Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

John R. Cary

Second Advisor

Albin J. Gasiewski

Third Advisor

Tobin L. Munsat


Future particle accelerator cavities may use dielectric photonic crystals to reduce harmful wakefields and increase the accelerating electric field (or gradient). Reduced wakefields are predicted based on the bandgap property of some photonic crystals (i.e. frequency-selective reflection/ transmission). Larger accelerating gradients are predicted based on certain dielectrics’ strong resistance to electrical breakdown. Using computation, this thesis investigated a hybrid design of a 2D sapphire photonic crystal and traditional copper conducting cavity. The goals were to test the claim of reduced wakefields and, in general, judge the effectiveness of such structures as practical accelerating cavities. In the process, we discovered the following: (1) resonant cavities in truncated photonic crystals may confine radiation weakly compared to conducting cavities (depending on the level of truncation); however, confinement can be dramatically increased through optimizations that break lattice symmetry (but retain certain rotational symmetries); (2) photonic crystal cavities do not ideally reduce wakefields; using band structure calculations, we found that wakefields are increased by flat portions of the frequency dispersion (where the waves have vanishing group velocities).

A complete comparison was drawn between the proposed photonic crystal cavities and the copper cavities for the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC); CLIC is one of the candidates for a future high-energy electron-positron collider that will study in greater detail the physics learned at the Large Hadron Collider. We found that the photonic crystal cavity, when compared to the CLIC cavity: (1) can lower maximum surface magnetic fields on conductors (growing evidence suggests this limits accelerating gradients by inducing electrical breakdown); (2) shows increased transverse dipole wakefields but decreased longitudinal monopole wakefields; and (3) exhibits lower accelerating efficiencies (unless a large photonic crystal is used).