Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Physics (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Physics


Miguel Levy


This dissertation presents detailed experimental and theoretical investigations of nonlinear and nonreciprocal effects in magnetic garnet films. The dissertation thus comprises two major sections. The first section concentrates on the study of a new class of nonlinear magneto-optic thin film materials possessing strong higher order magnetic susceptibility for nonlinear optical applications. The focus was on enlarging the nonlinear performance of ferrite garnet films by strain generation and compositional gradients in the sputter-deposition growth of these films. Under this project several bismuth-substituted yttrium iron garnet (Bi,Y) 3 (Fe,Ga)5 O12(acronym as Bi:YIG) films have been sputter-deposited over gadolinium gallium garnet (Gd 3 Ga5 O12 ) substrates and characterized for their nonlinear optical response. One of the important findings of this work is that lattice mismatch strain drives the second harmonic (SH) signal in the Bi:YIG films, in agreement with theoretical predictions; whereas micro-strain was found not to correlate significantly with SH signal at the micro-strain levels present in these films. This study also elaborates on the role of the film's constitutive elements and their concentration gradients in nonlinear response of the films. Ultrahigh sensitivity delivered by second harmonic generation provides a new exciting tool for studying magnetized surfaces and buried interfaces, making this work important from both a fundamental and application point of view.

The second part of the dissertation addresses an important technological need; namely the development of an on-chip optical isolator for use in photonic integrated circuits. It is based on two related novel effects, nonreciprocal and unidirectional optical Bloch oscillations (BOs), recently proposed and developed by Professor Miguel Levy and myself. This dissertation work has established a comprehensive theoretical background for the implementation of these effects in magneto-optic waveguide arrays. The model systems we developed consist of photonic lattices in the form of one-dimensional waveguide arrays where an optical force is introduced into the array through geometrical design turning the beam sideways. Laterally displaced photons are periodically returned to a central guide by photonic crystal action. The effect leads to a novel oscillatory optical phenomenon that can be magnetically controlled and rendered unidirectional. An on-chip optical isolator was designed based on the unidirectionality of the magneto-opticBloch oscillatory motion. The proposed device delivers an isolation ratio as high as 36 dB that remains above 30 dB in a 0.7 nm wavelength bandwidth, at the telecommunication wavelength 1.55 μm. Slight modifications in isolator design allow one to achieve an even more impressive isolation ratio ~ 55 dB, but at the expense of smaller bandwidth. Moreover, the device allows multifunctionality, such as optical switching with a simultaneous isolation function, well suited for photonic integrated circuits.

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