Alfons van Blaaderen (program leader), Allard Mosk and Laura Filion together with Willem Vos, Jaap van der Vegt, Matthias Schlottbom and Ad Lagendijk from the University of Twente received an NWO ENW Groot grant for their research proposal ‘Self-Assembled Icosahedral Photonic Quasicrystals with a Band Gap for Visible Light’.
Photonic crystals are important for many research areas and applications because they enhance the interaction of light with matter in an unprecedented way. Here we plan to make both periodic and quasi-periodic photonic crystals by using colloidal self-assembly, an inherently scalable and inexpensive approach. These crystals will have a so-called photonic bandgap for visible light, the equivalent of an electronic bandgap for electrons. The study of such structures, and how they can influence light, will not only provide new fundamental knowledge about quasicrystals but will also have applications in e.g. data manipulation, lighting, sensing and photocatalysis.