Bloch modes and evanescent modes of photonic crystals: Weak form solutions based on accurate interface triangulation

Matthias Saba*, Gerd E. Schröder-Turk

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    We propose a new approach to calculate the complex photonic band structure, both purely dispersive and evanescent Bloch modes of a finite range, of arbitrary three-dimensional photonic crystals. Our method, based on a well-established plane wave expansion and the weak form solution of Maxwell’s equations, computes the Fourier components of periodic structures composed of distinct homogeneous material domains from a triangulated mesh representation of the inter-material interfaces; this allows substantially more accurate representations of the geometry of complex photonic crystals than the conventional representation by a cubic voxel grid. Our method works for general two-phase composite materials, consisting of bi-anisotropic materials with tensor-valued dielectric and magnetic permittivities ε and μ and coupling matrices z. We demonstrate for the Bragg mirror and a simple cubic crystal closely related to the Kelvin foam that relatively small numbers of Fourier components are sufficient to yield good convergence of the eigenvalues, making this method viable, despite its computational complexity. As an application, we use the single gyroid crystal to demonstrate that the consideration of both conventional and evanescent Bloch modes is necessary to predict the key features of the reflectance spectrum by analysis of the band structure, in particular for light incident along the cubic [111] direction.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberA13
    Pages (from-to)14-44
    Number of pages31
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2015


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