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ELEC96035 (EE9-AO18) Optoelectronics

Lecturer(s): Prof Richard Syms


The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to a wide variety of modern optoelectronic devices, particularly those used in optical communications systems. As these devices are primarily semiconductor-based guided-wave optical components, the two main theoretical elements of the course are electromagnetic theory and rate equation modelling.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, students should be familiar with the following:
- Electromagnetic fields and plane waves. Maxwell's equations; Derivation of the wave equation; Plane waves; Power flow
- Reflection and refraction at an interface. Boundary matching; The dielectric interface problem; Reflection coefficients.
- The slab waveguide. Metal walled and dielectric guides; Basic properties of guided and radiation modes.
- Channel waveguide integrated optics. Channel guides; Y-junctions, Phase modulators.
- Optoelectronic interactions in semiconductors. Basic properties of semiconductors; Materials for optoelectronics; Rate equations
- Optoelectronic devices. P-N junction diodes; Heterojunctions; Photodiodes; LEDS; semiconductor lasers


Maxwell's equations; the wave equation for electromagnetic waves; evanescent waves; power flow. Waveguide structures: boundary matching, slab dielectric waveguide; guided and radiation modes; cut-off conditions; free carrier contribution to the dielectric constant; waveguides in semiconductors - homostructure and heterostructure guides; epitaxy and lattice matching; channel waveguides. Channel waveguide devices; power splitters; filters. Diode-based waveguide structures: homojunctions and heterojunctions; carrier injection phase modulators; electro-optic phase modulators; switches and intensity modulators. Photodetectors: absorption of light by semiconductors; quantum efficiency; photoconductive detectors; p-i-n photodiodes; heterojunction photodiodes. LEDs: spontaneous and stimulated emission; electroluminescence in p-n junctions; simple LED structures; emission spectrum of LED; DC efficiency and frequency response of LED; ELEDs. Semiconductor lasers: conditions for laser oscillation; inversion and optical gain; emission spectrum of laser; the double heterostructure; threshold condition and power-current characteristics.
Exam Duration: 3:00hrs
Coursework contribution: 0%

Term: Autumn

Closed or Open Book (end of year exam): Closed

Coursework Requirement:
         To be announced

Oral Exam Required (as final assessment): N/A

Prerequisite module(s): None required

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