Magnetic and optical properties of three-dimensional fcc-structured magnetic photonic crystals (MPCs), consisting of SiO2 spheres, in the size range 260–680 nm, embedded with 0–6.4 wt % Fe3O4 nanoparticles have been investigated. In the wide spatial angle transmission spectra for these crystals at normal incidence of light in the UV-visible range, five photonic band gaps (PBGs) due to Bragg diffraction from different crystal planes have been observed. The Bragg wavelengths (λB) of PBGs in both the nonmagnetic and MPCs of the same structure are found to depend linearly on the sphere size. From the slope of this linear function the calculated effective refractive index is found to increase with the concentration of the magnetite nanoparticles in the MPCs, and is consistent with the result calculated from the average dielectric constant.
We also find λB of PBGs are dependent on the angle of the incidence of the light. Furthermore, for small angles this angular dependency is more strongly dependent on the polarization of incident light for MPCs than for the non-MPCs. Thus, magnetic nanocomposite PCs can be designed to incorporate additional functionality in the development of potential magneto-optical devices.
Citation: Mei Fang, Tarja T. Volotinen, S. K. Kulkarni, Lyubov Belova, and K. V. Rao, 'Effect of embedding Fe3O4 nanoparticles in silica spheres on the optical transmission properties of three-dimensional magnetic photonic crystals', J. Appl. Phys. 108, 103501 (2010); doi:10.1063/1.3509146 (6 pages)