Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Rana Biswas


Periodically patterned nanostructures have imparted profound impact on diverse scientific disciplines. In physics, chemistry, and materials science, artificially engineered photonic crystals have demonstrated an unprecedented ability to control the propagation of photons through light concentration and diffraction. The field of photonic crystals has led to many technical advances in fabricating periodically patterned nanostructures in dielectric/metallic materials and controlling the light-matter interactions at the nanoscale. In the field of biomaterials, it is of great interest to apply our knowledge base of photonic materials and explore how such periodically patterned structures control diverse biological functions by varying the available surface area, which is a key attribute for surface hydrophobicity, cell growth and drug delivery. Here we describe closely related scientific applications of large-scale periodically patterned polymers and metal nanostructures.

The dissertation starts with nanoplasmonics for improving photovoltaic devices, where we design and optimize experimentally realizable light-trapping nanostructures using rigorous scattering matrix simulations for enhancing the performance of organic and perovskite solar cells. The use of periodically patterned plasmonic metal cathode in conjunction with polymer microlens array significantly improves the absorption in solar cells, providing new opportunities for photovoltaic device design. We further show the unprecedented ability of nanoplasmonics to concentrate light at the nanoscale by designing a large-area plasmonic nanocup array with frequency-selective optical transmission. The fabrication of nanostructure is achieved by coating non-uniform gold layer over a submicron periodic nanocup array imprinted on polystyrene using soft lithography. The gold nanocup array shows extraordinary optical transmission at a wavelength close to the structure period. The resonance wavelength for transmission can be tuned by changing the period of the gold nanocup array, which opens up new avenues in subwavelength optics for designing optoelectronic devices and biological sensors. We then demonstrate strong exciton-plasmon coupling between non-toxic CuInS2/ZnS quantum dots in solution and plasmonic gold nanocup array. The photoluminescence decay rate of quantum dots can be enhanced by more than an order of magnitude due to the high electric field intensity enhancement inside the plasmonic nanocup cavity. This solution based metal-nanocrystal coupled system has great promise for biological applications such as biosensing and biolabeling.

Moving to the area of biomedical applications, we fabricate nanopatterned biopolymers as templates for controlling the release of therapeutic drugs coated on the polymer surface. From careful drug release experiments performed over extended time periods (e.g. eight days), we find that nanopatterned polymers release the drug slower as compared to the flat polymer surfaces. The slow-down in the drug release from nanopatterned surfaces is attributed to increase in the surface hydrophobicity confirmed by the contact angle measurements and microfluidic simulations. This nanoscale drug release control scheme has great promise for improving the performance of drug-eluting stents in cardiac therapies.


Copyright Owner

Akshit Peer



File Format


File Size

154 pages