An agile, transparent optical network is emerging. This paper enumerates the functions that will be needed at nodes in order to add transparency and agility to the network while robustly assuring optical fibre channel performance. One key requirement will be scalable integration of multiple functions on a platform. The paper presents recent results along one strategic axis for integration - the use of functionalized self-organized photonic crystals and heterostructures thereof to control the flow and features of light.
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