Operation, fabrication, applications, and limitations of various optoelectronic devices including quantum well semiconductor devices.
This course aims at covering the physics and engineering issues that define the basic semiconductor optoelectronics devices. We start off with the concept of an energy band representation for the electrons and holes in semiconductors and relate the energy of the free electrons to the electrical and optical properties. The behavior of p-n junctions and other barrier potentials in semiconductor structures are analyzed. These junctions are presented as simple instruments that enable electrical injection of electrons with excess potential energy for radiative emission of photons. In reverse, these same junctions cause photo-generated electrons to drift rapidly across the field to generate a photocurrent. Semiconductor optoelectronic devices such as the LED, the laser diode, the photodetector are presented as mere converters of electrical energy to photon energy and vice-versa. Optical modulators are devices for controlling the intensity or phase of an optical beam using an electrical input. The course contains a good mix of the electrical properties and optical properties of semiconductors and the interplay between photons and the free electrons within.