Analysis and applications of novel optical single- and multi-layer structures


Han Li

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Electro-Optics


Department of Electro-Optics and Photonics


Advisor: Partha P. Banerjee


A thin film is a layer of a material or an assembly of multilayers of different materials ranging from nanometers to several micrometers in thickness. Optical coatings, optical filters, semiconductor lasers, quantum well structures, and nonlinear frequency convertors are some of the main applications of thin films. This dissertation is concerned with some aspects of optical propagation through, and at the interface of, some specific thin film structures, such as a double negative metamaterial and nonlinear photonic bandgap structures. A versatile imaging system that captures the near field radiation from subwavelength objects for high resolution imaging beyond the diffraction limit can be accomplished with new types of thin film materials not found in nature. One such material, termed a metamaterial with a double negative index, has been recently developed in our laboratory from a binary mixture of nanoparticles comprising silver and silicon carbide. A nanoscale structure comprising the sub-wavelength object, the single layer thin-film metamaterial superlens imaging setup to accurately characterize super resolution imaging for arbitrary polarized illumination of the object has now been fabricated as part of this dissertation and will be tested as part of future work. Secondly, electromagnetic wave reflection at a single interface is one of the most basic optical phenomena presented in nature. Snell's laws and the Fresnel equations determine the wave vectors and amplitudes for reflection and transmission. However, when a focused electromagnetic beam is incident at the interface between two layers, the reflected and transmitted beams suffer spatial shifts such as the Goos-Hanchen and Imbert-Fedorov shifts. In this dissertation, the Imbert-Fedorov shift is theoretically and experimentally investigated at the interface between air and a double negative index metamaterial. Finally, nonlinear effects such as optical second order and third order harmonic generation in thin films such as photonic bandgap structures are attracting growing attention due the enhancement of the participating electromagnetic waves inside the structure, leading to vastly increased conversion efficiency. In this dissertation, a method based on the transfer matrix method is developed to numerically simulate the second harmonic and third harmonic generation in such periodic nonlinear photonic bandgap structures.


Thin films Research, Thin films, Multilayered Research, Metamaterials Research, Optics, Thin Film, Near-field Imaging, Nonlinear Optics, Transfer Matrix Method, Spin Hall Effect

Rights Statement

Copyright 2015, author