2020 Fundamentals of Light and Matter IIb

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Graduate major in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Munekata Hiro 
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Course description and aims

In order to carry out fundamental research on novel electronic, optical, and magnetic materials and devices, one has to understand the behaviors of electrons in solids. This course aims at learning wave-like aspect of electrons in crystals, excitation of solids with light. Through calculation on the basis of the Kronig-Penney model, one will gain insight for the energy band in solids. Solving rate equations is another task, through which one will deepen knowledge as to energy relaxation process after optical excitation.

Student learning outcomes

1. Understand the validity of expressing electron orbital with “waves”
2. Grab physical meaning of energy bands in condensed matters (crystalline solids)
3. Understand the concept of optically induced polarization with “exciton”
4. Understand the concept of quantum size effects
5. Understand the process and time scale of transferring energy from light to solids


Kronig-Penney model, energy bands, exciton, quantum size effects, ultrafast phenomena

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

In the first half part, we review the validity of expressing electron orbital with “waves”. Each student will be asked to carry out numerical calculation using Kronig-Penney model, through which we aim at grabbing the physical meaning of energy bands in condensed matters (crystalline solids). In the second half part, we discuss subjects of excitons, quantum size effects, and ultrafast phenomena using published materials selected by the class lecturer, through which we aim at deepening our knowledge on interaction between light and solids. Group discussions will be introduced depending on the subjects.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction 1: waves in solids, calculating the Kronig-Penney model I (explanation and home works) understand the Kronig-Penney model for the implementation of actual calculation
Class 2 Introduction 2: Why it is reasonable to use the E-k relation for solids? Is it possible to select and excite one electron out of N electrons ?
Class 3 Calculating the Kronig-Penney model II (results of home works, discussions) Discuss the relation between band structures and the size of crystal cell
Class 4 Energy band structure: why there exist direct and indirect band gaps? Why pure silicon crystal can not emit light efficiently?
Class 5 Optically induced polarization and Excitons Fundamental of optical excitation and electron-hole pair generation.
Class 6 Quantum confinement: modulation of energy bands and influence on excitons derivation of density of states, optical absorption spectrum, 2-D exciton, and their applications
Class 7 Ultrafast phenomenon How long does it take for electrons to receive energy from light? How long does it take for electrons to lose the absorbed energy?

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


We use text prepared by Munekata.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

(1) Introduction to Solid State Physics, C. Kittel, 6th or later Eds.
(2) Semiconductor Optics, Ginsberg

Assessment criteria and methods

With discussions (40 %) and reports (60 %) of subjects disclosed during the class. Values shown in parentheses are just for your reference.

Related courses

  • EEE.D431 : Fundamentals of Light and Matter I
  • PHY.C446 : Light and Matter I
  • PHY.C447 : Light and Matter II
  • EEE.D531 : Fundamentals of Light and Matter IIa
  • EEE.D533 : Fundamentals of Light and Matter IIc
  • EEE.D541 : Fundamental of spectroscopic measurements and its development

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

The menu of this class is made on the basis of assumption that students have qualified the class “Fundamentals of light and matters I” or the classes comparable to it, or have qualified classes of elemental solid state physics, or have acquired fundamental knowledge on solid state physics.


The text prepared by HM consists of mixture of materials and articles picked up from advanced textbooks and milestones papers.

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