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Abstract

Recent trend in the modern age research and technology is to modify, amplify and tune the
properties of existing materials for new generation device applications. One way to achieve
this is to reduce the materials to critical limits of nano-sizes, in turn expecting enormous
changes in the properties of materials due to quantum confinement related effects, which
leads to show potential in many devices. Another effective way to modify properties of
materials is by making composites: mixing two diverse worlds of materials based on their
structures and properties into a single material or mixing materials of diverse properties.
Composites or template materials are engineered materials which show significantly
enhanced mechanical, electrical, thermal, optical, electrochemical and catalytic properties to
that of their parent materials. These composites may be broadly classified into three
categories: (1) nanocomposites (2) photonic composites and (3) hybrid composites.

The nanocomposite is composed of two or more materials, in which at least one of them is of
nano-size. In this composite system, either nanosized material is added to bulk materials to
improve a particular property or bulk materials are added into interstitial spaces of nanosized
porous materials. Another interesting composite is photonic composite, which is driven by
the idea of combining electronic states and photonic states together. Optical wavelength-
ordered materials, so called photonic structures, manipulate photon propagation in a similar
way that the periodicity of solid-state crystal affects the motion of electrons. For a range of
wavelengths, the wavelength-ordered periodic refractive index modulation results in the
formation of an optical band structure, characterised by photonic energy bands and gaps,
similar to that of solid-state crystals. Third kind of composite is a hybrid composite: taking
the advantage of strengths from two different chemical worlds of inorganic and organic
entities and by combining them into a single material system. The aim of this thesis is to
explore the advantages of various composites for new-generation optoelectronic devices from
simple and low cost fabrication techniques and further developing wavelength ordered
template assisted growth of these composites which utilizes the advantage of both photonic
and electronic states in single advance functional materials. Understanding the physical and
chemical mechanisms of composite formation and their effect on its properties is the key
objective.