Photonics Course Catalogue

Please note that not all courses listed in this catalogue and/or on ACORN/ROSI will be offered each year.

ECE1228H Electromagnetic Theory
Professor M. Mojahedi

This course is intended to benefit graduate students with interest in Electromagnetics and Photonics. It revisits and expands some of the more fundamental electromagnetic laws and theories. The course provides the students with the necessary foundation and specific knowledge of electromagnetic theory and the dynamics of wave propagation and interaction with materials and structures.

Topics covered in the course:

Maxwell equations in differential and integral forms; constitutive relations; electric field and electrostatic potential, electric and magnetic polarization; boundary conditions, energy and power, material dispersion (electric response), material dispersion (magnetic response), conductors and conductivity, Multipole expansion, Maxwell-Helmholtz wave equations, solutions to Maxwell-Helmholtz wave equations, plane waves, polarization, reflection and transmission at interfaces, beam optics (time permitting), the other wave equation (Schrödinger wave equation), electron-photon analogies, waveguides, optical multilayers and transfer matrix method, dynamics of wave propagation (phase velocity, group velocity, energy velocity, forerunners), dispersive effects, introduction to waves in periodic structures, wave equation as operator, operator calculus and bases, anisotropic and bi-anisotropic medium, electromagnetic principles and theorems (duality, uniqueness, reciprocity theorem), and if time permits Green functions and Hamilton-Jacobi canonical equations.

Prerequisites: ECE 320 or ECE 357.

ECE1448H  Quantum Mechanics for Engineers
Professor S. Dmitrevsky
This course develops the theoretical background of quantum electronics and electro-optics and their applications to laser theory. The course is intended for engineering students with limited working knowledge of quantum mechanics. Topics include Schroedinger wave equation, quantum wells, hydrogen and multi-electron atoms, angular momentum and electron spin, harmonic oscillators and molecular structure, energy bands of solids, electric dipole moments, perturbation theory, and interaction of light with matter.

ECE1450H  Ultrafast Photonics
Professor L. Qian
This course develops an in-depth understanding of ultrafast optical fundamentals and device technology. Topics to be covered include: short optical pulse generation; nonlinear optical effects; ultrafast optical phenomena; short optical pulse characterization techniques; pulse compression and temporal shaping; temporal and spatial solitons; and, as time permits, photonic devices and applications. The remainder of the course will be devoted to student presentations of papers on these topics in the current research literature. Students are expected to do substantialreading and study of the material in advance of the class lectures so that class discussions can focus on questions and issues raised by the students.

ECE 1460H Special Topics in Photonics: Crystal Optics
Professor S. Dmitrevsky

ECE 1460H Special Topics in Photonics: Advanced Semiconductor Lasers
Professor A. Helmy

ECE 1460H Special Topics in Photonics: Introduction to Micro and Nanofabrication
Course Instructor: T. Kosteski
An introduction to the fundamentals of micro- and nano-fabrication processes with emphasis on cleanroom practices. The physical principles of optical lithography, electron-beam lithography, alternative nanolithography techniques, and thin film deposition and metrology methods. The physical and chemical processes of wet and dry etching. Cleanroom concepts and safety protocols. Sequential microfabrication processes involved in the manufacture of microelectronic and photonic devices. Imaging and characterization of micro- and nano-structures. Examples of practical existing and emerging micro and nano-devices. Limited enrollment.

ECE1460H Special Topics in Photonics: High Intensity Lasers
Professor P.R. Herman
This course examines the underlying physics and practical applications of high intensity laser interactions driven by powerful and ultrashort duration lasers. A more advanced and focused treatment of nonlinear optical interactions together with the novel material responses is emphasized compared with topics in ECE 1450 and ECE 1461. In the first half of the term, students will review, study and prepare lecture materials with close cooperation of the instructor, while in the second half, formal lectures will be delivered by the students. The topics include:
– Mechanisms of nonlinear laser interactions in solids: plasma physics, MPI, ATI (field), Kledysh parameter, impact ionization (avalanche), electron density, rate equations, recombination, pondermotive force, pedestal/prepulse effects, electron-positron pair production, Wakefield particle accelerator. Applications include laser machining, Inertial Confinement Fusion.
– Light generation in solids: SHG, THG, high harmonic generation, Blackbody, Raman and Stokes, photoluminescence, fluorescence, continuum generation, diagnostic signature of interaction physics and material property. Applications include Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, EUV Sources.
– Self focusing and Filamentation in gas, liquid and transparent solids, connection with Continuum Generation in bulk glass/crystals, Continuum Generation in Holey Fiber. Applications include novel light sources.
– Asymmetric interactions underlying the ‘Quill’ effect and formation of nanogratings and birefringence in optical materials, relationship with pulse front tilt and grating compression effects in short pulse lasers: Applications include writing optical circuits, microfluidic and nanofluidic devices.

ECE1461H Advanced Laser Processing
Professor P.R. Herman
This course provides the fundamentals of laser processing and advanced topics in application areas pertinent to photonics, electronics, medical, automotive, aerospace, and general manufacturing industries. Topics include cw to ultrafast laser systems, common approaches to beam delivery systems, and fundamentals of laser interactions with insulators, conductors, dielectrics, plasma, and soft tissues. Photothermal and photochemical processes and heat-flow models are discussed in the context of traditional applications such as welding, cutting, marking, etching and rapid-prototyping. Advanced and emerging application areas are photolithography, corneal sculpturing, refractive-index control in glasses, micromachining, semiconductor annealing, circuit-board processing, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, photonic-components, and surface texturing.

