Subwavelength-scale Light Localization in Complete Photonic Bandgap Materials

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The objective of this dissertation work is to examine light localization in semiconductors provided by a complete photonic bandgap via three-dimensional (3D) woodpile photonic crystals. A 3D photonic crystal is a periodic nanostructure that demonstrates omni-directional Bragg reflection. These materials are anticipated to become a powerful tool for engineering light propagation and localization within subwavelength scales due to their complete photonic bandgap and the distinctive dispersion relation.

The approach of realizing microcavities in this dissertation is to combine multi-directional etching fabrication methods with mode gap design. Modulation of unit cell size along a line-defect 3D waveguide could bring a guiding mode into the mode gap region of the waveguide and form a microcavity with a resonance inside the complete photonic bandgap. The designed microcavities could be fabricated by multi-directional etching methods because they can structurally be decomposed into two sets of connected and straight dielectric rods.

Ultra-high-quality factor microcavities and sub-wavelength-scale waveguides are designed without introduction of local disorders. Monopole, dipole, and quadrupole resonant modes are demonstrated with a small modal volume. The smallest modal volumes obtained are 0.36 cubic half-wavelengths for a resonance field in vacuum, and 2.88 cubic half-wavelengths for a resonance field in a dielectric. Direct metal contacts with the microcavities do not significantly deteriorate the quality factors because the resonant fields are located inside the microcavities. Single-mode woodpile waveguides are also designed in both lateral and vertical propagation directions.

The multi-directional etching method is a simple approach to the fabrication of woodpile photonic crystals and designed optical components with a variety of crystal orientations and surfaces, including (110), (001), (100), and (010) planes. An arbitrary surface plane (mn0) is obtained with this method, where m and n are integers. Moreover, it can also produce large area woodpile photonic crystals with high precision in silicon and GaAs materials.

These optical components in woodpile photonic crystals would be building blocks of high-density, low-loss 3D integrated optics, cavity quantum electrodynamics (QED), nonlinear optics, and enable the realization of current-injection optical devices.





Tang, Lingling (2010). Subwavelength-scale Light Localization in Complete Photonic Bandgap Materials. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


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