All optical controlled photonic integrated circuits using azo dye functionized sol-gel material

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member

Michael R. Wang, Committee Chair


The main focus of this dissertation is development and characterization of all-optical controllable azo dye functionized sol gel material, demonstrating a PIC fabrication technique on glass substrate using such material, and exploration and feasibility demonstration of three PIC functional devices namely optical variable attenuator, optical switches, and optical tunable filters using the material.The realization of all the devices in this dissertation are based on one material: dye functionalized sol-gel material. A photochromic sol-gel material functionalized with azo dye was synthesized and characterized. It possesses a photochromic characteristic under the control of green laser beam illumination. The material characteristics suggest the possibility of a new promising material platform candidate for the fabrication of alloptical controlled photonic integrated circuits.As the first potential application of the dye functionalized sol-gel material, an alloptical variable attenuator was designed and demonstrated. The optical variable attenuation is achieved in Mach-Zehnder interferometric configuration through all-optical modulation of sol-gel waveguide phase shifters.A 2 x 2 optical switch based on multimode interference (MMI) waveguide structure is proposed in the dissertation. The schematic configuration of the optical switch consists of a cascade of two identical MMIs with two all-optical controlled phase shifters realized by using the photochromic sol-gel material. The cross or bar switch state of the optical switch is determined by the phase difference between the two sol-gel waveguide phase shifters.An all-optical tunable filter is designed and its feasibility demonstrated by using the sol-gel photochromic material. Except for the phase change demonstrated on sol-gel waveguide phase shifters, dynamic gratings were observed on sol-gel film when exposed to two interference beams. This reveals the possibility of realizing Bragg grating-based tunable filters. The schematic configuration of proposed tunable filters consists of a single straight waveguide embedded with a sol-gel waveguide. The wavelength tuning of the tunable filters is accomplished by varying the grating period.


Engineering, Electronics and Electrical; Physics, Optics

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