ECE1463H Fiber Bragg Gratings
Professor P.R. Herman
Fiber Bragg gratings constitute key components in today’s optical communication networks, serving as high-Q notch filters, laser mirrors, dispersion compensators, add/drop multiplexers, couplers, and sensors. This course examines both practical and theoretical aspects of these basic devices. Topics include photosensitivity responses of transparent glasses, colour centre verses compaction models of refractive-index change, ultraviolet and ultrafast laser sources, fabrication techniques, fiber-grating theory, apodization, filters, chirping, fiber lasers/amplifers, and grating characterization. The practical application of fiber Bragg gratings in optical communications systems, sensors, and optical diagnostic apparatus will be surveyed. The course also examines emerging application areas, especially the shaping of two-dimensional optical devices inside planar waveguides and the formation of three-dimensional photonic devices using ultrafast laser light. Text: Fiber Bragg Gratings by Raman Kashyap (Academic Press 1999).

ECE1467H Integrated Optical Circuit Design
Professor J.S. Aitchison
The aim of this course is to equip graduate students with the skills necessary to carry out practical design exercises and produce integrated optical components. The course will introduce the numerical tools used to simulate waveguides, the material systems and parameters in common use and typical device configurations. Students will develop a practical understanding of basic integrated components, including: Y-junctions, directional couplers, interferometers and multi-mode interferometers (MMIs). The course will also consider typical approaches towards monolithic and hybrid integration.

ECE1473H Micro and Nano Fabrication Technologies for Compound Semiconductors
Professor A. Helmy

This course is designed to provide the necessary background for graduate students to use semiconductor fabrication techniques to realize photonic and optoelectronic devices and circuits. The topics covered in this course include; Pattern definition techniques where photolithography, electron beam writing, nano-imprint and laser beam writing will be studied. Pattern transfer technologies including wet chemical etching, plasma induced etching, focused ion beam and chemical assisted ion beam etching will all be studied. Thin Film deposition techniques for optical coatings, etching masks, isolation will be also discussed. Metal-semiconductor interfaces including aspects of Schottky and Ohmic contacts will be explained. Elements of mask design will also be introduced. The course will aim to provide hands-on experience in the ECE clean room situated in the NIT.

ECE1475H  Bio-Photonics
Professor O. Levi
This graduate course will review the field of Bio-photonics, and the interactions of light and biological matter. We will look at Bio-photonics from an engineering and physics perspective, and will review basic principles as well as the instrumentation (imaging and sensing systems) that are used in this field. This course is listed as a graduate course at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept. and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering. There are 12 two hour lecture sessions, a midterm (after ~ 9 sessions), and two seminar presentations by the students during the semester.

ECE1476H LEDs and Solar Cells
Professor E.H. Sargent

This course covers the fundamental and applied aspects of light-to-electricity and electricity-to-light conversion devices. Upon completion of the course, students will gain practical knowledge on the working principles and operation of light-emitting diodes and solar cells. We will begin by introducing basics of solid state physics and quantum mechanics and apply them to analyze P-N junctions, diodes and heterostructures. Fundamentals of light-emitting diodes will then be covered, including physical and optical properties, band diagrams, and characterization of devices and materials. In a parallel analysis, the focus will then shift towards photovoltaics, covering thermodynamic limits, device architecture, characterization and modern material advances. Analytical and computational problem sets will allow students to apply the course material to the practical study of devices, using semiconductor device modeling tools such as SCAPS. Knowledge of quantum mechanics, solid-state physics, semiconductors, and familiarity with a numerical computing software is helpful, but not required.

ECE1477H Optical Interconnects
Professor J. Poon
This course will review the background, developments, and state-of-the-art progress for short-reach optical interconnects.  The course will examine the motivations for incorporating optical communication links into computing systems, such as datacenters, servers, and multi-core processors.  Topics to be discussed include the components for optical transmitters and receivers (e.g., silicon photonics, vertical cavity surface emitting lasers, distributed feedback lasers), electronic techniques to boost bandwidths, approaches to electronic-photonic integration, link budgets and impediments, single-mode vs. multi-mode fibre links, and optically-enabled system architectures.  Current industry trends as well as the challenges and opportunities of optical interconnect technologies will be emphasized throughout the course.

ECE1478H Lasers and Detectors (formerly ECE525H1)
Professor J. Poon
This course focuses on photonic components which generate or absorb light. Lasers: spontaneous and stimulated emission, gain and absorption, gain broadening; modulation dynamics, mode-locking, Q-switching; semiconductor lasers. Photodetectors: absorption, photo-generated currents, noise in detection.



Photonics-Related Courses Available from Other Groups:

Course #




Electron Transport in Quantum Nanostructures

H.E. Ruda


Matter Wave Interaction

M. Mojahedi


Semiconductor Physics

N. Kherani


Optical Networks: A Systems Control Perspective

L. Pavel


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