EECS Area IV Engineering Physics topic: Materials Area I Applied Physics and Devices: Photonics

Photonics is the modern science and technology of generating, manipulating, propagating and using light. Novel lasers and other sources permit the generation of light at wavelengths extending from the far infrared to the extreme ultraviolet and with characteristics that make possible a wide range of applications. Advances in materials, fabrication and device design create new opportunities for optimizing the interactions between photons and electrons and among photons themselves. Nanostructures, integration, and the quantum nature of light itself further extend the range of the capabilities of photonics.

Research in EECS at MIT comprises activities directed at advancing the full spectrum of these enabling technologies. Femtosecond lasers are developed for studies of ultrafast phenomena in materials and devices, for optical clocks and frequency combs, for arbitrary waveform generation, for photonic analog-to-digital conversion and for signal processing based on ultra-precise synchronization and timing distribution. Femtosecond lasers are also employed in nano-surgery for studying neural regeneration and degeneration, as well as for 3-D medical imaging via optical coherence tomography. High energy and high power few-cycle laser pulses are produced to study high intensity phenomena, to generate extreme ultra-violet and x-ray radiation and to extend capability into the attosecond time domain. Frequency swept lasers are developed for ultra-broadband imaging, and highly stable and frequency locked lasers are applied for fundamental measurement and quantum optics.

Device technologies being employed include fiber optics, III-V semiconductor heterostructures, organic materials, photonic crystals, and silicon nanophotonics. Research for communication applications ranges from designs of new device structures that generate, control and detect light, to studies of sub-systems and network architectures needed for future commercial advances, to methods for controlling quantum information and enabling quantum communication. The possibility of using silicon photonics to enhance communication and functionality within computers is also the focus of much exciting research.

Check the EECS section of the Open Course Ware (OCW) or for EECS classes on the MIT Catalogue section for Course 6. A number of undergraduate and graduate subjects address photonics. They include:

Undergraduate Subjects:

6.007 Fall, Spring Applied Electromagnetics: from Motors to Lasers
6.013 Fall, Spring Electromagnetics and Applications (meet with 6.630)
6.161 Fall Modern Optics Project Laboratory (meets with 6.637)
6.602 Spring Fundamentals of Photonics (meets with 6.621)

First Year and Introductory Graduate Subjects:

6.337J Fall Introducation to Numerical Methods (same as 18.335J)
6.630 Fall, Spring Electromagnetics and Applications (meets with 6.013)
6.621 Spring Fundamentals of Photonics (meets with 6.602)
6.631 Fall Optics and Photonics
6.637 Fall Optical Signals, Devices and Systems (meets with 6.161)
6.728 Fall Applied Quantum and Statistical Physics
6.673 Spring Introduction to Numerical Simulation in Electrical Engineering

More Advanced Graduate Subjects:

6.442 Spring Optical Networks
6.443J Spring Quantum Information Science
6.453 Fall, alt even yrs Quantum Optical Communication
6.634J Spring Nonlinear Optics
6.638 Fall, alt even yrs Ultrafast Optics
6.731 Fall, alt even yrs Semiconductor Optoelectronics: Theory and Design
6.789 Fall, alt odd yrs Organic Optoelectronics


The following seminars cover material relevant to the topic of Photonics in Area IV Engineering Physics:

Optics and Quantum Electronics Seminar
Wednesdays, 11am, room 36-428 (Haus Room)

Micro/Nan-Technology Seminar Series
Thursdays at 3pm, RLE Conference Center, room 36-462/428

Center for Integrated Photonic Systems (CIPS) Brown Bag Seminar Series
Thursdays at 12 noon, room, 36-428 (Haus Room)

NanoStructures Lab (NSL) Group Meeting
Fridays, 3pm, room 36-428 (RLE Haus Room)

The following laboratories provide significant resources for research emphacizing Photonics:

Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE)
Optics and Quantum Electronics Group
Nanostructures Laboratory (NSL)
Nanoprecision Deposition Laboratory (NDL)
Center for Materials Science and Engineering (CMSE)