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2D and 3D Photonic Crystals: Synthesis, Characterization and Topological Phenomenon


Peng, Siying (2018) 2D and 3D Photonic Crystals: Synthesis, Characterization and Topological Phenomenon. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z9NZ85V2.


Topological photonics has become an increasingly popular research topic in the field of nanophotonics in recent years. Topological phases of light provide opportunities to manipulate light propagation efficiently at the nanoscale volume. Performance of conventional optical elements are limited by back-reflection and bending losses, which hinder their prospect of large scale integration. Topological protection enables unidirectional excitation of edge states or surface states without leaking into the bulk, as well as suppression of scattering when encountering defects and corners. With such advantages, topological photonic elements may surpass conventional photonic design for future generations of ultra-compact efficient computing, imaging, and sensing applications. Due to limitations of fabrication and characterization techniques, previously experimental efforts on topological photonics have been carried out with 2D micron-scale optical design or at the microwave wavelength.

This thesis contributes to the experimental development of topological photonics in two aspects: first, how to fabricate and characterize 3D photonic crystals and therefore extend topological protection into the 3D (Chapters 2-3); and second, how to realize nanoscale topological protection in the visible frequencies (chapters 4-6). Specifically, Chapter 2 reports fabrication of 3D single gyroid structures composed of a-Si and FTIR characterization of a photonic bandgap at the mid-infrared wavelength. This is the foundation to investigate more complex morphologies to introduce topologically nontrivial photonic states. Chapter 3 describe properties of double gyroid photonic crystals, followed by angle resolved characterization method in the mid-infrared. Double gyroid photonic crystals can be designed to possess quadratic degeneracy points, Weyl points, and line nodes. Since Weyl points have non-zero Chern numbers, surface states are topologically protected in double gyroid photonic crystals with parity breaking symmetry. The angle resolved characterization method could be utilize to resolve both Weyl points and surface states. Chapter 4 depicts design, fabrication, and characterization of Dirac-like surface plasmon dispersions in metallic nano-pillars. Chapter 5 presents experimental investigation of coupled silicon Mie resonators, which is the first step towards topological design based on inter-lattice sites coupling in the next chapter. Chapter 6 details photonic bandstructure from angle-resolved cathodoluminescence measurements. We analyze bandstructures collected from the bulk of trivially and topologically gapped lattices, as well as zigzag and arm-chaired edges of domain boundaries. Chapter 7 outlines a method to optically enhance dissociation of hydrazine molecules using ultraviolet plasmons, and attempts to use this method for low temperature GaN growth.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Photonic crystal, photonic topological insulators, plasmonics, ultraviolet plasmonics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Awards:John Stager Stemple Memorial Prize in Physics, 2014.
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Atwater, Harry Albert
Thesis Committee:
  • Atwater, Harry Albert (chair)
  • Refael, Gil
  • Eisenstein, James P.
  • Faraon, Andrei
Defense Date:13 June 2017
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:09112017-095117655
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for ch. 2 adapted for Ch. 7
Peng, Siying0000-0002-1541-0278
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10427
Deposited By: Siying Peng
Deposited On:25 Sep 2017 22:32
Last Modified:08 Nov 2023 00:12

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