Date of Award

12-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor

Johnson, Eric G

Committee Member

Ballato, John

Committee Member

Dong, Liang

Committee Member

Harrell, William

Committee Member

Zhu, Lin

Abstract

Typically, the composition of a laser system includes a gain medium, a pump illumination source, and an external feedback cavity. This cavity consists of a highly reflective mirror and an outcoupler component. The geometry of the outcoupler can be engineered to tailor the reflected or transmitted beam's spatial and spectral distribution. Functionally, the transmitted beam profile is dependent on the laser application. Broadband reflection profiles can be obtained by utilizing a distributed Bragg reflector (DBR). A DBR device consists of multiple layers of alternating materials. Constructive interference of the reflected light off each interface between different materials produces the spectrally broadband response. The spectral response is a function of the fabrication and material parameters of the DBR. In contrast, guided-mode resonance filters (GMRF) exploit phase matching between evanescent- and guided-waves to provide a strong reflection. Based on the materials in the structure, the spectral response can demonstrate broadband or narrowband reflectivity. The operation wavelength of a GMRF is dependent on the structural parameters of the device as well as the angle of incidence. However, conventional designs of resonant optics leave critical aspects of the structure exposed to the surrounding environment. Additional damage or contamination to the waveguide or grating layer will significantly alter the device's spectral response. This dissertation introduces two GMRF geometries aimed at device integration, development of similar-material resonant devices, and full-device protection from outside influence. Unlike distributed Bragg reflectors, these geometries do not rely heavily on strict material and deposition requirements. Instead, they take advantage of the deposition processes to minimize coating deposition, achieve high reflectivity and demonstrate control over polarization dependence. Given their versatility in design and ability to withstand high power densities, these resonant structures find applications in fiber laser systems, spectral beam combining, and standard laser cavities.

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