Optical properties of ordered arrays of large latex particles
3D arrays of latex particles (0.1-3 mu m) have been prepared using a flow cell or a vertical deposition method. Such ordered arrays are of particular interest as model systems for photonic crystals and 3D optical gratings. They possess the properties of photonic band gap materials, can be used as templates for the fabrication of inverse structures, and their lattice constants are easily adjusted by the particle diameter. Well-ordered films of thin colloidal crystals were obtained. The arrays exhibit well-developed stop-bands in transmission and reflectance spectra covering the UV-vis-NIR-IR spectral area (0.2-6.5 mu m). Besides a hexagonal diffraction pattern, different pictures of trigonal symmetry were identified by diffraction microscopy using a Bertrand lens. The light intensity distribution and chromatic dispersion for different types of diffraction pattern have been analysed.