Classical and Quantum Optical Properties of Slow Light Photonic Crystal Waveguides

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Patterson, Mark
slow light , photonic crystal
Photonic crystals are optical materials where patterning of dielectrics on sub-wavelength length scales creates unusual optical properties such as waveguides with propagation speeds much slower than the vacuum speed of light. In this thesis, I examine the classical and quantum optical properties of such structures, specifically the enhancement of photon emission rate from a single quantum dot embedded in the waveguide (the Purcell Effect) and extrinsic scattering from an injected waveguide mode due to fabrication imperfections. The photon emission rate is found to be significantly enhanced over a large bandwidth in slow light photonic crystal waveguides and I provide detailed results for optimizing the emission properties of a novel photonic crystal ridge waveguide to suite a given application. Using an incoherent scattering theory, I show how slow light propagation enhances extrinsic scattering from unavoidable manufacturing imperfections leading to back scattering and radiation loss that scale with the group velocity v_g, as v_g^{-2} and v_g^{-1} respectively. I then improve the modeling of scattering using a coherent, multiple scattering approach to explain the experimental observation of disordered resonances in slow light waveguide modes. The theoretical predictions show good agreement with experimental measurements. This document provides a thorough introduction to the properties and problems of slow light photonic crystal waveguides.
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