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Photonic crystal sensor

Photonic crystal temperature sensor

Global warming is one of the biggest problems facing humanity, the biggest problem is the generation of clean energy. A promising solution is energy produced by a fusion reactor. The main benefit of a fusion reaction is that there aren’t any greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere and the lack of highly enriched nuclear material. The figure below shows a Tokamak fusion reactor.

Fusion reactor
Fusion reactor

Project description

Our assignment during this project is to make a sensor that will respond to change in temparature using the thermal expansion of the Photonic crystal structure. This sensor has the potential to withstand greater temperatures than any other sensor can handle and this way we can help in the research of finding a suitable material to make the reactor out of.

The goal of this project is to design and test a prototype Photonic cystal temperature sensor. This is done by:

  • Metal 3D printing
  • Designing and modelling with CAD tools
  • Electromagnetic response simulation of the Photonic crystals using COMSOL
  • Measuring, comparing and verifying data

Project results

As shown in the results below, the team was able to make a simulation model that predicts the behaviour of the actual 3D printed prototype sensor. The measurements of our prototype sensor show that an increase in temperature will lead to a shift in the graph; this means a successful temperature sensor was created using a photonic crystal.

Simulation of Photonic crystal temperature sensor
Prototype sensor measurement



The team wants to thank the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (Differ) for their guidance during the project and for using their test facilities.

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