The pronounced light-matter interactions in photonic crystals make them interesting as opto-fludic "building blocks" for lab-on-a-chip applications. We show how conducting electrolytes cause dissipation and smearing of the density-of-states, thus altering decay dynamics of excited bio-molecules dissolved in the electrolyte. Likewise, we find spatial damping of propagating modes, of the order dB/cm, for naturally occurring electrolytes such as drinking water or physiological salt water.
European Optical Society. Journal. Rapid Publications, 2006, Vol 1