Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

James A. Lott, PhD


Optical communication and computing systems are required to meet future information transfer and processing needs. Microcavity devices serve as an enabling technology to implement and integrate optoelectronic systems. It is important to understand the optical and mechanical properties of materials utilize within microcavity devices. Only then is it possible to accurately model and analyze structures. Microcavity structures incorporating a high aluminum content AlGaAs layers are designed, grown, processed, and measured. The processing of these devices includes the conversion of high aluminum-content AlGaAs layers to native aluminum oxide (AlO) layers through the process of thermal oxidation. This selective conversion of microcavity layers provides for the necessary electrical and optical confinement required to produce a plethora of microphotonic devices. The optical properties of hydrolyzed AlO layers within a monolithic microcavity structure are experimentally determined. Also examined is the induced AlO layer stress, a result of volumetric shrinkage. Additional mechanical properties of GaAs/AlAs multilayer Fabry-Perot etalon structures are explored through the process of chemical etching. A suitable chemical solution to selectively etch converted AlO layers within a microcavity structure is developed. This research provides the foundation for future III-V MEMS technology development.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number