Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Korampally, Venumadhav

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Electrical Engineering


Despite optics and refraction being among the oldest scientific principles, material limitations have prevented scientists from taking full advantage of the potential this technology holds. Indeed, films with designer optical properties have potential for use in exotic cloaking architectures, advanced waveguides, and precise optical biosensors. This thesis focuses on the fabrication methodology for making thin films with refractive index tuned to a desired value through self-assembly of amorphous nanoparticle films made of organosilicate materials. The inclusion of a slowly evaporating polymer phase along with the organosilicate nanoparticles results in nanopores formed within the film, which effectively reduce the film’s refractive index proportional to the percent void within the nanoparticle film. To precisely control the percent void in the film, the substrate surface must be patterned with nanoscale pixels of high and low surface energy on the scale of the polymer phase flow. To achieve this with high throughput, a novel nanofabrication approach has been developed in replica hardmask etching, a method using 3D-replica-molded nanostructures as an etch mask to pattern 2D patterns encoded into the topography of the replica structures.


131 pages




Northern Illinois University

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