Photonic bandgap structure is poised to meet the needs for high-bandwidth communication network and optically connected computing for switching, multiplexing, interconnects and efficient laser sources. A dream of the technologists is to create a highly integrated micro-photonic device on a chip that can produce, switch, process light and send it to various optical interconnects, thus eliminating the need for copper or aluminum circuit connections.
Over the past 15 years, basic photonic crystal structures operating in infrared and optical wavelengths have been theoretically investigated and experimentally realized. The new challenges in making passive and active photonic bandgap devices are many. For one, new directions must now be set to understand fundamental photon-matter interactions and thus realize active photonic components such as lasers, optical amplifiers and optical switches for system applications.
While recent successes demonstrate the effectiveness of photonic bandgap structures in certain applications, clearly what is needed is a design tool for creating customized devices. The opportunity for mathematical research that could have great impact in this technology is ever present. The tools fashioned by mathematicians, such as abstract spectral theory, numerical methods for Maxwell’s equations, functional analysis, wave propagation in highly heterogeneous media, have important roles in this effort.
(Yokohama National University)
Jonathan Dowling (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Jim Fleming (Sandia National Laboratory)
Kai-Ming Ho Ho (Ames Laboratory / Iowa State University)
JD Joannopoulos (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Thomas Krauss (University of Glasgow)
Shawn Lin, Chair (Sandia National Laboratory)
Fadil Santosa (University of Minnesota)
Axel Scherer (California Institute of Technology)
Eli Yablonovitch (UCLA)