A versatile and rapid sol-gel technique for the fabrication of high quality one-dimensional photonic bandgap materials. For example, silica/titania multi-layer materials may be fabricated by a sol-gel chemistry route combined with dip-coating onto planar or curved substrate. A shock-cooling step immediately following the thin film heat-treatment process is introduced. This step was found important in the prevention of film crack formation--especially in silica/titania alternating stack materials with a high number of layers. The versatility of this sol-gel method is demonstrated by the fabrication of various Bragg stack-type materials with fine-tuned optical properties by tailoring the number and sequence of alternating layers, the film thickness and the effective refractive index of the deposited thin films. Measured optical properties show good agreement with theoretical simulations confirming the high quality of these sol-gel fabricated optical materials.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with government support under Award No. ECS 0609244 awarded by the National Science Foundation and under contract No. DE-EE0002768 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States government has certain rights in the invention.