Contract activities on ISS Russian Segment

Experiment JAXA 3DPC-2


To effectively control coherent light radiation fluxes, it was proposed to use regular spatial structures with periodic variations in refraction factor in three directions photonic crystals. Such systems are formed by particles 100-300 nm in diameter in electrolytic solutions and fixed in gel matrix through photocuring. Under normal gravity the periodicity of the photonic crystal structure is distorted by the process of particle sedimentation in the electrolyte. Under microgravity, obtaining large high-quality photonic crystals becomes possible.

Objective:

To obtain 3D photonic crystals by the method of self-organization and ordering of colloidal nanoparticles in electrolyte solutions with subsequent fixation in an elastic gel matrix.

Tasks:

To grow colloid crystals in zero gravity, to fix the crystal structure by photocuring, to deliver the obtained materials to Earth.

Science Hardware Used:

3DPCGF hardware consisting of:

  • 3DPCU main unit;
  • Switch box and power unit for 3DPCU;
  • Cable set.

Expected Results:

The unique optical properties of photonic crystals make them a promising product for use in highly efficient optical communications and data processing applications. The use of photonic crystals will allow significantly improving noise immunity and data processing rates.

Experiment Results:

Returned to Earth is the 3DPCU main unit with samples of the obtained photonic crystals.