Large three-dimensional photonic crystals based on monocrystalline liquid crystal blue phases

Chun Wei Chen, Chien Tsung Hou, Cheng Chang Li, Hung Chang Jau, Chun Ta Wang, Ching Lang Hong, Duan Yi Guo, Cheng Yu Wang, Sheng Ping Chiang, Timothy J. Bunning, Iam Choon Khoo, Tsung Hsien Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Although there have been intense efforts to fabricate large three-dimensional photonic crystals in order to realize their full potential, the technologies developed so far are still beset with various material processing and cost issues. Conventional top-down fabrications are costly and time-consuming, whereas natural self-assembly and bottom-up fabrications often result in high defect density and limited dimensions. Here we report the fabrication of extraordinarily large monocrystalline photonic crystals by controlling the self-assembly processes which occur in unique phases of liquid crystals that exhibit three-dimensional photonic-crystalline properties called liquid-crystal blue phases. In particular, we have developed a gradient-temperature technique that enables three-dimensional photonic crystals to grow to lateral dimensions of ∼1 cm (∼30,000 of unit cells) and thickness of ∼100 μm (∼ 300 unit cells). These giant single crystals exhibit extraordinarily sharp photonic bandgaps with high reflectivity, long-range periodicity in all dimensions and well-defined lattice orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number727
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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