With the advent of fiber-optic networks and integrated optical devices that process photons, the future in communications is clearly moving towards the optical regime. The central theme of this proposal is to explore ferroelectric materials, which possess a built-in spontaneous polarization in their crystal structure, as a solid state platform for integrated optical devices. In particular, this proposal focuses on ferroelectric lithium niobate (LiNbO3 ) and lithium tantalate (LiTaO3 ) which have emerged as key materials in integrated and nonlinear optics due to their excellent nonlinear optical properties and the ability to be grown as large single crystals. The phenomena of ferroelectric domains (which are regions of uniform spontaneous polarization) and their patterning into diverse shapes by external forces is the key to many integrated optics applications. However, the process of domain microengineering, remains at best an inexact science even today. This is principally due to the lack of a fundamental understanding of domain dynamics under external forces that are used to control them.
A comprehensive research plan is outlined which encompasses fundamental new studies of the
domain phenomenon in ferroelectric materials using real-time optical probes, investigation of new techniques for microengineering ferroelectric domains, and the application of this knowledge towards the design and fabrication of novel electro-optic devices with unprecedented scanning and focusing performances integrated on a single ferroelectric chip.
|Effective start/end date||8/1/00 → 7/31/04|
- National Science Foundation: $210,000.00