Pre-Fab Parts Offer Path to Self-Assembling Photonic Crystals

Scientists have worked for decades to get colloidal spheres to arrange themselves in sparser lattices, which would unleash potentially valuable optical properties. The structures, called photonic crystals, could increase the efficiency of lasers, make optical components even smaller, and increase engineers’ ability to control the flow of light.

Now, researchers report a pathway toward the self-assembly of these elusive photonic crystal structures never assembled before on the sub-micrometer scale.

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