In this paper we propose a time-variant photonic crystal, which can be formed by a stream of wave-length-scale microdroplets flowing through a microfluidic channel. The functionality stems from the photonic bandgap generated from the 1D periodic perturbation of refractive index. The periodicity, volume fraction and composition of both the dispersed and the continuous phases can be conveniently tuned in real time by hydrodynamic or pneumatic methods. By simulation, it is found that the timevariant nature of the proposed structure can induce an abnormal energy evolution, which is distinct from any existing photonic crystal structures. As a basic component for optofluidic systems, the droplet-based photonic crystal may find potential applications in light modulation and light confinement, and could be an ideal model for pursuing physical insights into time-variant optofluidic systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics