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Method for Creating Photonic Band Gap Materials

Ames Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Innovative microstructures that can direct light in a manner similar to the way semiconductors can influence electrons can be produced by creating what is termed a photonic band gap. These microstructures have the potential to change the way optoelectronic devices, such as photodiodes, LEDs, and integrated optical circuit elements, are designed and used. Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a method for creating photonic band gap materials that is economical and does not require the use of specialized equipment or a clean room. This innovation may facilitate the development of novel optoelectronic devices.


Microstructures that produce photonic band gaps have been produced using a layer-by-layer fabrication method, as well as by silicon processing and wafer-bonding techniques. However, these methods require specialized equipment or clean room facilities, and can also result in microstructures that may be misaligned or subject to delamination. To overcome these issues, Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a method for producing photonic band gap materials that uses microtransfer molding. The microtransfer molding technique is a method whereby a layer is accurately deposited and then transferred onto the lattice structure of the photonic crystal.


The method for creating photonic band gap materials is: • Economical (uses inexpensive starting materials) • Simple (does not require specialized equipment or clean room facility) • Flexible (defects can be introduced using different relief patterns) • Reliable (process reduces misalignment and delamination flaws).

Applications and Industries

Optoelectronics, Color Displays, IR Disguise.

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 6,555,406
Fabrication of photonic band gap materials using microtransfer molded templates
A method of manufacturing photonic band gap structures operable in the optical spectrum has been presented. The method comprises the steps of creating a patterned template for an elastomeric mold, fabricating an elastomeric mold from poly-dimethylsiloxane (PDMS) or other suitable polymer, filling the elastomeric mold with a second polymer such as epoxy or other suitable polymer, stamping the second polymer by making contact with a substrate or multilayer structure, removing the elastomeric mold, infiltrating the multilayer structure with ceramic or metal, and heating the multilayer structure to remove the second polymer to form a photonic band gap structure.
Ames Laboratory 04/29/2003
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

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To: Stacy Joiner<>