Multi-functional metal-dielectric photonic structures




Smith, Kyle J.

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In RF circuits and integrated photonics, it is important to effectively control an electromagnetic signal. This includes protecting of the network from high power and/or undesired signal flow, which is achieved with device functionalities such as isolation, circulation, switching, and limiting. In an attempt to develop light-weight, small-footprint, better protection devices, new designs have been sought utilizing materials that have been otherwise avoided due to some primary downside. For example, ferromagnetic metals like Iron and Cobalt, despite being powerful magnets, have been completely shunned for uses in nonreciprocal devices due to their overwhelming electric losses and high reflectivity. How could we utilize lossy materials in electromagnetic applications?

In this thesis research, we design and fabricate metal-dielectric photonic structures in which metal can be highly transmissive, while the desired response (e.g., magneto-photonic response) is strongly enhanced. Moreover, the metal-dielectric structures can be designed to exhibit a sharp transition from the induced transmission to broadband opacity for oblique incidence and/or due to a tiny alteration of the photonic structure (e.g., because of nonlinearity). Thus, the photonic structures can be tailored to produce collimation and power-limiting effects.  In the case of ferromagnetic metals, the metal-dielectric structure can be realized as an omnidirectional isolator passing radiation in a single direction and for a single frequency. The effectiveness of such structures will be verified in microwave measurements. Additionally, metal-dielectric structures including a nonlinear component will be shown to function as a reflective power limiter, thus providing a far superior alternative to absorptive, and often sacrificial, limiters.


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Faraday Rotation, Ferromagnetic, Isolator, Limiter, Magnetism, Photonic Crystal



Physics and Astronomy