and devices using Liquid Crystals (LC) that exhibit self-organization, phase transitions, and molecular orientation behaviors in response to external stimuli is attracting significant interest.

Source: PIB

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