InP-based photonic crystals : Processing, Material properties and Dispersion effects

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : KTH

Sammanfattning: Photonic crystals (PhCs) are periodic dielectric structures that exhibit a photonic bandgap, i.e., a range of wavelength for which light propagation is forbidden. The special band structure related dispersion properties offer a realm of novel functionalities and interesting physical phenomena. PhCs have been manufactured using semiconductors and other material technologies. However, InP-based materials are the main choice for active devices at optical communication wavelengths. This thesis focuses on two-dimensional PhCs in the InP/GaInAsP/InP material system and addresses their fabrication technology and their physical properties covering both material issues and light propagation aspects.Ar/Cl2 chemically assisted ion beam etching was used to etch the photonic crystals. The etching characteristics including feature size dependent etching phenomena were experimentally determined and the underlying etching mechanisms are explained. For the etched PhC holes, aspect ratios around 20 were achieved, with a maximum etch depth of 5 microns for a hole diameter of 300 nm. Optical losses in photonic crystal devices were addressed both in terms of vertical confinement and hole shape and depth. The work also demonstrated that dry etching has a major impact on the properties of the photonic crystal material. The surface Fermi level at the etched hole sidewalls was found to be pinned at 0.12 eV below the conduction band minimum. This is shown to have important consequences on carrier transport. It is also found that, for an InGaAsP quantum well, the surface recombination velocity increases (non-linearly) by more than one order of magnitude as the etch duration is increased, providing evidence for accumulation of sidewall damage. A model based on sputtering theory is developed to qualitatively explain the development of damage.The physics of dispersive phenomena in PhC structures is investigated experimentally and theoretically. Negative refraction was experimentally demonstrated at optical wavelengths, and applied for light focusing. Fourier optics was used to experimentally explore the issue of coupling to Bloch modes inside the PhC slab and to experimentally determine the curvature of the band structure. Finally, dispersive phenomena were used in coupled-cavity waveguides to achieve a slow light regime with a group index of more than 180 and a group velocity dispersion up to 10^7 times that of a conventional fiber.

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