Project title: Construction of Arbitrarily Designed 1-D Polymer Photonic Crystals

One dimensional elaborate photonic crystals, with electrochemically etched porous silicon photonic crystals as one representative, have demonstrated many interesting biomedical applications, such as label-free biosensing, optical barcoding for high through-put bioscreening, controlled drug delivery, “lab on a drop” channel-free microfluidics, real time cellular activity monitoring, and so on. However, the convenient electrochemical etching method suitable for constructing arbitrarily designed 1-D photonic crystals has been largely limited to p type Si single crystals. Suffered from the weak mechanical stability of porous Si, these versatile porous Si based photonic crystals have been restrained from wide commercial applications. On the other hand, there is a lack of general means to fabricate elaborate photonic crystals with arbitrarily designed patterns and component materials, even with advantage taken from complex instruments or techniques, such as CVD or photolithography technique. In this project, a method capable of fabricating 1-D elaborate photonic crystals from various materials, for instance, 1-D elaborate polymer Bragg stacks and rugate dielectric filters, as the first attempt, is to be developed. High-resolution inkjet printing and spin-coating techniques will be investigated in depth.


  1. Cunin, F., Schmedake, T.A., Link, J.R., Li, Y.Y., Koh, J., Bhatia, S.N., and Sailor, M.J., "Biomolecular screening with encoded porous silicon photonic crystals." Nature Mater., 2002. 1: p. 39-41.
  2. Li, Y.Y., Cunin, F., Link, J.R., Gao, T., Betts, R.E., Reiver, S.H., Chin, V., Bhatia, S.N., and Sailor, M.J., "Polymer Replicas of Photonic Porous Silicon For Sensing and Drug Delivery Applications." Science, 2003. 299(5615): p. 2045-7.
  3. Link, J.R. and Sailor, M.J., "Smart Dust: Self-assembling, self-orienting photonic crystals of porous Si." Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 2003. 100(19): p. 10607-10.
  4. Cunin, F., Li, Y.Y., and Sailor, M.J., Nanodesigned pore-containing systems for biosensing and controlled drug release, in Encyclopedia on BioMEMS and Biomedical Nanotechnology, S.N. Bhatia and T. Desai, Editors. 2004, Kluwer.
  5. Orosco, M.M., Pacholski, C., Miskelly, G.M., and Sailor, M.J., "Protein-coated porous silicon photonic crystals for amplified optical detection of protease activity." Adv. Mater., 2006, 18(1393).
  6. Schwartz, M.P., Derfus, A.M., Alvarez, S.D., Bhatia, S.N., and Sailor, M.J., "The smart petri dish: A nanostructured photonic crystal for real-time monitoring of living cells." Langmuir, 2006, 22(16).

Supervisor:Dr Y Y Li (yangli@cityu.edu.hk)

Suitable for: M.Phil. or Ph.D.

Prerequisites: A Bachelor and preferably a Master Degree in Chemistry or Materials Science with an emphasis on polymer science.