By Neal Singer
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The crystal -- really a three-dimensional artificial lattice -- was fabricated by Jim and a silicon processing team using advanced techniques in Sandia's Microelectronics Development Laboratory.
The result is a kind of microscopic tunnel of silicon slivers with a 180-nanometer minimum feature size. The structure is nearly 10 times smaller than the device the Sandia researchers recently reported in Nature (Lab News, Sept. 11).
The lattice's creation crowns a quest in U.S. laboratories that began 10 years ago with the simple idea that a light-containing artificial crystal was possible. "In my mind," says Shawn, "We are on holy ground. We are the lucky ones who got to the moon first."
"The present structure is a monumental achievement," says Sandia manager Del Owyoung (1710). "It's a fabrication that researchers have been trying to achieve for a decade."
The lattice is the smallest three-dimensional crystal ever achieved with a complete three-dimensional photonic band gap and is effective at wavelengths between 1.35 and 1.95 microns.
A paper on the achievement will be published in the Jan. 1 Optics Letters.
Papers on larger-dimensioned photonic successes by Sandia appeared earlier this year in Nature and Science(Lab News Oct . 9).
Still to be achieved is the insertion of a defect that can transmit and bend light within the lattice structure.
Last modified: November 20, 1998
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