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OSE6536 - Semiconductor Lasers

This course covers the light-matter interaction, thermal physics and solid state physics needed to understand, analyze, and engineer semiconductor lasers with different active region dimensionalities.

This course covers the laser physics and principles, and their application to laser diodes in design and analysis. The physical models will be applied to two specific laser diodes, the VCSEL, the high power edge emitter, and the quantum dot laser, that currently dominate much of the research work and commercial applications today.

Prerequisites: Graduate Standing, OSE 5312 or OSE 6525 or OSE 5414, or Consent of Instructor

Knowledge of Quantum mechanics, modern physics, or similar, semiconductor device knowledge and p-n junction theory recommended.

Course materials: Notes

Suggested Reference: Semiconductor Optoelectronics, Coldren


  • Six to Eight Homeworks 20%
  • One Midterm 35%
  • One Final 45%

Course Outline

  1. Introduction to Lasers and Semiconductor Lasers
    1. Diode basics, materials, and heterojunctions
    2. Voltage and current: Fermi levels and charge recombination
    3. Cavity modes and laser oscillation
    4. Laser rate equations, threshold
    5. Laser linewidth
    6. Laser modulation response
  2. Light Emission from Semiconductors
    1. Optical response of a 2-level system
    2. Bloch wavefunctions and dipole moment of unit cells
    3. Influence of confinement potential on quantum states: 3-d, 2-d, 1-d, and 0-d
    4. Fermi statistics and optical gain
  3. Specific Diode Laser Characteristics
    1. High power laser diode design principles
    2. VCSEL modulation response
    3. VCSEL mode structure and linewidth for sensing