Optofluidic Approches In Reconfigurable Photonics And Renewable Energy
The theme of my Ph.D. research is to apply optofluidics to solve problems in interdisciplinary areas, specifically reconfigurable photonics and photobioreactors for microalgae based biofuel production. In the first part of the dissertation, I have developed a hybrid reconfigurable photonic system that combines liquid and solid state optical waveguides on a chip. The hybrid system was numerically and experimentally investigated. The apparatus allowed us to take advantages of liquidstate optical elements, such as chemical adaptability, thermal stabilization, and physical tunability, without sacrificing the performance offered by solid-state optical devices. This novel approach represents a potentially transformative advancement for reconfigurable photonic systems. In the second part of the dissertation, I have developed optofluidic photobioreactors that incorporate photonic elements to solve problems in current photobioreactors for algae biofuel production. I first demonstrated and characterized photosynthetic growth in the evanescent field of a slab waveguide. The bacterial growth has been further demonstrated in a 10 stack waveguide photobioreactor. This novel optofluidic photobioreactor increases the culture density that can result in cost-effective bioreactors with lower operational costs and reduced water and energy consumption.
Baeumner, Antje J; Pollock, Clifford Raymond
Ph.D. of Mechanical Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis