2019 Optical and Electromagnetic Property in Semiconductors

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Watanabe Masahiro 
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Course description and aims

This course focuses on the fundamentals of optical properties of semiconductors, such as light absorption and emission, based on the knowledge of introduction of semiconductor physics in the previous lectures, and bridges to courses on various optical devices and their applications, such as semiconductor lasers (laser diodes, LDs), light emitting diodes (LEDs), and optical fiber communications. The course schedule includes; interaction between light and matter, light absorption and emission of light, difference of optical properties among semiconductors (due to that of bandgap, direct and indirect transitions, and so on), spontaneous and stimulated emissions, laser, refractive index, photovoltaic effect.
Optical devices such as semiconductor lasers and light emitting diodes are now widely used in a variety of applications including optical fiber communications and lighting, etc. In the operation principle of these devices, interaction of electrons with light and optical propagation in semiconductors are successfully utilized. Optical properties of semiconductors as the base of these phenomena are explained related to device applications.

Student learning outcomes

Fundamentals of interaction between light and matter, light absorption and emission of light, difference of optical properties among semiconductors (due to that of bandgap, direct and indirect transitions, and so on), spontaneous and stimulated emissions, principle of the laser, refractive index, photovoltaic effect are explained. By the end of this course, students will understand principles of various semiconductor optical devices, which will be useful as the base of forthcoming courses on these devices and their applications.

Corresponding educational goals are:
(1) Specialist skills Fundamental specialist skills
(4) Applied skills (inquisitive thinking and/or problem-finding skills) Organization and analysis
(7) Skills acquiring a wide range of expertise, and expanding it into more advanced and other specialized areas


Interaction of materials with light, Light absorption, Spontaneous emission, Stimulated emission, Light amplification, Laser, Refractive index, Electro-optic effect

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
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Class flow

At the beginning of each class, the contents of the previous class are briefly reviewed. Towards the end of class, students will be given exercise problems or homework related to the lecture given that day to solve.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Fundamentals of lightwaves, interaction of materials with light Understand fundamentals of lightwaves (reflection, refraction, and absorption) and interaction between electrons and light in materials.
Class 2 Band structure of semiconductors, direct and indirect transitions Understand the bandstructure of semiconductors and optical transitions of electrons (direct and indirect transitions).
Class 3 Light absorption and emission Understand the absorption and emission of light in semiconductors, and related optical devices.
Class 4 Spontaneous emission and stimulated emission Understand the emission, amplification, gain of light, and understand the difference between the light emitting diodes and semiconductor lasers.
Class 5 Optical gain and principle of lasers Understand the basic structures and characteristics of semiconductor lasers.
Class 6 Polarization, dielectric properties, and refractive index Understand the polarization, refractive index, relation between light absorption coefficient and refractive index, refractive index of semiconductors, and related devices.
Class 7 Electro-optic effect, Optical nonlinearity Understand the Electro-optic effect, optical nonlinearity, and related devices.
Class 8 Photovoltaic effect Understand the photovoltaic effect, light detection, and related devices.



Reference books, course materials, etc.

Kunio Tada, and Shun Matsumoto, Optical Dielectric, and Magnetic Properties of materials, Corona Publishing, ISBN978-4-339-00021-4 (Japanese)
Yasuharu Suematsu, Optical Devices, Corona Publishing, ISBN978-4-339-00159-4 (Japanese)

Assessment criteria and methods

Assesed by final exam.

Related courses

  • EEE.E201 : Electricity and Magnetism I
  • EEE.E202 : Electricity and Magnetism II
  • EEE.D201 : Quantum Mechanics
  • EEE.D211 : Semiconductor Physics
  • EEE.D361 : Photonic Devices

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Enrollment of Electromagnetic theory I and II, Quantum mechanics, Solid state physics is deisrable.

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