15 Credits AUTUMN

Pre-requisites: PHY332, PHY380

Aims/Description: The course covers the optical physics of solid-state materials. The optical properties of insulators, semiconductors, and metals from near-infrared to ultraviolet frequencies are considered, covering both established technologies and the latest developments in photonics. The infrared properties of materials are then discussed, and the course concludes with an introduction to nonlinear crystals. The module will be taught via lectures and problem classes.  The course first develops the classical model of absorption and refraction based on Lorentz oscillators, and then discusses the use of quantum theory to understand the absorption and emission spectra. The optical properties in state-of-the-art materials are discussed in the context of photonics research and applications. The topics covered include: Dispersion in optical materials, including optical fibres, Interband absorption,  Excitons,  Luminescence,  Low-dimensional materials,  Free carrier effects,  Phonon effects,  Nonlinear crystals.

Teaching Methods: Lectures, Problem solving, Independent Study
Assessment: Formal Exam

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Physics and Astronomy):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK