AuthorMiles, Alexander Ashton
Optical Composite Materials
Thin Film Filters
AdvisorNorwood, Robert A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractHybridizing, in general, is the approach of combining multiple technologies, materials, or designs such to mitigate the drawbacks and enhance the benefits. The result of this combination can be referred to as a hybrid. The projects described in this work concern a number of these hybrids. The collection of projects are limited to optical applications, but are otherwise enormously different. There is perhaps no better way to illustrate this breadth than their characteristic length-scale. That is, the general size of the elements being hybridized. Ten orders of magnitude lie between the smallest system described and largest systems. At the several-nanometer scale, a single component of a composite optical material. Diamond possesses a unique combination of refractive and dispersive optical properties, making it an attractive optical material. Unfortunately, the lowest cost diamond available possesses large amounts of impurities and color. In an attempt to remove the visible color from commercially available detonation-origin nanodiamond powders we developed a facile three-step cleaning process. This process and the resulting qualities of the nanodiamond are discussed. At tens to hundreds of nanometers scale, we have worked to optimize a complete composite material system; a combination of Polystyrene-b-poly (2-vinyl pyridine) (PS-b-P2VP), a block co-polymer with self-assembly properties, and controlled size iron platinum (FePt) nanoparticles. The applications in mind are magnetic field sensors, used in medical testing and physical experiments, and fiber optic isolators, used extensively in telecommunications networks. These composites exhibited commercially significant Verdet constants in room temperature Faraday rotation measurements, and possess processing benefits over the current state-of-the-art magneto-optically active materials. Several behaviors with respect to wavelength, particle loading, and primary particle size are discussed. At the micron to centimeter scale, we have designed and characterized a high-speed fiber-optic switch for telecommunications networks capable of reconfiguring 100 times faster than currently available technologies with comparable port counts. The switch is an unconventional hybrid of the micron-scale optics of single-mode fiber modes, and the centimeter scale of free-space holography. Built primarily using off-the-shelf components and a commercially available digital micro-mirror device (DMD), the switch is protocol and bit-rate agnostic, robust against random mirror failure, and provides the basic building block for a fully reconfigurable optical add drop multiplexer (ROADM).Finally, at the scale of several meters, we address a system that hybridizes two established methods for harvesting solar energy. Sunlight can be captured as electricity using photovoltaics (PV), as well as heat, often called concentrated solar power (CSP). Each approach has benefits and drawbacks which will be discussed. A system possessing the peak efficiency of PV, with the deployable storage of CSP, would most effectively meet demand around the clock. In order to combine these technologies, we have developed an approach for designing a dichroic coating to optimize performance of such a system utilizing multi-junction photovoltaic cells while diverting unused light to heat collection. Through careful design substantial improvement to system efficiencies are shown to be possible.
Degree ProgramGraduate College