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Photonic crystals and inhibition of spontaneous emission: an introduction

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In the first part of this introductory review we outline the developments in photonic band gap materials from the physics of photonic band gap formation to the fabrication and potential applications of photonic crystals. We briefly describe the analogies between electron and photon localization, present a simple model of a band structure calculation and describe some of the techniques used for fabricating photonic crystals. Also some applications in the field of photonics and optical circuitry are briefly presented. In the second part, we discuss the consequences for the interaction between an atom and the light field when the former is embedded in photonic crystals of a specific type, exhibiting a specific form of a gap in the density of states. We first briefly review the standard treatment (Weisskopf - Wigner theory) in describing the dynamics of spontaneous emission in free space from first principles, and then proceed by explaining the alterations needed to properly treat the case of a two-level atom embedded in a photonic band gap material.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Quantum Computation, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics University of Cambridge Wilberforce Road CB3 0WA UK 2: QOLS, Blackett Laboratory Imperial College London SW7 2AZ UK 3: Materials Science Department, School of Natural Sciences University of Patras Patras 265 04 Greece

Publication date: 2004-07-01

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