Thursday, May 22, 2008
Semiconductor makers should take a hint from Mother Nature when pursuing photonic crystals for optical computing, according to University of Utah researchers studying the Brazilian beetle: this bug's eerie iridescence is evidence of its unique photonic lattice structure--called the "champion" architecture in photonic circles. Diamonds have it, but they cannot act as photonic crystals because their atoms are packed too tightly together. By replacing the diamond's carbon atoms with cylindrically shaped molecules spaced to match a single wavelength of light, the beetle's scales could hold the key to solving long-standing problems with fabricating three-dimensional diffraction gratings within photonic crystals.
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 8:22 AM