Deposition and Characterization of Optically Nonlinear Thin Films with Novel Microstructure.
This work concerns the vacuum deposition of novel thin films that exhibit nonlinear optical effects due to their unusual microstructure. We discuss four different materials: (1) Tilted columns of aluminum-oxide (2) Gold particles in aluminum-oxide (3) Cadmium sulpho-selenide particles in aluminum-oxide (4) Silver particles in zinc -sulphide. We begin with a description of the vacuum system and some the techniques used to characterize the optical and structural properties of the films. This leads to our study of second-harmonic generation (SHG) in aluminum -oxide thin films deposited at an angle to the evaporant source. We show that SHG is very sensitive to the non -isotropic microstructure that results from such a deposition, and the behavior of the SHG signal with sample orientation provides insight to the symmetry properties of the microstructure. In a related study we show that Au/Al _2O_3 composite films produce a large SHG signal. We investigate the dependence of the strength of the SHG signal with fill-fraction of gold and show that it increases quadratically, in agreement with theory. The third material we discuss is cadmium sulpho -selenide doped aluminum-oxide. We describe attempts at nucleating semiconductor crystallites in a variety of hosts through a process of co-deposition and subsequent annealing. We also deposit alternate layers of CdS-Se and Al _2O_3, with the semiconductor layer thin enough that interspersed crystallites form. This results in suspended, isolated crystallites similar to the doped-glass materials of interest to nonlinear optics. A waveguide of a CdS/Al_2O _3 "sandwich" demonstrates optical nonlinearity through a power-dependent prism coupling experiment, and the degree of nonlinearity is much greater than undoped glass, though less than doped glass. The final section of the dissertation is a theoretical description of nonlinear optical behavior in a novel composite material consisting of metal particles in a nonlinear dielectric host. We assume the enhanced field around the resonating particles drives the host locally nonlinear through either a Kerr-type or thermal nonlinearity. We calculate the change in optical properties of the medium due to this effect and show that for a system of silver in zinc-sulphide the nonlinearity can be significant.
- Pub Date:
- Physics: Optics