Tuesday, March 24, 2009

US Patent 7507293 - Photonic crystal fabrication using sacrificial nanowires


Photonic crystals are to optics what semiconductors are to electronics and offer a route to superlenses capable of resolutions beyond the diffraction limits of conventional lenses. This patent from HP labs teaches a methodology for fabricating photonic crystals using nanowires as a template that are later removed. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for fabricating a photonic crystal, comprising:

forming a patterned array of nanowires extending outward from a surface, the nanowires comprising a catalytically grown nanowire material;

filling in spaces between the nanowires with a slab material, the patterned array of nanowires defining a patterned array of channels in the slab material;

removing the nanowire material from the channels; and

filling the channels with a channel material, said channel material and said slab material having different refractive indexes.