Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

First Advisor

Rafael Piestun

Second Advisor

Robert Mcleod

Third Advisor

Wounjhang Park


Presented in this thesis is an investigation into aperiodic volume optical devices. The three main topics of research and discussion are the aperiodic volume optical devices that we call computer-generated volume holograms (CGVH), defects within periodic 3D photonic crystals, and non-periodic, but ordered 3D quasicrystals. The first of these devices, CGVHs, are designed and investigated numerically and experimentally. We study the performance of multi-layered amplitude computer-generated volume holograms in terms of efficiency and angular/frequency selectivity. Simulation results show that such aperiodic devices can increase diffraction efficiency relative to periodic amplitude volume holograms while maintaining angular and wavelength selectivity. CGVHs are also designed as voxelated volumes using a new projection optimization algorithm. They are investigated using a volumetric diffraction simulation and a standard 3D beam propagation technique as well as experimentally. Both simulation and experiment verify that the structures function according to their design. These represent the first diffractive structures that have the capacity for generating arbitrary transmission and reflection wave fronts and that provide the ability for multiplexing arbitrary functionality given different illumination conditions. Also investigated and discussed in this thesis are 3D photonic crystals and quasicrystals. We demonstrate that these devices can be fabricated using a femtosecond laser direct writing system that is particularly appropriate for fabrication of such arbitrary 3D structures. We also show that these devices can provide 3D partial bandgaps which could become complete bandgaps if fabricated using high index materials or by coating lower index materials with high index metals. Our fabrication method is particularly suited to the fabrication of engineered defects within the periodic or quasi-periodic systems. We demonstrate the potential for fabricating defects within periodic and quasi-periodic systems for the manipulation of light in the IR regime. The general thesis of this document is that aperiodic three-dimensional structures provide additional degrees of freedom that can be utilized to improve on the performance of periodic volume devices. The results we will discuss suggest that, under certain circumstances, a departure from the Bragg paradigm provides enhanced volume diffraction properties.