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Proceedings Paper

Epitaxial thin films for hyperbolic metamaterials
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Paper Abstract

Recent progress in the area of hyperbolic metamaterials (HMMs) has sparked interest in transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) that behave as plasmonic media in the near-IR and at optical frequencies for imaging and sensing applications. It has been shown that by depositing alternating layers of negative-epsilon/positive-epsilon materials, a medium can be created with unusual index values such as near zero. HMMs support high-k waves corresponding to a diverging photonic density of states (PDOS), the quantity determining phenomena such as spontaneous and thermal emission. Also, modeling such structures allows evanescent fields containing sub-wavelength information to be coupled to propagating radiation. We investigate the optical, electronic, and physical properties of radio frequency plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxial (RF-MBE) growth of alternating layers of ZnO and TCO of uniform thickness for HMM applications. Preliminary work creating HMMs with ZnO and Al-doped ZnO (AZO) has shown a negative real part of the permittivity at near-IR whose modulus is proportional to the number density of Al dopant. However, increasing the Al content of the AZO increases the transmission losses to unacceptable levels for device applications at industry standard wavelengths. A TCO with conductivity and physical structure superior to that of AZO is gallium-doped ZnO (GZO). Uniformly grown GZO has been demonstrated to possess improved crystal quality over AZO due to the higher diffusivity of Al in the ZnO. AZO and GZO HMM structures grown by RF-MBE are characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Hall effect, four-point probing, deeplevel transient spectroscopy (DLTS), ellipsometry, visible and ultraviolet spectroscopy (UV-VIS) and in-situ reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED).

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 February 2014
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8995, High Contrast Metastructures III, 899515 (19 February 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2038257
Show Author Affiliations
D. Fullager, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
H. Alisafaee, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
R. Tsu, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
M. A. Fiddy, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8995:
High Contrast Metastructures III
Connie J. Chang-Hasnain; David Fattal; Fumio Koyama; Weimin Zhou, Editor(s)

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