Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name



Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Yang Zhao


It is desired to have artificial optical materials with controllable optical properties. Optical glass is the most common optical material for various applications. This research will attempt to create a thin layer on the substrate with controllable optical properties. The thin layer is a composite material with nanoscale features and controllable refractive index. Two-dimensional (2D) nanostructures will be created on the surface of optical glass using nanosphere lithography. In comparison with conventional techniques, this approach is more efficient and cost-effective for the creation of large areas of thin surface layers as an artificial material. A uniform monolayer of nanospheres will be deposited on soda-lime glass slides. Deposition will be performed via a slide-coating technique to take advantage of capillary forces. The slides will be etched with vapor-phase hydrofluoric acid (HF) to create 2D structures. Vapor-phase etching is selected in order to etch the substrate without disturbing the monolayer nanoparticle mask. The etching rate of nanostructures will be studied. An atomic force microscope (AFM) is to be used to monitor the nanosphere monolayers and etching analysis. The resultant thin-layer of modified substrate serves as an artificial material with a desired refractive index which modifies the surface reflection and transmission properties. The effective refractive index of the artificial layer is smaller than the refractive index of the substrate and can be varied by changing the size of the nanoparticles and depth of etching. It is expected that the substrate with the created artificial material layer demonstrates reduced reflectivity in optical wavelengths.