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Father of Photonic Crystals

"Father of Photonic Crystals" Eli Yablonovitch of UCLA Will Speak At SPRING Conference at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) on 22nd- 24th of January, 2004

Da Hsuan Feng

Vice President for Research and Graduate Education and Professor of Physics

The University of Texas at Dallas

It has been known for over half a century that the so-called "energy-gap" in semiconductors was one of the fundamental physics properties for engineers and technologists to create devices that essentially transformed the lives of all humanity. Since 1987, there is now an artificial structure, called Photonic Crystals, "with the optical equivalent of the energy gap in semiconductors promise a wealth of new devices that could satisfy the demand for ever-faster computers and optical communications". Obviously, the implications of this material can be as significant as semiconductors, if not more so. This above quote is taken from PhysicsWeb http://physicsweb.org/article/world. This is why it is exciting to note that the "Father of Photonic Crystals", Professor Eli Yablonovitch of UCLA, will be speaking about this extremely important subject in the SPRING conference of January 22nd - 24th at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) www.utdallas.edu/research/event040122.htm. The conference is entitled "21st Century Research in Matter: Photonic, Excitonic, Spintronic Processes in Nanostructures - An International Conference in Honor of the 75th Birthday of Professor Vladimir Agranovich www.utdallas.edu. SPRING is a consortium of the University of Texas at Dallas, The University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Texas at Austin and The Air Force Material Research Laboratories in Dayton, Ohio. Professor Yablonovitch is a good scientific colleague of Professor Agranovitch and the title of his talk is "Photonic Crystal and Plasmonic Structures in Nano-Photonics". Professor Yablonovitch has essentially all the important scientific accolades. He is a member of the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering, Fellow of IEEE, OSA and APS and the 2001 Julius Springer Prize in Applied Physics. According to PhysicsWeb: "The potential of photonic-crystal structures was first realized in 1987 by Eli Yablonovitch, then at Bell Communications Research in New Jersey. A few years later in 1991, Yablonovitch and co-workers produced the first photonic crystal by mechanically drilling holes a millimetre in diameter into a block of material with a refractive index of 3.6. The material, which became known as "Yablonovite", prevented microwaves from propagating in any direction - in other words, it exhibited a 3-D photonic band gap. Other structures that have band gaps at microwave and radio frequencies are currently being used to make antennae that direct radiation away from the heads of mobile-phone users." It is worth noting that active and exciting research in this area is also very active in nearly all research universities in Texas and the Southwest. It is also worth stating that photonic crystals research in UTD is carried out by scientists in UTD's NanoTech Institute.


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