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Versione italiana
Academic year
Didactic period
Primo Semestre

Training objectives

The main goal of the course is to provide students with the basics for understanding the operation as well as the ability for the analysis of most widespread optical devices, such as directional couplers, gratings, frequency converters, modulators and laser sources, and provide an adequate introduction to nonlinear optical devices including the acquisition of the analytical tools for analysing the relative mathematical models.

The main knowledge to be acquired are:
- Linear coupled-mode theory for the description of the electromagnetic field at optical frequencies
- Knowledge of the main non-linear effects
- Fundamentals of dynamical systems applied to non-linear devices
- Laser theory and description of the propagation of laser beams
- Electro-optic effect and its applications

The main skills (ability to apply knowledge) involve:
- The ability to formulate mathematical models of the devices
- The ability to infer the behavior of linear and non-linear device using analytical and numerical tools applied to the relative mathematical model


Basic theory of electromagnetic propagation.
Knowledge of linear systems of ordinary differential equations.

Course programme

Linear coupled-mode theory: Directional coupler and resonant gratings: physical charateristics and mathematical models. Electromagnetic propagation in nonlinear regime and nonlinear effects in practice. Nonlinear coupled-mode theory. Approach to nonlinear models (theory and use of a computers). Application to second-harmonic generation in the depleted regime.
Optical resonators and gaussian beams. Matter-light interactions. Lasers and Masers. Semiconductor lasers and their description based on rate equations. Electro-optic effect and light modulation.

Didactic methods

Lessons will be conducted in the classroom for each topic covered in the course. Exercises are proposed and solved in the classroom during lessons.
Two or three guided overall training exercises with Matlab will be carried out in computer labs, where students can act individually or in a group of their choice.
Exercises are then left to the individual solution for verification of acquired knowledge.

Learning assessment procedures

The examination aims at verifying the degree of achievement of learning objectives.
It is left up to the student to choose between two types of examination
- An oral exam on the entire program carried out, with (typically) three questions on the main topics with possible verification of the ability to link between them.
- Carrying out a short thesis in order to verify the ability to analyze a descriptive model of a nonlinear device with an oral question concerning the remainder of the program.

Reference texts

Professor's notes (for free).
Further reading:
A. Yariv, Optical electronics in modern communications, 5th ed.,
Oxford University Press (Oxford, 1997).
G. P. Agrawal, Fiber-optic Communication Systems, Wiley (New York 1997)
J. T. Verdeyen, Laser Electronics, Prentice Hall (NJ, 1995