Information and communications technology (ICT) is predicted to comprise 30% of the world’s total energy consumption by 2030. Because of the increasing demand in telecommunications and other relevant technologies, more efficient nanophotonic devices will need to be made industrially. One such device is the Faraday isolator, an optical device that allows the transmission of light in one direction while blocking it in the opposite direction. Yttrium iron garnet (YIG) is a staple ferrimagnetic Faraday isolator material. However, the processability of YIG is lacking due to it mainly being grown as a single crystal. Currently, I am in the process of perfecting a hydrothermal synthesis where YIG nanocrystals can be synthesized in solution without utilizing extreme temperatures and atmospheric conditions, and subsequently analyzing their magnetic properties via magnetic circular dichroism (MCD) absorption spectroscopy. Being able to create colloidal nanocrystals of YIG will significantly improve the device fabrication of Faraday isolators via solution processing and will contribute to meeting the quickly growing demands of ICT.
Advisor: Daniel Gamelin – Chemistry