ECE 594 - Semiconductor Lasers and Optoelectronics

(prior to 2008, ECE 594 was called 571C)



  • “Photonics: Optical Electronics in Modern Communications”, by A. Yariv and P. Yeh, 6th Ed, 2007
  • Additional recommended readings:
    • L. A. Coldren, S. W. Corzine, “Diode Lasers and Photonic Integrated Circuits”, John Wiley & Sons, 1995
    • J. T. Verdeyen, “Laser Electronics”, Prentice-Hall, 1994
    • Bahaa E. A. Saleh, Malvin Carl Teich, “Fundamentals of Photonics”, Wiley-Interscience, 1991

Course Outline:

  • Course introduction. Learning objectives, introduction to lasers and applications
  • Review of Maxwell's Equations: Development of Vector and Scalar Wave Equations, Plane Waves and Wave Propagation, Optical Reflection and Transmission, Optical beams
  • Rectangular waveguides, Analytic solutions, single-mode designs
  • Laser resonators, cavities, optical modes, Fabry-Perot
  • Laser Threshold Gain
  • Rate Equations, modulation response
  • Edge-emitting lasers, Fabry-Perot (FP lasers), FP Laser optical spectrum
  • 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
  • Material systems overview, band-diagram engineering, Quantum wells, quantum dots, quantum cascade, Expitaxial growth using MBE and MOCVD
  • Wave Propagation in Periodic Media, Coupled-Mode Theory, Fibers, Gratings, 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


  • Project (40%): The student will conduct a research project, and present the results in a 4-page paper and 15 minute presentation at the end of the course. The topic will be chosen by the student with the consent of the instructors

  • 2 midterms (20% each, end of October and early December), based on homework assignments (homework not graded)
  • Lab report (20%)

Additional Details