Polymer and metallodielectric based photonic crystals

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Kassim, Syara
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University College Cork
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The bottom-up colloidal synthesis of photonic crystals has attracted interest over top-down approaches due to their relatively simplicity, the potential to produce large areas, and the low-costs with this approach in fabricating complex 3-dimensional structures. This thesis focuses on the bottom-up approach in the fabrication of polymeric colloidal photonic crystals and their subsequent modification. Poly(methyl methacrylate) sub-micron spheres were used to produce opals, inverse opals and 3D metallodielectric photonic crystal (MDPC) structures. The fabrication of MDPCs with Au nanoparticles attached to the PMMA spheres core–shell particles is described. Various alternative procedures for the fabrication of photonic crystals and MDPCs are described and preliminary results on the use of an Au-based MDPC for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) are presented. These preliminary results suggest a threefold increase of the Raman signal with the MDPC as compared to PMMA photonic crystals. The fabrication of PMMA-gold and PMMA-nickel MDPC structures via an optimised electrodeposition process is described. This process results in the formation of a continuous dielectric-metal interface throughout a 3D inverted photonic crystal structure, which are shown to possess interesting optical properties. The fabrication of a robust 3D silica inverted structure with embedded Au nanoparticles is described by a novel co-crystallisation method which is capable of creating a SiO2/Au NP composite structure in a single step process. Although this work focuses on the creation of photonic crystals, this co-crystallisation approach has potential for the creation of other functional materials. A method for the fabrication of inverted opals containing silicon nanoparticles using aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition is described. Silicon is a high dielectric material and nanoparticles of silicon can improve the band gap and absorption properties of the resulting structure, and therefore have the potential to be exploited in photovoltaics.
Polymer , Metallodielectric , Photonic crystals
Kassim, S. 2014. Polymer and metallodielectric based photonic crystals. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.