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ELEC60023 Optoelectronics

Lecturer(s): Prof Richard Syms


The aim of this module is to provide you with 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

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to: 1. solve wave and waveguide problems using Maxwell's equations 2. design and evaluate optical fibre-based communication systems 3. design and evaluate optical fibre-based sensing systems.


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
Exam contribution: 100%
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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Book List: