Open Access
Cocking, Alexander Stephen
Graduate Program:
Electrical Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
May 31, 2017
Committee Members:
  • Zhiwen Liu, Dissertation Advisor
  • Zhiwen Liu, Committee Chair
  • Iam-Choon Khoo, Committee Member
  • Noel Christopher Giebink, Committee Member
  • Lasse Jensen, Outside Member
  • Qiming Zhang, Committee Member
  • Optics
  • Resonators
  • Spectroscopy
  • 2D Materials
Optical microresonators have been demonstrated to provide a large enhancement in electric field by containing an resonant mode in a very small volume. This resonant enhancement is proportional to the quality of the resonator, which for microspheres has been demonstrated to be on the order of 1010 . These devices can be leveraged to greatly improve light-matter interaction and for this reason the theoretical background of optical microresonators is discussed in the second chapter. This includes the use of COMSOL Multiphysics to model the mode structure and scattering from different resonator geometries. The second chapter also contains details on the fabrication and experimental design of optical microresonators. This includes the fabrication of fiber tapers for evanescent wave coupling into the devices. Once the theoretical framework for utilizing resonators as tools for enhancement has been established in the second chapter, we progress to the discussion of the microbubble geometry and its potential for use as an on-chip sensor system. Topics covered include design, fabrication, and theoretical analysis of the mode structure in this geometry. Modal interaction with a liquid filled microbubble is demonstrated. Additionally, the use of microbubble resonators as highly accurate temperature sensors is demonstrated experimentally and theoretically. In chapter 4 we investigate the use of silica microspheres as sensing devices; specifically, using them for the purpose of sensing nano-particles and chemicals in incredibly minute quantities. In this section microresonators are demonstrated to provide enhancement to Raman scattering from nano-scale particles. This configuration retains the traditional sensing methods of resonators by observing mode shifting and splitting in the resonance spectrum, while adding in a label-free sensing ability to determine material composition on adhered micro and nanoparticles. The fifth chapter discusses the characterization of a new class of materials known as two dimensional materials (2D materials). Typically made from single atomic sheets of transition metal dichalcogenides, they are called two dimensional due to their incredibly small thickness. Monolayers of metal dichalcogenides offer large values for optical nonlinear susceptibility and can be used to generate highly efficient nonlinear optical phenomena. This chapter seeks to understand and describe the capabilities of these materials in a context of eventually integrating them into optical microresonators to create a new class of silica-based miniaturized nonlinear optical devices. The final chapter in this dissertation covers the proposed and in-progress work related to those topics already covered in previous chapters. This includes direct growth of transition metal dichalcogenides onto microsphere resonators to create narrow linewidth microscopic lasers. Another novel photonic device consists of a single mode optical fiber etched to expose the core onto which a monolayer of 2D material is adhered. This presents the capability to create a simple photonic device which can easily be integrated as a discrete optical component capable of producing guided photoluminescence or extremely high second harmonic generation. Finally, spectral holography is discussed as a potential tool to record the phase information of light traveling through optical microresonators, adhered particles, and directly grown 2D materials.