Date of Award

December 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering (Holcomb Dept. of)

Committee Member

Judson D Ryckman

Committee Member

Judson D Ryckman

Committee Member

William R Harrell

Committee Member

Hai Xiao


Dielectric waveguides are the solution to the ultra-fast optical communication. In all-dielectric waveguide systems, the boundary condition of Maxwell’s electromagnetic equation can be exploited. Crucially dielectric materials have very low optical losses compared to metal hence the plasmonic structures. Due to very high losses, plasmonic structures are not suitable for practical usage. Achieving small mode dimensions has become an important factor in modern devices since smaller mode dimensions fosters high device density, efficiency, and or performance in a wide array of photonic systems. Keeping these criteria in focus, a transversely structured all-dielectric waveguide has been introduced in this thesis which exploits the vectorial nature of light to achieve extreme sub-wavelength confinement in high index dielectrics, enabling characteristic mode dimensions below λ_0^2/1,000 without metals or plasmonics. A new metric of performance measurement for waveguide structures has been introduced – “optical concentration”. This metric of optical concentration has been derived and illustrated for its convenient usage in characterizing enhanced linear and nonlinear interactions at the nanoscale. This work expands the toolbox of nanophotonics and opens the door to new types of ultra-efficient and record performing linear and nonlinear devices with broad applications spanning classical and quantum optics.



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