Engineering optical nanomaterials using glancing angle deposition

  • Author / Creator
    Hawkeye, Matthew Martin
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Brett, Michael J. (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Young, Jeff F. (UBC, Physics and Astronomy)
    • Cadien, Ken (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
    • Karumudi, Rambabu (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
    • Zemp, Roger (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
    • Sit, Jeremy C. (Electrical and Computer Engineering)