The Nonlinear and Microstructured Optical Materials Group is led by Professor Rob Eason. The lithium niobate activity is led by Dr Sakellaris Mailis. Our mission is to identify and develop methods for the full utilization of the useful physical and optical properties of lithium niobate, a very gifted nonlinear optical ferroelectric crystal with a large presence in the photonics industry.
An important goal is to develop a complete material-processing toolbox which will enable the fabrication of complex multifunctional devices based on lithium niobate.
More specifically we strive to develop and understand the physics behind methods for: Ferroelectric domain engineering; Direct writing of refractive and diffractive structures; Surface and bulk micro-structuring.
We are using a wide range of standard clean-room based micro-fabrication methods such as photolithography, ion beam milling, reactive ion etching, chemical etching, and deposition to non standard methods such as light assisted/induced ferroelectric domain inversion direct writing, inhibition of poling and preferential surface melting to gain control over the fabrication of useful combinations of domain engineered and microstructured arrangements on single crystal substrates that can be used to achieve multifunctional operation.
Our experience and practice range from material science through to photonics ensuring fast and substantial two way feedback from the characterization to fabrication level.