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An Integrated Simulation Environment Realizing the Ability of Nano-Photonic Crystals to Detect and Quantify Submicron and Microdamage in Materials

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Nano-photonic crystals (NPCs) are synthetic crystals, manufactured at the nano scale, with a periodic microstructure resulting in a periodic variation in the refractive index. It is well established that the unique microstructure of NPCs provides them with the ability to control light propagation in three dimensions by creating a bandgap in the frequency domain. In this paper, we suggest using NPCs as sensors to detect microdamage in materials. We demonstrate, using an integrated simulation environment, that a sensor made of NPC adhered to a polymer substrate will experience a significant change in its bandgap profile when micro or submicron damage is induced in the substrate. We also introduce a metric, using principles of fuzzy pattern recognition, to detect and quantify this damage. A case study for damage quantification in the polymer material demonstrates, for the first time, the superior sensitivity of NPCs to detect and quantify damage in materials at scales not manageable using existing sensing technologies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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  • Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience is an international peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidates research activities in all aspects of computational and theoretical nanoscience into a single reference source. This journal offers scientists and engineers peer-reviewed research papers in all aspects of computational and theoretical nanoscience and nanotechnology in chemistry, physics, materials science, engineering and biology to publish original full papers and timely state-of-the-art reviews and short communications encompassing the fundamental and applied research.
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