A team of San Francisco State University researchers is the first to build and demonstrate the ability of two-dimensional disordered photonic band gap material, designed to be a platform to control light in unprecedented ways.

By breaking away from the highly angular and constrained pathways for light dictated inside orderly photonic crystals, the new material could allow researchers to manipulate the flow and radiation of light in new ways.

Although the applications are far in the future, the new materials may be used for more efficient solar panels and illuminated displays. The “free-form” light guides within the materials could be especially valuable in designing compact optical circuits for signal processing and telecommunications.

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