3D Magnetic Photonic Crystals : Synthesis and Characterization
Abstract: This thesis presents the synthesis methods and the characterizations of magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles, silica spheres with Fe3O4 nanoparticles embedded, and three dimensional magnetic photonic crystals (MPCs) prepared from the spheres. The structure, material composition, magnetic and optical properties, photonic band gaps (PBGs), as well as how these properties depend on the concentration of the magnetic nanoparticles, are investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID), Faraday rotation (FR) and optical spectrophotometers. Well-organized, face center cubic (fcc)-structured, super-paramagnetic 3D MPCs have been obtained and their PBGs are investigated through optical spectra.Fe3O4 nanoparticles are synthesized by standard co-precipitation method and a rapid mixing co-precipitation method with particle size varied from 6.6 nm to 15.0 nm at different synthesis temperature (0°C ~ 100°C). The obtained Fe3O4 nanoparticles, which show crystalline structure with superparamagnetic property, are embedded into silica spheres prepared at room temperature through a sol-gel method using the hydrolysis of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) in a base solution with different concentrations. By controlling the synthesis conditions (e.g., chemicals, the ratio of chemicals and stirring time), different size of MPC spheres in range of 75 nm to 680 nm has been obtained in a narrow distribution. The sphere suspensions in ethanol are dropped on glass substrate in the permanent magnetic field to achieve well organized 3D MPCs with (111) triangular close packed crystal plane of fcc structure parallel to the surface of substrate.From the transmission & forward scattering spectra (TF), five PBGs have been distinguished for these MPCs and they are defined as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th PBGs according to the order of peaks that appear in mathematic fitting analysis. The positions (peak wavelengths) of PBGs show sphere size dependence: with the increase of the sphere size, they increase linearly. Comparing with pure SiO2 PCs at certain sphere size, the positions of PBGs for MPCs containing moderate Fe3O4 conc. (4.3 wt. %) are at longer wavelengths. On increasing the Fe3O4 conc., however, the PBGs shift back to shorter wavelength. The PBGs shift to longer or shorter wavelength is due to the combined effect of refractive index n increasing, as well as the increase of refractive index difference Δn, which are caused by the embedded Fe3O4 nanoparticles.The transmission spectra (T) with varied incidence angle of p- and s- polarized light are studied, obtaining angular dependent and polarization sensitive PBGs. It is found that with the increase of the incidence angle, the 1st PBGs shift to shorter wavelength while the 3rd ones shift to longer wavelength. High Fe3O4 conc. MPCs (6.4 wt. %) show enhancement of this angular dependence. It is also found that the PBGs show dependence on the polarize direction of incident light. Normally, at a certain incidence angle the PBGs sift more for p- polarized incident light than for s-polarized light with respect to normal incidence. This polarized dependence can also be enhanced for high Fe3O4 conc. MPCs. With a high concentration of Fe3O4 nanoparticles, the polarization sensitivity of p- and s- increased.These PBG properties indicate applications of 3D MPCs as functional optical materials, coatings, wavelength and polarization fibers for fiber optical communications devices and dielectric sensors of magnetic field, etc..
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