Optical properties of two-dimensional polymer photonic crystals after deformation-induced pattern transformations

D. Krishnan, H. T. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The photonic band structure and optical transmittance of two-dimensional periodic elastomeric photonic crystals are studied computationally to understand the effects of large strains on optical properties of the structures. The large compressive deformation patterns of the two-dimensional periodic structure studied by Mullin and coworkers [Mullin, T., Deschanel, S., Bertoldi, K., Boyce, M.C., 2007. Pattern transformation triggered by deformation. Physical Review Letters 99(8), 084301] are first reproduced using hyperelastic material models for the elastomer SU-8. Finite element analysis is then used to solve Maxwell's equations to obtain light transmittance through both the undeformed and deformed structures; simultaneously the wave equation resulting from the appropriate two-dimensional form of Maxwell's equations is solved as an eigenvalue problem to obtain the band structure. The deformation-induced shift in transmission spectrum valleys for different bands is calculated, and the changes in the width of these reflectance peaks are also obtained. The band structure calculation shows that there are no complete photonic band gaps as expected for the low dielectric contrast system. However, the effect of the observed reversible, symmetry-breaking deformation pattern is to uncouple many of the photonic bands in all three high symmetry directions, i.e. Γ-X, X-M, and Γ-M. New non-degenerate deformation-induced optical modes appear in both the real space transmittance spectra and the band structure with lower reflectance values. Analyses of the deformation pattern, the optical mode shapes, and the photonic band structure reveal that localized regions of large rotation are responsible for the significant changes in optical transmittance. The results have practical importance for the design of strain-tunable optomechanical materials for sensing and actuation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1500-1513
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009


  • Band Structure
  • Deformation
  • Elastomers
  • Optical properties
  • Photonic crystals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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