Light exiting from real photonic band gap crystals is diffuse and strongly directional

A.F. Koenderink, Willem L. Vos

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Any photonic crystal is in practice periodic with some inevitable fabricational imperfections. We have measured angle-resolved transmission of photons that are multiply scattered by this disorder in strongly photonic crystals. Peculiar non-Lambertian distributions occur as a function of frequency: due to internal diffraction, wide angular ranges of strongly reduced diffuse transmission coincide with photonic stop bands, while enhancements occur for directions outside stop gaps. We quantitatively explain the experiment with a model incorporating diffusion and band structure on equal footing. We predict that in the event of a photonic band gap, diffuse light at frequencies near band gap edges can exit only along isolated directions. Angle-resolved diffuse transmission appears to be the photonic equivalent of angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)213902-1-213902-4
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • IR-40627
  • METIS-213020

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