Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Alexandra Boltasseva

Committee Member 1

Vladimir Shalaev

Committee Member 2

Andrew Weiner

Committee Member 3

Xianfan Xu


The fields of nanophotonics and metamaterials have revolutionized the way we think of optical space (ε,µ), enabling us to engineer the refractive index almost at will, to confine light to the smallest of volumes, as well as to manipulate optical signals with extremely small foot prints and energy requirements. Throughout the past, this field of research has largely been limited to the use of noble metals as plasmonic materials, largely due to the high conductivity (low loss) and wide availability in research institutions. However, the research which follows focuses on the development of two alternative material platforms for nanophotonics: namely the transition metal nitrides and the transparent conducting oxides. Through this research, we have explored the nonlinear optical properties of thin films, demonstrating unique and ultrafast dynamic response, and have designed and realized high performance integrated plasmonic devices. Ultimately, this work aims to demonstrate the impact and potential of alternative plasmonic materials for numerous nanophotonic applications.