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Title:Beam Steering Thermal Emitters
Author(s):Hamilton, Travis
Contributor(s):Wasserman, Daniel
Subject(s):Beam steering thermal emitters
beam steering properties
surface plasmon polaritons
Abstract:Thermal sources, such as an incandescent light bulb or heated stove top, are understood to be incoherent sources of radiation. This property ensures a desk lamp’s light does not create fringe patterns when passed through double slits. Their inability to form interference patterns has made beam steering for thermal sources impractical. This thesis, addresses the use of surface propagating electromagnetic waves called surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) to emit coherent radiation from a thermal source at near field. Through a corrugated surface, SPPs were scattered away from the surface to form a condensed beam. Through modeling of SPP interference at near field, a micron-level device was characterized and fabricated to exhibit beam steering properties at a specified wavelength of 8 μm. Laboratory testing with a Fourier transform spectrometer allowed comparison of the model with laboratory data. Laboratory testing showed that the signal-to-noise ratio was too low to prove beam steering had been achieved. This may have been due to mistakes in the fabrication process or the proximity of the focusing plane to the thermal source.
Issue Date:2014-12
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-03-31

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