CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Physical description of compound semiconductors; optical properties of heterostructures, quantum wells, super-lattices, quantum wires and quantum dots; physics and technology of optoelectronic devices; light emitting diodes (LEDs) and lasers.

REQUIRED TEXT: . E. Rosencher and B. Vinter, Optoelectronics , Cambridge University Press, 2002.


  • S.L. Chuang, Physics of Optoelectronic Devices ; Wiley, 1995.
  • M. Razeghi, The MOCVD Challenge , v. 1, Adam Hilger, 1989; v. 2, Institute of Physics Publishing, 1995.
  • M. Razeghi, Fundamentals of Solid State Engineering , 2 nd ed., Springer, 2006.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Manijeh Razeghi

COURSE GOALS: This course teaches the fundamental optical properties of semiconductor structures and their applications to optoelectronic device operation. This course provides a wide background and helps students meet the demand of the growing semiconductor optoelectronic industry by preparing them for advanced study and research in semiconductor optics and optoelectronic devices. Topics include basic concepts in electronic structure of crystalline solids, basic optical properties of semiconductors, acoustical and optical phonons, excitons, quantum wells, wires, and dots, superlattices, electro-optical properties of semiconductors, optical nonlinearities in semiconductors, principles of optoelectronic device operation, and materials for semiconductor optoelectronic devices.

PREREQUISITES: EECS 381 or EECS 401 or any solid state physics course or consent of instructor.


WEEK 1: Basic concepts in crystals. Crystal symmetries. Direct and reciprocal lattices. Energy bands and electron wave functions. Tight-binding approximation. Effective mass, electron and holes. Electron statistics in metals and semiconductors.

WEEK 2: Optical response, dielectric constant, Kramers-Kronig relations, plasmons.

WEEK 3: Acoustical and optical phonons, light scattering.

WEEK 4: Direct and indirect optical transitions in semiconductors, selection rules, optical absorption, free and bound excitons, exciton absorption.

WEEK 5: Low-dimensional semiconductor structures. Electronic states and optical absorption: quantum wells, doping and compositional superlattices, quantum wires and dots.

WEEK 6: Electro-optical properties of semiconductors. Franz-Keldysh effect. DC-Stark effect. Electric field effect in low-dimensional structures. Strong optical excitation of semiconductors. Biexcitons, electron-hole liquid and plasma.

WEEK 7: Origins of optical nonlinearities in semiconductors. Measurement of nonlinearities by pump-probe spectroscopy. All-Optical nonlinear devices: bistability, nonlinear logic gates. electro-optic devices, modulators, waveguides.

WEEK 8: P-n junction, quantum well and superlattice photodetectors. Superlattice photomultipliers.

WEEK 9: Basic properties of semiconductor laser: gain, losses, transparency and threshold current, output power, internal efficiency, external efficiency, wall-plug efficiency. Materials for semiconductor lasers.

WEEK 10: Propagation of light in periodic structures. Gratings. Photonic band-gap.


Homeworks – 25%

Exams – 50%

Projects – 25%

COURSE OBJECTIVES: When a student completes this course, s/he will have a solid background in semiconductor optoelectronics, understand general principles of semiconductor-based optoelectronic devices, understand the relationship between fundamental properties of materials and device operation, will be ready for advanced study and research in contemporary optoelectronics.

ABET: 40 % Science, 60 % Engineering