ECE 4300: Lasers and Optoelectronics

Fall 2016, Cornell University



Prof. Debdeep Jena (web) & Prof. Clif Pollock (web)

Departments of ECE and MSE, Cornell University


Class Hours

MWF 10:10 – 11:00 am

Location: Bard Hall 140, Official Course Link

Office hours: TBD



ECE 3030 or permission of instructor.


About the course

Introduction to the operation, physics, and application of lasers. The course covers diffraction-limited optics, Gaussian beams, optical resonators, the interaction of radiation with matter, stimulated emission, rate equations, and laser design. Examples of coherent radiation to nonlinear optics, communication, and leading-edge research are frequently used.  Course concludes with a lab where students design and then build a laser.



+Be able to analytically design and physically construct a functional laser with simple optics.

+Be able to design a laser optic system using mirrors, lenses and gain media based on Gaussian beam analysis.

+Understand the general operating principles of laser systems, and be knowledgeable of specific systems (e.g. tunable, ultrafast, high power, fiber and semiconductor lasers).

+Understand how to design and the physics behind continuous wave operation, mode locking, Q-switching, and harmonic generation.



The following text will be required for the course: 

- Laser Electronics (Joseph T. Verdeyen, 3rd Edition)


Course related materials

+ Tentative course calendar

+ Supporting Slides [Note: the slides are not meant to replace the text!]

+ Handout 0: Course Information

+ Handout 1: Townes’ historical perspective on lasers (About Townes)

+ Handout 2: Schawlow’s historical perspective on lasers (About Schawlow)

+ Handout 3: Hansch’s article on Edible Lasers! (About Hansch)

+ Handout 4: Alferov’s article on Semiconductor Lasers (About Alferov)

+ Handout 5: Kroemer’s article on Heterostructures (About Kroemer)

+ Handout 6: Nakamura’s article on GaN LEDs and Lasers (About Nakamura)


Lecture Videos

Are available here.



1 – Assignment 1         posted: 08/31/2016      due: 09/14/2016                       solutions

2 – Assignment 2         posted: 09/16/2016      due: 09/26/2016                       solutions

3 – Assignment 3         posted: 09/28/2016      due: 10/12/2016                       solutions

4 – Assignment 4         posted: 10/14/2016      due: 10/26/2016                       solutions

5 – Assignment 5         posted: 10/28/2016      due: 11/11/2016                       solutions

6 – Assignment 6         posted: 11/14/2016      due: 11/22/2016                       solutions

7 – Assignment 7         posted: 11/30/2016      due: 12/09/2016                       solutions



1 – Prelim 1 [Practice Prelim]

2 – Prelim 2 [Practice Prelim]

3 – Final [Practice Final]



Email: djena at cornell dot edu if you have any questions