A. Rosenberg, R.J. Tonucci, H.B. Lin, and A.J. Campillo, Naval Research Lab., Optical Sciences Division, Washington, D.C.
Electronic band structure is a familiar concept in solid-state physics. It arises from the interaction of electrons with the crystal's periodic potential, which varies on a length scale comparable to the electronic de Broglie wavelength. The electronic band structure is largely responsible for many of the crystal's physical properties. Ten years ago, the analogous concept of photonic band structure was used to explain the optical properties of an engineered material whose refractive index varies with a periodicity comparable to the wavelength of a photon.
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