Department: NanoEngineering
Research Institute Affiliation: Graduate Program in Chemical Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Donald J. Sirbuly | Zhaowei Liu

Primary Student
Name: Conor Tomas Riley
Email: criley@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-822-4143
Grad Year: 2016

The majority of plasmonic and metamaterials research utilizes noble metals such as gold and silver which commonly operate in the visible region. However, these materials are not well suited for many applications due to their low melting temperature and polarization response at longer wavelengths. A viable alternative is aluminum doped zinc oxide (AZO), a high melting point, low loss, visibly transparent conducting oxide which can be tuned to show plasmonic behavior in the near-infrared region. Due to it?s ultrahigh conformality, atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a powerful tool for the fabrication of the nanoscale features necessary for many nanoplasmonic and optical metamaterials. Although AZO has been made by many other methods, high quality, low loss AZO has not been achieved with carrier concentrations high enough to support plasmonic behavior at the important telecommunication wavelengths (ca. 1550 nm). We present a simple process for synthesizing high carrier concentration, thin film, aluminum doped zinc oxide (AZO) with low losses via ALD that match the highest quality films created by any other method. We show that this material is tunable by thermal treatment conditions, aluminum concentration and buffer layer thickness. The use of this process is demonstrated by creating hyperbolic metamaterials with both the multilayer and embedded nanowire geometry. Hyperbolic dispersion is proven by negative refraction and numerical calculations in agreement with the effective medium approximation. This paves the way for fabricating high quality hyperbolic metamaterial coatings on high aspect ratio nanostructures that cannot be made by any other method.

Industry Application Area(s)
Electronics/Photonics | Materials | Metamaterials

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