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Engineering optical nanomaterials using glancing angle deposition Open Access


Other title
Thin film engineering
Glancing angle deposition
Photonic crystals
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Hawkeye, Matthew Martin
Supervisor and department
Brett, Michael J. (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Cadien, Ken (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Young, Jeff F. (UBC, Physics and Astronomy)
Karumudi, Rambabu (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Sit, Jeremy C. (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Zemp, Roger (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Advanced optical technologies profoundly impact countless aspects of modern life. At the heart of these technologies is the manipulation of light using optical materials. Currently, optical technologies are created using naturally occurring materials. However, a new and exciting approach is to use nanomaterials for technology development. Nanomaterials are artificially constructed material systems with precisely engineered nanostructures. Many technological revolutions await the development of new nanoscale fabrication methods that must provide the ability to control, enhance, and engineer the optical properties of these artificial constructs. This thesis responds to the challenges of nanofabrication by examining glancing angle deposition (GLAD) and improving its optical-nanomaterial fabrication capabilities. GLAD is a bottom-up nanotechnology fabrication method, recognized for its flexibility and precision. The GLAD technique provides the ability to controllably fabricate high-surface-area porous materials, to create structurally induced optical-anisotropy in isotropic materials, and to tailor the refractive index of a single material. These three advantages allow GLAD to assemble optical nanomaterials into a range of complex one-dimensional photonic crystals (PCs). This thesis improves upon previous GLAD optical results in a number of important areas. Multiple optical measurement and modeling techniques were developed for GLAD-fabricated TiO2 nanomaterials. The successful characterization of these nanomaterials was extended to engineer PC structures with great precision and a superior degree of control. The high surface area of basic PC structures was exploited to fabricate an optimized colourimetric sensor with excellent performance. This colourimetric sensor required no power source and no read-out system other than the human eye, making it a highly attractive sensing approach. Incorporating engineered defects into GLAD-fabricated PCs established a new level of design sophistication. Several PC defect structures were examined in detail, including spacing layers and index profile phase-shifts. Remarkable control over defect properties was achieved and intriguing polarization-sensitive optical effects were investigated in anisotropic defect layers. The success of these results demonstrates the precision and flexibilty of the GLAD technique in fabricating optical nanomaterials and advanced photonic devices.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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