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Fabrication of Emissible Metallic Layer-by-Layer Photonic Crystals Using Microtransfer Molding with Electro-Deposition

Ames Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a method for increasing the efficiency of conventional incandescent light bulbs.


The efficiency of conventional incandescent light bulbs is very low, with more energy producing heat than light. Newer lighting technologies, such as compact fluorescent bulbs or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have gained increasing interest with energy security becoming an important national issue. However, anti-flickering and light quality issues still exist with LEDs and compact fluorescent bulbs. In addition, fabrication costs and the requirement for more complicated circuitry make these alternatives less attractive economically. To overcome these drawbacks, ISU and Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a method for increasing the efficiency of traditional incandescent light bulbs that uses a stand-alone filter to recycle photons from emitted infrared light. This approach enables recovered infrared red to be used to maintain filament temperatures required for illumination and decreases the energy needed for comfortable light quality.


• Very low production costs • Ease of fabrication • Amenable to mass production

Applications and Industries

Highly efficient visible/infrared light source; Thermo-voltaic applications

More Information

Samples of the 3D metallic photonic crystals are available for testing

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 7,625,515
Fabrication of layer-by-layer photonic crystals using two polymer microtransfer molding
A method of manufacturing photonic band gap structures operable in the optical spectrum has been presented. The method comprises the steps of filling a plurality of grooves of an elastomeric mold with a UV curable first polymer, each groove in parallel with each other and partially curing the first polymer. A second polymer is coated on the first polymer. A substrate or a multi-layer polymer structure is placed on the filled mold and the resulting structure is exposed to UV light (i.e., is UV cured). The mold is peeled away from the first and second polymers such that a layer of polymer rods is formed on the substrate/multi-layer polymer structure. The process is repeated until a desired number of layers have been formed. The multi-layer structure can be used to create ceramic and metallic photonic band gaps by infiltration, electro-deposition, and/or metal coating.
Technology Status
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To: Stacy Joiner<>