Spherical silica (SiO2), zinc sulfide (ZnS), and core-shell particles of these materials undergo substantial anisotropic plastic deformation under high-energy ion irradiation. Individual particles can be turned into oblate or prolate ellipsoids with exact control over the aspect ratio. In this letter, we report on the fabrication and optical characterization of thin three-dimensional photonic crystals of spherical particles, which have been anisotropically deformed into spheroidal oblates by means of ion irradiation. As a result of the collective deformation process, both the unit cell symmetry and the particle form factor have been changed leading to appreciable tunability in the optical properties of the photonic crystal.

Appl. Phys. Lett.
Photonic Materials

Velikov, K., van Dillen, T., Polman, A., & van Blaaderen, A. (2002). Photonic crystals of shape-anisotropoc colloidal particles. Appl. Phys. Lett., 81, 838–840. doi:10.1063/1.1497197