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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

Photonic crystals are optical materials that can be used to control and manipulate the flow of light. Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a method for the producing photonic crystals that can be used as highly efficient light sources.


Ordinary incandescent lamps waste most of the supplied electric power to emit invisible light such as infrared. Metallic layer-by-layer photonic crystals can be used as high-efficiency light emitting sources by reducing the radiation of undesired wavelengths. However, fabrication of three dimensional metallic photonic crystals using conventional semiconductor processing methods requires costly equipment and processes that are a barrier to commercialization of these highly efficient light sources. To overcome these obstacles, Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a microtransfer molding method for the fabrication of emissible metallic photonic crystals. This method combines microtransfer molding (Technology ID 02788) with an electroplating technique to fabricate metallic photonic crystals at extremely low cost (roughly 100 times cheaper than conventional semiconductor processing) since the need for expensive equipment used for semiconductor processing is eliminated. In addition, this technique also results in higher yield and improved fidelity. Metallic photonic crystals produced using this method can be used as a filament or as a high-temperature optical filter.


• 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.  This technology is related to Technology ID, 02788.

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
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

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To: Stacy Joiner<>