Tunable Visibly Transparent Optics Derived from Porous Silicon

Christian R. Ocier, Neil A. Krueger, Weijun Zhou, Paul V. Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Visibly transparent porous silicon dioxide (PSiO2) and PSiO2/titanium dioxide (TiO2) optical elements were fabricated by thermal oxidation, or a combination of thermal oxidation and atomic layer deposition infilling, of an electrochemically etched porous silicon (PSi) structure containing an electrochemically defined porosity profile. The thermally oxidized PSiO2 structures are transparent at visible wavelengths and can be designed to have refractive indices ranging from 1.1 to 1.4. The refractive index can be increased above 2.0 through TiO2 infilling of the pores. Applying this oxidation and TiO2 infilling methodology enabled tuning of a distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) formed from PSi across the visible spectrum. At the maximum filling, the DBR exhibited a transmission of 2% at 620 nm. Simulations match well with measured spectra. In addition to forming DBR filters, phase-shaping gradient refractive index (GRIN) elements were formed. As a demonstration, a 4 mm diameter radial GRIN PSiO2 element with a parabolic, lens-like phase profile with a calculated focal length of 1.48 m was formed. The calculated focal length was reduced to 0.80 m upon the addition of TiO2. All the structures showed broad transparency in the visible and were stable to the materials conversion process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)909-914
Number of pages6
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 19 2017


  • distributed Bragg reflector
  • gradient refractive index
  • phase-shaping optics
  • spectral filter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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