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Phys Rev Lett. 2003 Nov 21;91(21):213903. Epub 2003 Nov 19.

Ultrafast optical switching in three-dimensional photonic crystals.

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  • 1Atom Optics and Ultrafast Dynamics, Debye Institute, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utrecht, PO Box 80000, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands.


We present the first experimental investigation of ultrafast optical switching in a three-dimensional photonic crystal made of a Si-opal composite. Ultrafast (30 fs) changes in reflectivity around the photonic stop band up to 1% were measured for moderate pump power (70 microJ/cm(2)). Short-lived photoexcited carriers in silicon induce changes in the dielectric constant of Si and diminish the constructive interference inside the photonic crystal. The results are analyzed within a model based on a two-band mixing formalism.

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