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Enabling technologies for 3D nano photonics: New materials and process technology for real 3D integrated optical circuits, photonic band gap devices and photonic crystals

Final Report Summary - NEWTON (Enabling technologies for 3D nano photonics: New materials and process technology for real 3D integrated optical circuits, photonic band gap devices and photonic crystal

The project goals were the realisation of real three-dimensional (3D) PhCs by adapted nano-material and nano-process development and the smart synthesis of bottom-up and top-down approaches; the development of a cost efficient process, capable of high volume nano photonics production, but also of flexible prototyping.

A large number of results were achieved during the course of the project. Many of the results achieved are beyond the state of the art. Here we give a summary of new technologies developed in the frame of NEWTON:
- Production technology for the realisation of precision controlled polystyrene spheres developed by BASF.
- Self-organisation process of polystyrene spheres successfully developed for production of large area opal templates (BASF).
- Process for 3D defect inscription into opal templates by 2PP was developed (LZH).
- High throughput parallel writing using 2PP demonstrated for the first time by LZH/ENSTB.
- Heterogeneous functional realisation of 2.5D advanced devices using accurate FIB nanomachining demonstrated by TAS.
- Software for simulation of 3D PBG devices developed on a multi-platform basis to drastically improve computing time and graphic user interface (PD/DTU).

New technologies developed in the framework of the NEWTON project will find applications in the area of 3D PBG photonics and also in many other areas. For example, homogeneous opals have high potential for application in consumer markets, low cost passive sensing, subwavelength imaging and lighting. Parallel writing using 2PP could be a very versatile high throughput nanostructuring technology applicable in many areas. The developed simulation software will find applications in simulation of electromagnetic wave propagation in complex 3D structures.

Initially the markets addressable by NEWTON technologies were identified to be in the telecom / radiocom domain, aerospace, automotive, computing, sensors and lighting, taking advantage of the possibilities offered by the inhomogeneous structures that can be created. It will probably take several years to use some devices using the technologies developed in NEWTON.

Following the last achievements of the project, we have identified new possible fields of applications more prone to be successful on a shorter time scale with mass-market applications. These opportunities were neither foreseen in the previous exploitation reports nor in the description of work. They include textile, luxury, consumer electronics, food; in the area of sensing, sub-wavelength imaging and lighting.

The end result of the project was the demonstration of the feasibility of the development of 3D PBG photonic devices. Furthermore, the approaches for industrial production of 3D PBG components have been investigated. It has been demonstrated that the combination of 3D PhC template and 3D defect inscribing is a viable technology for future industrial production. The realisation of the functioning 3D PBG photonic component was challenged in this project. New technological approaches were developed in order to achieve the project objectives. Most of the objectives were completed successfully. These include the development of materials and production technology for PhCs and 3D PBGs with defined defects, the design, simulation, and characterisation of PhCs and 3D PBG optical components. Still some challenging technological issues will have to be resolved in order to demonstrate 3D PBG functionality of photonic device.

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