The Diversity of Three-Dimensional Photonic Crystals

Photonic band gap sizes, by band number and dielectric contrast.

Photonic band gap sizes, by band number and dielectric contrast.

Use the menu on the left to navigate structures with photonic band gaps.

This database contains a searchable index of crystal structures and their photonic band gaps as a function of filling fraction and dielectric contrast. Please refer to the publication “The Diversity of Three-Dimensional Photonic Crystals” for details about methods used to generate the data shown here. Each structure page contains essential crystallographic information, a gap atlas displaying the photonic band gaps found, and the band structure. Also provided are references to the databases and publications from which these structures were gathered and input files usable with the MIT Photonic Bands software.


_images/rose_cersonsky.jpg _images/james_antonaglia.jpg _images/bradley_dice.jpg _images/sharon_glotzer.jpg

Rose K. Cersonsky1, James Antonaglia2, Bradley D. Dice2, and Sharon C. Glotzer1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

1Macromolecular Science and Engineering Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

2Department of Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48105

3Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109

4Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109

5Biointerfaces Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109

Referencing this database

Please acknowledge the use of this database with the following citation:

Cersonsky, R. K., Antonaglia, J., Dice, B. D., Glotzer, S. C. The diversity of three-dimensional photonic crystals. Nature Communications 12, 2543 (2021).


The authors thank R. Merlin, J. Dshemuchadse, C. S. Adorf, B. VanSaders, C. Dai, and E. F. Hayman for constructive feedback during the writing process.

This work was supported as part of the Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences under Award # DE-SC0000989 (calculation of EM fields); and also sponsored by the Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research under ONR award number N00014-18-1-2497 (large scale evaluation of structures). R. K. C. and J. A. A. acknowledge support from the University of Michigan Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship Program. B. D. D. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Grant DGE 1256260. This research was also supported in part through computational resources and services supported by Advanced Research Computing at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Structure geometry data for calculations was obtained from:

  • Grazulis, S. et al. Crystallography Open Database - An open-access collection of crystal structures. Journal of Applied Crystallography 42, 726-729 (2009). Website

  • Bergerhoff, G., Hundt, R., Sievers, R. & Brown, I. D. The Inorganic Crystal Structure Data Base. Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling 23, 66-69 (1983). (with permission) Website

Software used in the production of this database includes:

MIT Photonic Bands: GitHub, documentation

signac: website, GitHub, documentation