We described the engineering and characterization of photonic colloidal crystals based on silica spheres with incorporated YVO4:Eu luminescent nanoparticles. These structures exhibit strong angle-dependent luminescent properties. The controlled incorporation of a planar defect in the periodic structures gives rise to the creation of a pass band in the pseudo-gap. In the energy range of this pass band, we observed a strong increase in combination with a sharp width of the emission spectrum, which opens new possibilities for the design of low-threshold and/or single mode photonic crystal lasers. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
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