Kalendarium

Disputation: Microfabrication of Optical Components in Synthetic Diamond: Infrared Optics for Applications  in Astronomy and Spectroscopy

  • Datum: 18 maj, kl. 13.00
  • Plats: Siegbahnsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala
  • Doktorand: Vargas Catalan, Ernesto
  • Om avhandlingen
  • Arrangör: Tillämpad materialvetenskap
  • Kontaktperson: Vargas Catalan, Ernesto
  • Disputation

The focus of this thesis was to produce optical gratings for different applications using plasma etching. The first steps involved understanding the etch process and optimizing the plasma etch parameters to enable the fabrication of new types of nano/micro meter sized structures in diamond. Optimization of the etch masks is also included in the work.

Infrared optics is a broad general term, relevant to a range of fields. The manufactured diamond optical components utilized within this thesis were applied to both astronomy, in which direct imaging of star system using large ground-based telescopes and diamond coronagraphs was performed, and in absorption spectroscopy probing solvents and proteins using a tuneable quantum cascade laser and diamond waveguides.

The optical components presented in this thesis are all made from diamond, as it is one of few materials that is transparent in the infrared regime. Furthermore, diamond has other unique properties that include high thermal conductivity, low thermal expansion and chemically inertness. In this thesis synthetic diamond grown by chemical vapor deposition has been used, using commercially available components and equipment.

The focus of this thesis was to produce optical gratings for different applications using plasma etching. The first steps involved understanding the etch process and optimizing the plasma etch parameters to enable the fabrication of new types of nano/micro meter sized structures in diamond. Optimization of the etch masks is also included in the work. With this newfound knowledge, deeper and narrower optical gratings than before could be realized.

Optical evaluation of the gratings in special designed optical test benches was used to determine the coronagraphic performance of the manufactured diamond coronagraphs. Most often the designed etch depth could not be reached in the first attempt and therefore a post-fabrication method for tuning the etch depth was developed.  This showed to be vital to realising high performing diamond coronagraphs. Diamond coronagraphs were also installed in several ground based telescopes and discovery of new astronomical objects are presented. With deeper understanding of the etch process more complex coronagraphs in diamond were manufactured opening up for use in the next generation of giant telescopes.

In the second part of this thesis, fabrication of diamond waveguides for sensitive analysis of solvents and proteins using infrared spectroscopy is presented.  Different designs of diamond waveguides are demonstrated and initial analysis of organic compounds and glucose using a quantum cascade laser as the light source is presented. This type of biosensor will be used to study the secondary structure of proteins relevant for different diseases.