Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Physics (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Physics


Miguel Levy


Among the optical structures investigated for optical sensing purpose, a significant amount of research has been conducted on photonic crystal based sensors. A particular advantage of photonic crystal based sensors is that they show superior sensitivity for ultra-small volume sensing. In this study we investigate polarization changes in response to the changes in the cover index of magneto-optic active photonic band gap structures. One-dimensional photonic-band gap structures fabricated on iron garnet materials yield large polarization rotations at the band gap edges. The enhanced polarization effects serve as an excellent tool for chemical sensing showing high degree of sensitivity for photonic crystal cover refractive index changes.

The one dimensional waveguide photonic crystals are fabricated on single-layer bismuth-substituted rare earth iron garnet films ((Bi, Y, Lu)3(Fe, Ga)5O12 ) grown by liquid phase epitaxy on gadolinium gallium garnet substrates. Band gaps have been observed where Bragg scattering conditions links forward-going fundamental waveguide modes to backscattered high-order waveguide modes. Large near-band-edge polarization rotations which increase progressively with backscattered-mode order have been experimentally demonstrated for multiple samples with different composition, film thickness and fabrication parameters. Experimental findings are supported by theoretical analysis of Bloch modes polarization states showing that large near stop-band edge rotations are induced by the magneto-photonic crystal.

Theoretical and experimental analysis conducted on polarization rotation sensitivity to waveguide photonic crystal cover refractive index changes shows a monotonic enhancement of the rotation with cover index. The sensor is further developed for selective chemical sensing by employing Polypyrrole as the photonic crystal cover layer. Polypyrrole is one of the extensively studied conducting polymers for selective analyte detection. Successful detection of aqueous ammonia and methanol has been achieved with Polypyrrole deposited magneto-photonic crystals.