Experimental probe of a complete 3D photonic band gap

Manashee Adhikary, Ravitej Uppu, Cornelis A.M. Harteveld, Diana Grishina, Willem L. Vos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
110 Downloads (Pure)


The identification of a complete three-dimensional (3D) photonic band gap in real crystals typically employs theoretical or numerical models that invoke idealized crystal structures. Such an approach is prone to false positives (gap wrongly assigned) or false negatives (gap missed). Therefore, we propose a purely experimental probe of the 3D photonic band gap that pertains to any class of photonic crystals. We collect reflectivity spectra with a large aperture on exemplary 3D inverse woodpile structures that consist of two perpendicular nanopore arrays etched in silicon. We observe intense reflectivity peaks (R>90%) typical of high-quality crystals with broad stopbands. A resulting parametric plot of s-polarized versus p-polarized stopband width is linear ("y=x"), a characteristic of a 3D photonic band gap, as confirmed by simulations. By scanning the focus across the crystal, we track the polarization-resolved stopbands versus the volume fraction of high-index material and obtain many more parametric data to confirm that the high-NA stopband corresponds to the photonic band gap. This practical probe is model-free and provides fast feedback on the advanced nanofabrication needed for 3D photonic crystals and stimulates practical applications of band gaps in 3D silicon nanophotonics and photonic integrated circuits, photovoltaics, cavity QED, and quantum information processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2683-2698
Number of pages16
JournalOptics express
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2020


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