Direct creation of three-dimensional photonic crystals by a top-down approach

Shigeki Takahashi, Katsuyoshi Suzuki, Makoto Okano, Masahiro Imada, Takeshi Nakamori, Yuji Ota, Kenji Ishizaki, Susumu Noda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


Three-dimensional (3D) photonic crystals1-11 can block photons in any direction and are expected to make possible their ultimate control. However, creating 3D crystals without any unintentional defects over large areas at optical wavelengths has been challenging. For example, opal-based crystals7-10 inevitably contain unintentional defects, it is difficult to increase the sizes of micro-manipulated crystals6 over ∼6 μm and producing stacked 3D crystals with thin 2D layers2-6 requires complicated and time-consuming processes. So far, these difficulties have hindered 3D photonic-crystal research. Here, we demonstrate a novel top-down approach to creating 3D crystals that overcomes these difficulties and significantly simplifies the process. We have developed a double-angled deep-etching method, which enables the direct creation of 3D woodpile crystals in single-crystalline silicon. A strong photonic bandgap effect with >20 dB attenuation in all directions has been achieved. Furthermore, bonding a light emitter onto or between 3D crystals created in this way has been shown to enhance or suppress spontaneous emission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-725
Number of pages5
JournalNature Materials
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sept
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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