ECE 484 - Semiconductor Lasers



“Photonics: Optical Electronics in Modern Communications”, by A. Yariv and P. Yeh, 6th Ed, 2007

Course Outline:

  • Course introduction. Learning objectives, introduction to lasers and applications
  • Introduction to the laser rate equation model
  • Laser resonators, cavities, optical modes, Fabry-Perot, Laser Threshold Gain
  • Spontaneous and stimulated emission, absorption, Gain, linewidth, homogeneous and inhomogeneous broadening, saturation
  • Semiconductor physics, band-diagrams
  • Requirements for semiconductor lasers, carrier and light confinement, Homo- and hetero-junctions
  • Gain and absorption in semiconductor media
  • Rate Equations, modulation response
  • Edge-emitting lasers, Fabry-Perot (FP lasers), FP Laser optical spectrum
  • Material systems overview, band-diagram engineering, Quantum wells, quantum dots, quantum cascade, Expitaxial growth using MBE and MOCVD
  • Wave Propagation in Periodic Media, Distributed Feedback, Distributed feebdack lasers (DFBs), Laser optical spectrum
  • Vertical cavity lasers (VCSELs), Bragg reflectors, Tunable Lasers
  • Semiconductor Laser fabrication, Lithography, Metal evaporation, etching
  • Optical links, fiber communication


  • Midterm, Final Exam (20% each)
  • Homework assignments, 6 (20%)
  • Lab report (20%)
  • Project (20%): Modelling a semiconductor laser (using MATLAB or Crosslight Software Inc. LASTIP)