Fabrication of Opal-Based Photonic Crystals Using Atomic Layer Deposition
King, Jeffrey Stapleton
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The past decade and a half has seen the rapid emergence of a new material class known as photonic crystals (PCs), structures that exhibit 1, 2, or 3, dimensional periodicity of their dielectric constant, resulting in a modification of the dispersion characteristics from the normal w = vk relationship found in isotropic materials. Several remarkable electromagnetic phenomenon result, including the formation of photonic band gaps (PBGs), which are specific energy ranges where electromagnetic wave propagation is forbidden, and the existence of energies where the photon group velocity is slowed drastically from its normal value. The resulting modification of a materials photonic band structure allows unprecedented control of light, resulting in phenomena such as self-collimation, and spontaneous emission modification or lasing threshold reduction through either band edge effects (low group velocity) or microcavity defect incorporation. PCs for operation at visible wavelengths are difficult to form due to the need for nanoscale fabrication techniques. The research described focused on the fabrication of photonic crystal phosphors by using the infiltration and subsequent removal of self-assembled opal templates to make inverted opal-based photonic crystals. This thesis shows the advantages that atomic layer deposition (ALD) has as an important method for use in photonic crystal fabrication, and highlights the exciting results of use of ALD to fabricate luminescent ZnS:Mn and optically inactive titania inverse opals, as well as ZnS:Mntitania luminescent composite inverse opals.