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Optoelectronics Lecture Topics

Format of lectures :- Most of the information is presented on overhead transparencies. Handouts are distributed at each lecture and are only available at the lecture. Note that the handouts are only summaries of the information presented in the lecture and are not distributed in a 'completed' form.

Lecture 1

  • Stimulated and spontaneous emission
  • Einstein A and B coefficients
  • The round trip gain
  • Population inversion

Lecture 2

  • Basic requirements of a laser system
  • The lineshape function
  • Linewidth and spectral broadening
  • Laser cavity types - the Fabry Perot resonator
  • Introduction to 3 & 4 level laser systems

Lecture 3

  • Gain and efficiency of laser systems
  • Pumping power at threshold
  • Gain saturation
  • Laser cavity modes

Lecture 4

  • Single mode laser operation
  • Gain curves and hole burning
  • Some population inversion mechanisms
  • The He-Ne laser (a gas laser)
  • The Nd:YAG laser (a solid state laser)

Lecture 5

  • More examples of different laser types
  • The homojunction laser diode


-The mode volume and active region


Lecture 6

  • The heterojunction laser diode


-The mode volume and active region


  • Comparison to homojunction laser diode
  • threshold current density for the homojunction

Lecture 7

  • Optical bifrefringence
  • The refractive index ellipsoid
  • The electro-optic effect

-Modulation of transmitted light

-Electro-optic modulator

-The half wave voltage

-Optimising the sensitivity of the modulator

Lecture 8

  • Transverse electro-optic modulators
  • Power requirements of electro-optic modulators
  • Acousto-optic modulators (Bragg & Raman-Nath)
  • Non-linear optical effects

-Second harmonic generation (SHG)

-Phase matching

Lecture 9

  • Review basics of SHG
  • The coherence length in SHG
  • Parametric oscillation

Lecture 10

  • Some examples of photo detectors
  • Light dependent resistor (LDR)
  • Pyroelectric detectors
  • Thermoelectric detectors
  • Bolometers
  • Photoelectric effect

Lecture 11

  • Photomultiplier tube (PMT)

-Design and construction

-Supporting electronics

  • source of 'noise' in PMTs

-Shot noise

-Multiplication noise

-Johnson noise

  • Low noise limits of PMTs

Lecture 12

  • Photomultiplier tube (PMT) continued

-The minimum detectable signal

-Minimum signal and signal : noise ratio

  • The photodiode

-Photovoltaic mode

-Photoconductive mode

-Simplified construction

  • P-I-N photodiode
  • Avalanche photodiode (APD)

-Electrical response (bandwidth etc.)

-Response time of APD and limiting factors

-Signal : noise ratio in APD

Lecture 13

  • Noise factors in APDs
  • The optimum gain of an APD
  • Fiber optic waveguides

-the acceptance angle

-intermodal dispersion

-material dispersion


-fiber mode types

Lecture 14

  • Graded index fiber profile
  • Formation of silica fibers
  • Signal modulation
  • Noise in fiber optic communications

Lecture 15