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Document Type



Electrical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Roberto R. Panepucci

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jeffrey Fan

Third Advisor's Name

Tadeusz Babij

Fourth Advisor's Name

Wonbong Choi

Date of Defense



Integrated on-chip optical platforms enable high performance in applications of high-speed all-optical or electro-optical switching, wide-range multi-wavelength on-chip lasing for communication, and lab-on-chip optical sensing. Integrated optical resonators with high quality factor are a fundamental component in these applications. Periodic photonic structures (photonic crystals) exhibit a photonic band gap, which can be used to manipulate photons in a way similar to the control of electrons in semiconductor circuits. This makes it possible to create structures with radically improved optical properties. Compared to silicon, polymers offer a potentially inexpensive material platform with ease of fabrication at low temperatures and a wide range of material properties when doped with nanocrystals and other molecules, In this research work, several polymer periodic photonic structures are proposed and investigated to improve optical confinement and optical sensing. We developed a fast numerical method for calculating the quality factor of a photonic crystal slab (PhCS) cavity. The calculation is implemented via a 2D-FDTD method followed by a post-process for cavity surface energy radiation loss. Computational time is saved and good accuracy is demonstrated compared to other published methods. Also, we proposed a novel concept of slot-PhCS which enhanced the energy density 20 times compared to traditional PhCS. It combines both advantages of the slot waveguide and photonic crystal to localize the high energy density in the low index material. This property could increase the interaction between light and material embedded with nanoparticles like quantum dots for active device development. We also demonstrated a wide range bandgap based on a one dimensional waveguide distributed Bragg reflector with high coupling to optical waveguides enabling it to be easily integrated with other optical components on the chip. A flexible polymer (SU8) grating waveguide is proposed as a force sensor. The proposed sensor can monitor nN range forces through its spectral shift. Finally, quantum dot - doped SU8 polymer structures are demonstrated by optimizing spin coating and UV exposure. Clear patterns with high emission spectra proved the compatibility of the fabrication process for applications in optical amplification and lasing.





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