IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society

Photonic Crystal Workshop  

Wednesday, March 23, 30, April 6, 13, 20, 2005, 7:00–9:30 PM
Located at MIT Lincoln Laboratory – 244 Wood Street, Lexington, MA, 02420, USA

March 23, 2005
7 PM

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1st half of 4-hour tutorial on Photonic Crystals: Principles, Techniques, and Applications Slides

Prof. Steven G. Johnson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA


Abstract:  This 4-hour tutorial will survey basic principles and developments in the field of photonic crystals, nano-structured optical materials that achieve new levels of control over optical phenomena.  This leverage over photons is primarily achieved by the photonic band gap: a range of wavelengths in which light cannot propagate within a suitably designed crystal, forming a sort of optical insulator.  The tutorial will begin with an introduction to the fundamentals of wave propagation in periodic systems, Bloch’s theorem and band diagrams, and from there moves on to the origin of the photonic band gap and its realization in practical structures.  After that we will cover a number of topics and applications important for understanding the field and its future.

Topics will include: the introduction of intentional defects to create waveguides, cavities, and ideal integrated optical devices in a crystal; exploitation of exotic dispersions for negative-refraction, super-prisms, and super-lensing; the combination of photonic band gaps and conventional index guiding to form easily fabricated hybrid systems (photonic-crystal slabs); the origin and control of losses in hybrid systems; and computational approaches to understanding these systems (from brute-force simulation to semi-analytical techniques).


Biography:  Steven G. Johnson received three B.S. degrees, in Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science, in 1995 and a PhD in Physics in 2001 from MIT.  He joined the Faculty of Mathematics at MIT as Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics in 2004.  He was co-recipient of the 1999 J. H. Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software for his work on FFTW, a widely used and influential package to compute the fast Fourier transform.  He is also the author of other popular software packages in scientific computation, such as his MPB software for modeling photonic crystals (which has received nearly 200 citations in the last three years and averages 400 downloads/month).  Besides his efforts in high-performance computation, his work has ranged from the fundamental understanding of incomplete-band gap systems and band gap fibers, to the development of new semi-analytical and numerical methods for electromagnetism in high-contrast and periodic systems, to authoring some of the few analytical theorems about the behavior of photonic crystals, to the design of integrated optical devices.  He is the author or co-author of more than 40 journal articles and a textbook on photonic crystals, and holds five issued U.S. patents on nanostructured materials and devices.


For more information on the technical content of the workshop, contact either:
1) Matt Emsley (, Central New England LEOS Chapter Chair
2) Bill Nelson (, Photonic Crystal Workshop-Technical Program Committee Chair