Abstract

Based on numerical simulation it is found that three-dimensional periodic patterns with micrometer or submicrometer lattice constants, such as those with simple cubic, face-centered cubic, body-centered cubic, or body-centered tetragonal symmetry, can be formed by use of multiple laser beam interference. Changes in the number and angle of the incident beams result in different spatial patterns, whereas variation of the incident wavelength affects only the lattice constant of the patterns. Face-centered cubic and body-centered tetragonal patterns have been observed experimentally. Our results, combined with the optical trapping of dielectric particles, might provide a promising approach to the realization of a new kind of material—a photonic crystal.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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