Photonic crystals are periodic dielectric structures, where the periodicity varies in one, two or three dimensions. Analogous to the periodic potential of electrons in semiconductors, the periodic variation of the dielectric constant influences the electromagnetic properties. The energy of the light is separated in bandgaps, energy ranges in which the propagation of the light is forbidden for certain directions and energies. These properties suggest that photonic crystals may be suitable for fabrication of the components needed for integrated optics. Since the fabrication of three dimensional photonic crystals is still limited by complex fabrication problems we have studied two dimensional photonic crystals. These photonic crystals can be fabricated by standard microelectronic technology. The photonic crystals studied in this thesis consist of GaAs and InP based low index vertical waveguides with a matrix of holes etched into it. The fabrication of photonic crystals with good optical properties is an important factor for photonic crystal devices in integrated optics. In the first part we studied the optical properties of photonic crystal slabs and of Fabry-Pérot cavities. These structures were measured by the internal light source technique, which allows quantitative normalized transmission measurements. The photonic crystals were etched by three different dry etching technologies. Out-of plane scattering is described by a 2D-FDTD fit of the transmission spectra and by a semi-analytical model. The finite hole depth and the conical shape of the holes are important structural parameters. The detailed study of their effects yields an important feedback for the critical parameters of the fabrication process. Photonic crystal waveguides are another group of components in integrated optics. We measured two types of straight photonic crystal waveguides by the endfire technique. Here the light is coupled by optical fibers and ridge waveguides in the photonic crystal waveguides. The transmission spectra reveal fringes which are due to multiple interference of the light in the sample. This interference contains information about propagation losses of the waveguides and an analysis based on the Fourier transform of the transmission spectra enabled us to deduce the propagation losses of the photonic crystal waveguides. The necessity of tuning or trimming the optical properties of photonic crystals is an important issue either compensating fabrication imperfections (trimming) or controlling the optical properties on demand (tuning) for devices like filters. We have shown that it is possible to tune the optical properties of planar photonic crystal cavities by temperature. The experimental results were validated by theoretical calculations. Also we have shown that is possible to tune the optical properties of photonic crystals by infiltrating liquid crystals in the holes. Liquid crystals are a birefringent material whose optical axis can be tuned by external fields (electric, temperature, photonic source, etc.). Phase transitions exhibiting abrupt changes in the refractive index are important characteristics of liquid crystals. The holes of the photonic crystal are infiltrated by a reversible and reliable infiltration process. The infiltration efficiency and the orientation of the molecules in the holes were determined by polarization resolved internal light source measurements. We have shown that the frequency of the Fabry-Pérot resonance changes at the phase transitions of the liquid crystal.