Quantitative analysis of directional spontaneous emission spectra from light sources in photonic crystals

I. Nikolaev, P. Lodahl, Willem L. Vos

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We have performed angle-resolved measurements of spontaneous-emission spectra from laser dyes and quantum dots in opal and inverse opal photonic crystals. Pronounced directional dependencies of the emission spectra are observed: angular ranges of strongly reduced emission adjoin with angular ranges of enhanced emission. It appears that emission from embedded light sources is affected both by the periodicity and by the structural imperfections of the crystals: the photons are Bragg diffracted by lattice planes and scattered by unavoidable structural disorder. Using a model comprising diffuse light transport and photonic band structure, we quantitatively explain the directional emission spectra. This work provides detailed understanding of the transport of spontaneously emitted light in real photonic crystals, which is essential in the interpretation of quantum optics in photonic-band-gap crystals and for applications wherein directional emission and total emission power are controlled.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical review A: Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
Issue number053813
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • METIS-225060
  • IR-52981

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