This dissertation reports investigations into materials for, and applications of, infrared surface plasmon polaritons (SPP). SPPs are inhomogeneous electromagnetic waves that are bound to the surface of a conductor. Tight confinement of electromagnetic energy, the primary virtue of SPPs for so-called "plasmonic" applications, requires plasma frequencies for the conductor near the intended infrared operational frequencies. This requires carrier concentrations that are much less than those of usual metals such as gold and silver. I have investigated the optical properties and SPP excitation resonances of two materials having infrared plasma frequencies, namely the semimetal bismuth and the transparent conducting fluorine-doped tin-oxide (FTO). The complex permittivity spectra for evaporated films of Bi were found to be distinctly different than earlier reports for crystal or polycrystalline films, and SPP excitation resonances on Bi-coated gratings were found to be disappointingly broad. Permittivity spectra for chemical spray deposited FTO were obtained to long-wave IR wavelengths for the first time, and nano-crystalline FTO-coated silicon lamellar gratings show remarkable conformity. SPP excitation resonances for FTO are more promising than for Bi. Thus, FTO appears to be a promising SPP host for infrared plasmonics, e.g. a planer waveguide plasmonic spectral sensor, whose design was elaborated and investigated as part of my research and which requires SPP-host coating on deep vertical side walls of a trench-like analyte interaction region. Additionally, FTO may serve as a useful conducting oxide for a near-IR plasmonic spectral imager that I have investigated theoretically.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Khalilzadeh Rezaie, Farnood, "Mid-infrared Plasmonics" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5018.