A system and method for designing photonic band gap structures. The system and method provide a user with the capability to produce a model of a two-dimensional array of conductors corresponding to a unit cell. The model involves a linear equation. Boundary conditions representative of conditions at the boundary of the unit cell are applied to a solution of the Helmholtz equation defined for the unit cell. The linear equation can be approximated by a Hermitian matrix. An eigenvalue of the Helmholtz equation is calculated. One computation approach involves calculating finite differences. The model can include a symmetry element, such as a center of inversion, a rotation axis, and a mirror plane. A graphical user interface is provided for the user's convenience. A display is provided to display to a user the calculated eigenvalue, corresponding to a photonic energy level in the Brilloin zone of the unit cell.
This invention was made with government support under Grant No. F49620-99-0197 and Grant No. F49620-01-0007 awarded by the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and Grant No. DE-FG02-95ER40919 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government may have certain rights in the invention.