Photonic crystals at visible, x-ray, and terahertz frequencies
Mittleman, Daniel M.
Doctor of Philosophy
Photonic crystals are artificial structures with a periodically varying refractive index. This property allows photonic crystals to control the propagation of photons, making them desirable components for novel photonic devices. Photonic crystals are also termed as "semiconductors of light", since they control the flow of electromagnetic radiation similar to the way electrons are excited in a semiconductor crystal. The scale of periodicity in the refractive index determines the frequency (or wavelength) of the electromagnetic waves that can be manipulated. This thesis presents a detailed analysis of photonic crystals at visible, x-ray, and terahertz frequencies. Self-assembly and spin-coating methods are used to fabricate colloidal photonic crystals at visible frequencies. Their dispersion characteristics are examined through theoretical as well as experimental studies. Based on their peculiar dispersion property called the superprism effect, a sensor that can detect small quantities of chemical substances is designed. A photonic crystal that can manipulate x-rays is fabricated by using crystals of a non-toxic plant virus as templates. Calculations show that these metallized three-dimensional crystals can find utility in x-ray optical systems. Terahertz photonic crystal slabs are fabricated by standard lithographic and etching techniques. In-plane superprism effect and out-of-plane guided resonances are studied by terahertz time-domain spectroscopy, and verified by numerical simulations.
Optics; Engineering; Materials science