Theses Doctoral

Investigations of Nonlinear Optical Phenomenon and Dispersion in Integrated Photonic Devices

McMillan, James Flintoft

Integrated photonics is the field of shrinking and simplifying the fabrication of devices that guide and manipulate light. It not only offers to greatly lower the size and cost of systems used in optical communications it also offers a platform on which new physical phenomenon can be explored by being able to fabricate and manipulate structures on the scale of the wavelength of light.
One such platform in integrated photonics is that of two-dimensional slab photonic crystals. These structures exhibit a photonic band-gap, a band of optical frequencies that are prohibited from propagating within the medium, that can be used to guide and confine light.
When used to create photonic crystal waveguides these waveguides exhibit unique dispersion properties that demonstrate very low optical group velocities, so called "slow-light".
This dissertation begins with the practical realization of design and fabrication of such waveguides using the silicon-on-insulator material system using conventional deep-UV photolithography fabrication techniques. It will detail and demonstrate the effect physical dimensions have on the optical transmission of these devices as well as their optical dispersion.
These photonic crystal waveguides will then be used to demonstrate the enhancement of nonlinear optical phenomenon due to the slow-light phenomenon they exhibit. First spontaneous Raman scattering will be theoretically demonstrated to be enhanced by slow-light and then experimentally shown to be enhanced in a practical realization. The process of four-wave mixing will be demonstrated to be enhanced in these devices and be shown to be greatly affected by the unique optical dispersion within these structures.
Additionally, we will examine the dispersion that exists in silicon nitride microring resonators and the effect it has on the use of these devices to generate optical frequency combs. This is done by leveraging the dispersion measurement methods used to characterize photonic crystal waveguides.
We conclude this work by examining the avenues of future work that can be explored in the area of photonic crystal waveguides.


  • thumnail for McMillan_columbia_0054D_15346.pdf McMillan_columbia_0054D_15346.pdf application/pdf 5.89 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Electrical Engineering
Thesis Advisors
Osgood, Jr., Richard M.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 26, 2019