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Open AccessReview

Photonic Crystal Stimuli-Responsive Chromatic Sensors: A Short Review

1
Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnologies (IFN-CNR) CSMFO Laboratory and Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) Photonics Unit, 38123 Povo (Trento), Italy
2
Department of Materials Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education, Ho Chi Min City 70000, Vietnam
3
Faculty of Physico-Mathematical Sciences, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), Puebla 72570, Mexico
4
Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research, PAS, 50-422 Wroclaw, Poland
5
Nello Carrara Institute of Applied Physics (IFAC CNR), 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Firenze), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030290
Received: 15 January 2020 / Revised: 29 February 2020 / Accepted: 8 March 2020 / Published: 10 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Micromachines)
Photonic crystals (PhC) are spatially ordered structures with lattice parameters comparable to the wavelength of propagating light. Their geometrical and refractive index features lead to an energy band structure for photons, which may allow or forbid the propagation of electromagnetic waves in a limited frequency range. These unique properties have attracted much attention for both theoretical and applied research. Devices such as high-reflection omnidirectional mirrors, low-loss waveguides, and high- and low-reflection coatings have been demonstrated, and several application areas have been explored, from optical communications and color displays to energy harvest and sensors. In this latter area, photonic crystal fibers (PCF) have proven to be very suitable for the development of highly performing sensors, but one-dimensional (1D), two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) PhCs have been successfully employed, too. The working principle of most PhC sensors is based on the fact that any physical phenomenon which affects the periodicity and the refractive index of the PhC structure induces changes in the intensity and spectral characteristics of the reflected, transmitted or diffracted light; thus, optical measurements allow one to sense, for instance, temperature, pressure, strain, chemical parameters, like pH and ionic strength, and the presence of chemical or biological elements. In the present article, after a brief general introduction, we present a review of the state of the art of PhC sensors, with particular reference to our own results in the field of mechanochromic sensors. We believe that PhC sensors based on changes of structural color and mechanochromic effect are able to provide a promising, technologically simple, low-cost platform for further developing devices and functionalities. View Full-Text
Keywords: photonic crystal; optical sensing; nanostructures; mechanochromic sensors photonic crystal; optical sensing; nanostructures; mechanochromic sensors
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chiappini, A.; Tran, L.T.N.; Trejo-García, P.M.; Zur, L.; Lukowiak, A.; Ferrari, M.; Righini, G.C. Photonic Crystal Stimuli-Responsive Chromatic Sensors: A Short Review. Micromachines 2020, 11, 290.

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