Photonic crystal materials attracted much attention during last years with the number of publications and patents increasing exponentially. Two-dimensional (2D) photonic crystal structures, like holey fibers and 2D slab-type photonic crystals, are probably the most advanced and fast developing areas owing to mature fabrication methods and envisioned broad applications. They are now at a critical phase of their development as they move fast from the realm of fundamental studies to photonic devices and commercialization. The idea behind this issue is to look at both fiber and 2D waveguide geometries and explore some of the most important and interesting issues related to implementation of these optical structures as photonic devices. This special issue is inspired by a recent LEOS Topical Meeting on this topic held in Vancouver in July 2003. The meeting was very stimulating and challenged many perceptions of the role of photonic crystal technologies in next generation photonic devices. We have invited a good mix of theoretical, experimental and optical device contributions, both from the photonic crystal community as well as the holey fiber community with the intention that this special issue will catalyze the rapid advance of our subject and bring together these different fields to foster research strength.
Photonic crystal fibers and microstructured fibers are already starting to be commercialized. This area is represented by contributions of Humbert et al., West et al., M. J. Steel, Kuriki et al., Soljacic et al., Nguyen et al., and Litchinitser et al.
Two-dimensional photonic crystal waveguides is another emerging area with a great potential for important technological applications. This field is represented by the contributions of Notomi et al., Ohnishi et al., Schwoob et al., Lousse et al., Bogaerts et al., Botten et al., and Panoui et al.
Another area of intense interest, single-mode high index waveguides with submicron cross-section, so-called photonic wires, is represented by Cowan et al., and Yu. A. Vlasov and S. J. McNab and is also discussed by W. Bogaerts et al.
Benjamin J. Eggleton
University of Sydney
Yurii A. Vlasov
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center