Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

First Advisor

Kelvin Wagner

Second Advisor

Hassel Ledbetter

Third Advisor

Robert McLeod

Fourth Advisor

Robert Weverka

Fifth Advisor

Won Park


Acousto-optic devices are a versatile technology that are driven electronically to precisely and rapidly control the intensity, frequency, and propagation direction of a laser beam. Applications include acousto-optic scanners, filters, mode lockers, and modulators. Despite the popularity of acousto-optic devices, there currently is no UV transparent device that can satisfy the requirements of the atomic clock and quantum computing communities. In this thesis, I describe my experimental efforts for discovering a new UV transparent, acousto-optic crystal that can meet the experimental requirements. I also present my graphical representations for locating practical and efficient acousto-optic designs in a given medium.

The first part of this thesis describes how to measure the elastic-stiffness and photoelastic coefficients of a given crystal. The elastic-stiffness coefficients are essential for designing acousto-optic devices because they determine the velocity, diffraction, and polarization of acoustic waves in a given medium. I used both resonant ultrasound spectroscopy and a modified version of Schaefer--Bergman diffraction to measure elastic coefficients. I discuss in detail the strengths, differences, and similarities of the two experiments. The photoelastic coefficients are necessary for determining the diffraction efficiency of a given acousto-optic geometry. Similar to the elastic coefficients, I employ a modified version of the Schaefer--Bergmann experiment to measure the photoelastic coefficients. I corroborate the measured results with the well established Dixon experiment.

The second part of this thesis describes four different graphical representations that help locate practical and efficient acousto-optic designs. I describe in detail each algorithm and how to interpret the calculated results. Several examples are provided for commonly used acosuto-optic materials.

The thesis concludes by describing the design and performance of an acousto-optic frequency shifter that was designed based on the culmination my research effort.

Included in

Optics Commons