Abstract : A fine understanding of the interactions between light and materials structured at a wavelength scale is necessary to achieve an efficient control of the photons in small volumes. Applications of this control cover many different fields, from optical interconnects to solid state quantum electrodynamics experiments. In this work, we have studied the interactions between light and structures based on bidimensionnal photonic crystals etched in thin films stacks. These structures can be used both in integrated optics and in free space optics. Competitive numerical simulation tools have been developed for this study.
We have first studied theoretically and numerically the light propagation in photonic crystal waveguides. We have calculated three important physical quantities related to a one-missing-row waveguide: the attenuation, the lifetime and the reflection coefficient of the fundamental guided mode.
We have also studied the light confinement in photonic crystal microcavities. We have evidenced that, even at the wavelegnth scale, physics of the light confinement is essentially governed by classical quantities: the radiation losses occuring at the mirror interface and the group velocity of the Bloch mode guided inside the cavity.
Finally, we have studied an application of photonic crystals to free space optics. Their unusual dispersion properties have been used to design high efficient and broadband diffractive optical elements.