Fall 2021






Catalog description:Electromagnetic waves, optical waveguides, waveguide couplers, waveguide filters, electro-optical devices, modulators, photodetectors, optical communications.

Silicon photonics is a rapidly growing multi-$B industry as well as an active area of advanced research. This course will focus on practical applications of EM concepts to photonic integrated circuits. It combines the derivation of major EM concepts like waveguiding, coupled modes, pin junctions, with the applications of these knowledge towards the design of practical silicon photonic devices like wavelength filters, optical switches, modulators, and photodetectors for optical communications, biosensing, quantum and neuromorphic computing.
1. Passive devices : filters, converters, polarizers.
2. Active devices: modulators, switches, photodetectors.
3. Optical communications using silicon photonics.
4. Applications in biosensing, quantum, and neuromorphic computing.

Information for undergraduate students:
The ECE442 class has been taught for several years and it can be either taken in a sequence to ECE452 or as a stand alone class. The only pre-requisite is ECE350 or analogous class on basic EM concepts. Typically about third of each class were undergraduates that perform as good, or in a number of cases even better, than many graduates.
Undergraduate credit hours: 3

Information for graduate students:
An additional credit hour is given to graduate students for participating in design and testing of your own photonic integrated circuits. Report is required at the end of the course.
Graduate credit hours: 4

More information can be found on the EXTENDED COURSE FLYER (pdf)

Time Room Instructor Office Hours Office
9:30-10:50am, Tue Thur 3081 ECEB Yurii Vlasov (yvlasov@illinois.edu) Tue 11:00 PM 1250 MNTL

Homework TA TBA (tba@illinois.edu) Office Hours: TBD

Textbook: Mostly based on classnotes.

Supplementary Texts:
S.L.Chuang, Physics of Photonic Devices, 2nd Edition, Wiley, New York, 2009.
L. Coldren, S. Corzine, M.L. Mashanovitch , Diode Lasers and Photonic Integrated Circuits, Wiley 2nd Edition (2012)
B.E.A.Saleh and M.C.Teich, Fundamentals of Photonics, 2nd ed., Wiley, New York, 2007.

Tuesday (9:30 - 10:50) ECEB 3081

Thursday (9:30 - 10:50) ECEB 3081

L1.Introduction to integrated photonics: optical communications, short-reach and long-haul optical links, optical switching, economic drivers towards photonic integration  L2.Review of interaction of optical waves with dielectric interfaces. Boundary conditions, total internal reflection. 
L3. Symmetric dielectric waveguides. Cutoff conditions, dispersion relation. Propagation constant and effective index. Optical confinement factor.   L4. Asymmetric dielectric waveguides. Rectangular waveguides. Marcatilli and effective index methods. Types of silicon waveguides.  
L5. Coupled mode theory. Coupled optical waveguides. Power splitters. Mach-Zehnder interferometer.  L6.Optical ring resonators. Add-drop multiplexers. Wavelength division multiplexing.. 
L7.Cascaded MZI optical filters. Star couplers. Filters figures of merit.   L8. Computational methods for integrated photonics. Propagation matrix, finite difference time domain, eigenmode expansion. Design of waveguide structures.  
L9. Fabrication of silicon photonics. Waveguide loss, scattering, absorption, radiation. Dispersion in optical waveguides. Bent waveguides. Adiabatic mode converters.   L10. Coupling to waveguide: edge, grating, evanescent coupling, spot-size converters. Packaging solutions and economic/functional/power constraints.  
EXAM I L11.Polarization dependence and management. Waveguide polarization splitters and rotators. Optical isolation. 

L12.Electro-optical effects. Phase and amplitude modulators. Index modulation in silicon. Thermal phase shifter, thermo-optic switch.  

L13.Franz-Keldysh effect and FK electrooptical modulators.  
L14. Review of PN-and PIN-junctions. Junction diode static and transient characteristics. Carrier-induced electro-optical effects   L15.Carrier-Injection phase shifter. PN-junction carrier distribution, optical phase response, small signal response. Forward biased PIN junction variable optical attenuator.  
L16. Micro-ring modulators and switches, small-signal response, ring modulator design.   L17.Carrier-depletion phase shifter. PN-junction carrier distribution, optical phase response, small signal response.  
L18. Traveling wave design of reverse-biased electro-optic modulator. Design tradeoffs.  L19. Signal distortion in optical waveguides, group delay. Dispersion engineering.  
EXAM II L20. Introduction to short-reach and long-haul optical communications. Modulation formats, receiver and transmitter characteristics, optical link budget, BER and penalties 
L21. Photonic modulators: Figures of merit. Modulators for advanced modulation formats.   L22. Germanium photodetectors. Fabrication approaches. Receiver figures of merit  
L23. III-V integration with silicon photonics. Integrated lasers and amplifiers. Transmitter figures of merit.  L24. Introduction to data center optical networks. Optical switching. Optical switches. 
L25. Optical nonlinearities in silicon waveguides. Applications of nonlinear effects in silicon photonics. Wavelength converters. Frequency comb generators.   L26. Emerging applications of Si photonics in quantum computing, neuromorphic computing, and biological sensing. Comparison of technological advantages and business models  
L27. State of silicon photonics industry. Skills and competencies.   Reading day (no class)


Homework and Class Participation 20% of total
Midterm Exam I 25% of total
Midterm Exam II 25% of total
Final Exam 30% of total