Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 4, 2008
Previous Article Next Article

Slow photons in the fast lane in chemistry

Author affiliations


A driving force in the rapidly developing field of photonic crystals has been the photonic bandgap, a range of energies where the propagation of light is completely forbidden. The photonic bandgap allows the design of photonic lattices that localize, guide and bend light at sub-micron length scales, providing opportunities for the creation of miniature optical devices and integrated optical circuits to help drive the revolution in photonics. A less well known attribute of photonic crystals is their theoretical ability to slow light to a velocity of zero. This phenomenon can be achieved at the high and low energy edges of photonic stopgaps where the photonic bands are flat and light exists as a standing wave commensurate with the photonic lattice and travels at a group velocity of zero, referred to as “slow photons” herein. It has been shown theoretically that the probability of harvesting slow photons scales inversely with their group velocity. This means that a number of well known photon driven processes and devices in chemistry and physics can be enhanced by capturing this unique property of slow photons. In this paper we will look at slow photons mainly through the eye of chemistry and highlight some recent developments in this exciting and emerging field that demonstrate the potential of slow photons in materials chemistry and nanochemistry.

Graphical abstract: Slow photons in the fast lane in chemistry

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 05 Jun 2007, accepted on 05 Sep 2007 and first published on 21 Sep 2007

Article type: Highlight
DOI: 10.1039/B708474A
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2008,18, 369-373

  •   Request permissions

    Slow photons in the fast lane in chemistry

    J. I. L. Chen, G. von Freymann, S. Y. Choi, V. Kitaev and G. A. Ozin, J. Mater. Chem., 2008, 18, 369
    DOI: 10.1039/B708474A

Search articles by author