Porous one dimensional photonic crystals: novel multifunctional materials for environmental and energy applications
In recent times, several synthetic pathways have been developed to create multilayered materials of diverse composition that combine accessible porosity and optical properties of structural origin, i.e., not related to absorption. These materials possess a refractive index that varies periodically along one direction, which gives rise to optical diffraction effects characteristic of Bragg stacks or one-dimensional photonic crystals (1DPCs). The technological potential of such porous optical materials has been demonstrated in various fields related to energy and environmental sciences, such as detection and recognition of targeted biological or chemical species, photovoltaics, or radiation shielding. In all cases, improved performance is achieved as a result of the added functionality porosity brings. In this review, a unified picture of this emerging field is provided.