Realisation and optical engineering of linear variable bandpass filters in nanoporous anodic alumina photonic crystals†
We present the first realisation of linear variable bandpass filters in nanoporous anodic alumina (NAA-LVBPFs) photonic crystal structures. NAA gradient-index filters (NAA-GIFs) are produced by sinusoidal pulse anodisation and used as photonic crystal platforms to generate NAA-LVBPFs. The anodisation period of NAA-GIFs is modified from 650 to 850 s to systematically tune the characteristic photonic stopband of these photonic crystals across the UV-visible-NIR spectrum. Then, the nanoporous structure of NAA-GIFs is gradually widened along the surface under controlled conditions by wet chemical etching using a dip coating approach aiming to create NAA-LVBPFs with finely engineered optical properties. We demonstrate that the characteristic photonic stopband and the iridescent interferometric colour displayed by these photonic crystals can be tuned with precision across the surface of NAA-LVBPFs by adjusting the fabrication and etching conditions. Here, we envisage for the first time the combination of the anodisation period and etching conditions as a cost-competitive, facile, and versatile nanofabrication approach that enables the generation of a broad range of unique LVBPFs covering the spectral regions. These photonic crystal structures open new opportunities for multiple applications, including adaptive optics, hyperspectral imaging, fluorescence diagnostics, spectroscopy, and sensing.