PX3707.5 Optoelectronics and Laser Physics
Introductory description
Lasers produce coherent light, which can be used to carry information and energy. Semiconductor lasers, in particular, have become very important in the field of communication. This module covers the basic physics of laser action in the various types of laser and describes their applications in optoelectronics.
Module aims
To provide an introduction to the physical principles upon which the laser and a number of other optoelectronic devices are based. To describe a number of different types of laser, second harmonic generation using lasers, modulators (both electroopto and acoustooptic) and detectors such as the photodiode, avalanche photodiode and photomultiplier. To describe the properties of optical fibres and the likely requirements of an optical communication system.
Outline syllabus
This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.
Lasers: Spontaneous and stimulated emission, Einstein A and B coefficients; optical cavities, Fabry Perot; inversion mechanisms; examples of different types of laser; gas lasers, solid state optically pumped lasers, dye lasers, homojunction and heterojunction semiconductor diode lasers. Q switching; second harmonic generation. Optical modulators, electrooptic modulators, acoustooptic modulators. Light detectors, semiconductor diode detectors, Avalanche Photodiodes. Optical Fibres. Optical communications.
Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
 Explain the essential requirements for laser action in a material and be able to describe different types of laser
 Be able to describe an optical modulator
 Describe and compare the merits of different types of light detector
 Describe the properties of optical fibres which are important in an optical communications system
Indicative reading list
Optoelectronics An Introduction, J. Wilson and J. F. B. Hawkes, Prentice Hall, 1989
View reading list on Talis Aspire
Interdisciplinary
Physics has provided techniques and principles which are valuable to other sciences particularly optoelectronics. This module shows how the physics of electromagnetism, optics, semiconductors and thermodynamics are behind the design and operation of lasers in particular and optoelectronic devices generally.
Subject specific skills
Knowledge of mathematics and physics. Skills in modelling, reasoning, thinking.
Transferable skills
Analytical, communication, problemsolving, selfstudy
Study time
Type  Required 

Lectures  15 sessions of 1 hour (20%) 
Private study  60 hours (80%) 
Total  75 hours 
Private study description
Working through lecture notes, solving problems, wider reading, discussing with others taking the module, revising for exam, practising on past exam papers
Costs
No further costs have been identified for this module.
You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.
Assessment group B1
Weighting  Study time  

2 hour online examination (Summer)  100%  
Answer 2 questions out of 3

Feedback on assessment
Personal tutor, group feedback
Courses
This module is Option list A for:
 Year 3 of UPXAF300 Undergraduate Physics (BSc)
 Year 4 of UPXAF301 Undergraduate Physics (with Intercalated Year)
This module is Option list B for:

UMAAG105 Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year)
 Year 3 of G105 Mathematics (MMath) with Intercalated Year
 Year 5 of G105 Mathematics (MMath) with Intercalated Year
 Year 3 of UMAAG100 Undergraduate Mathematics (BSc)

UMAAG103 Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath)
 Year 3 of G103 Mathematics (MMath)
 Year 4 of G103 Mathematics (MMath)

UMAAG106 Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe
 Year 3 of G106 Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe
 Year 4 of G106 Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe
 Year 4 of UPXAGF14 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (with Intercalated Year)
 Year 4 of UMAAG101 Undergraduate Mathematics with Intercalated Year
 Year 3 of UPXAF304 Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys)
 Year 3 of UPXAF303 Undergraduate Physics (MPhys)