Multi-beam-interference-based methodology for the fabrication of photonic crystal structures
Stay, Justin L.
MetadataShow full item record
A variety of techniques are available to enable the fabrication of photonic crystal structures. Multi-beam-interference lithography (MBIL) is a relatively new technique which offers many advantages over more traditional means of fabrication. Unlike the more common fabrication methods such as optical and electron-beam lithography, MBIL is a method that can produce both two- and three-dimensional large-area photonic crystal structures for use in the infrared and visible light regimes. While multi-beam-interference lithography represents a promising methodology for the fabrication of PC structures, there has been an incomplete understanding of MBIL itself. The research in this thesis focuses on providing a more complete, systematic description of MBIL in order to demonstrate its full capabilities. Analysis of both three- and four-beam interference is investigated and described in terms of contrast and crystallography. The concept of a condition for primitive-lattice-vector-direction equal contrasts} is introduced in this thesis. These conditions are developed as nonlinear constraints when optimizing absolute contrast for producing lithographically useful interference patterns (meaning high contrast and localized intensity extrema). By understanding the richness of possibilities within MBIL, a number of useful interference patterns are found that can be created in a straightforward manner. These patterns can be both lithographically useful and structurally useful (providing interference contours that can define wide-bandgap photonic crystals). Included within this investigation are theoretical calculations of band structures for photonic crystals that are fabricatable through MBIL. The resulting calculations show that not only do most MBIL-defined structures exhibit similar performance characteristics compared to conventionally designed photonic crystal structures, but in some cases MBIL-defined structures show a significant increase in bandgap size. Using the results from this analysis, a number of hexagonal photonic crystals are fabricated using a variety of process conditions. It is shown that both rod- and hole-type photonic crystal structures can be fabricated using processes based on both positive and negative photoresist. The "light-field" and "dark-field" interference patterns used to define the hexagonal photonic crystal structures are quickly interchanged by the proper adjustment of each beam's intensity and polarization. The resulting structures, including a large area (~1 cm², 1 x 10⁹ lattice points) photonic crystal are imaged using a scanning electron microscope. Multi-beam-interference lithography provides an enabling initial step for the wafer-scale, cost-effective integration of the impressive PC-based devices into manufacturable DIPCS. While multi-beam-interference lithography represents a promising methodology for the fabrication of PC structures, it lacks in the ability to produce PC-based integrated photonic circuits. Future research will target the lack of a large-scale, cost-effective fabrication methodology for photonic crystal devices. By utilizing diffractive elements, a photo-mask will be able to combine both MBIL and conventional lithography techniques into a single fabrication technology while taking advantage of the inherent positive attributes of both.