Photonic crystals (PCs), two- or three-dimensionally periodic, artificial, and dielectric structures, have a specific forbidden band for electromagnetic waves, referred to as photonic bandgap (PBG). The PBG is analogous to the electronic bandgap in natural crystal structures with periodic atomic arrangement. A well-defined and embedded planar, line, or point defect within the PCs causes a break in its structural periodicity, and introduces a state in the PBG for light localization. It offers various applications in integrated optics and photonics including optical filters, sharp bending light guides and very low threshold lasers. Using nanofabrication processes, PCs of the 2-D slab-type and 3-D layer-by-layer structures have been investigated widely. Alternatively, simple and low-cost self-assembled PCs with full 3-D PBG, inverse opals, have been suggested. A template with face centered cubic closed packed structure, opal, may initially be built by self-assembly of colloidal spheres, and is selectively removed after infiltrating high refractive index materials into the interstitials of spheres.
In this dissertation, the optical waveguides utilizing the 3-D self-assembled PCs are discussed. The waveguides were fabricated by microfabrication technology. For high-quality colloidal silica spheres and PCs, reliable synthesis, self-assembly, and characterization techniques were developed. Its theoretical and experimental demonstrations are provided and correlated. They suggest that the self-assembled PCs with PBG are feasible for the applications in integrated optics and photonics.