Spring 2017








Silicon photonics is a rapidly growing industry as well as an active area of advanced research. This course is built upon the ECE452 with the focus on practical applications of advanced EM concepts to silicon photonics integrated circuits. It combines the rigorous derivation of major physical concepts like matrix optics, waveguides, coupled mode theory etc. with the applications of these knwoledge towards the design of practical silicon photonic devices like passive wavelength filters, active switches and modulators for optical communications. The emphasis will be given to interaction of guided EM waves with electrical charge that is one of the main principles behind silicon photonics. This new class of photonic devices based on carrier-injection/depletion in silicon will be covered extensively.

This course is complementary to currently offered ECE441, ECE455, ECE465 and can direct to ECE536, ECE574 and ECE531 together with ECE540. Pre-requisite is ECE350 and ECE340.

Time Room Instructor Office Hours Office
12:30-1:50pm, Tue Thur 4070 ECEB Yurii Vlasov (yvlasov@illinois.edu) Tue 2:30 PM 1250 MNTL

Homework TA Aiyin Liu (liu141@illinois.edu) Office Hours: Wednesday 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM; ECEB 2030 (reception room on the second floor)

Textbook: Mostly based on classnotes.

First part of the course is based on S.L.Chuang, Physics of Photonic Devices, 2nd Edition, Wiley, New York, 2009.

Supplementary Texts

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 (12:30 - 13:50) ECEB 4070

Thursday (12:30 - 13:50) ECEB 4070

1/17 L1.Introduction, Maxwells equations. Boundary conditions. Time-harmonic fields (§2.1,§5.1, §5.2)  Slides   Notes   1/19 L2. Plane wave solutions. Propagation in isotropic media.(§5.3,§5.4)  Notes  

HW1 assignment   HW1 solutions  

1/24 L3. Wave propagation in lossy media. Lorentz model. Drude model.(§5.5)  Slides   Notes   1/26 L4. Plane wave reflection from a surface. Brewster angle, critical angle. (§5.6)  Notes  

HW2 assignment   HW2 solutions  

1/31 L5. Matrix optics.(§5.7)   Notes   2/02 L6. Propagation-matrix approach. (§5.8)    Notes  

HW3 assignment   HW3 solutions  

2/07 L7. Multilayered and periodic media.(§5.8,§5.9)(Class notes) Notes   Slides   2/09 L8. Symmetric dielectric waveguides TE modes. (§7.1) Cutoff conditions, dispersion relation. (§7.1)   Notes  

HW4 assignment   HW4 solutions  

2/14 L9. Propagation constant and effective index, Optical confinement factor. TM modes (§7.1)   Notes   2/17 L10. Asymmetric dielectric waveguides, (§7.2), Ray optics approach (§7.3)    Notes  
2/21 EXAM I 2/23 L11. Rectangular waveguides, TE and TM modes.(Class notes)   Notes  

HW5 assignment   HW5 solutions  

2/28 L12. Coupled mode theory. Coupled optical waveguides.(§8.2)   Notes  

3/02 L13. Applications of waveguide couplers. (§8.3)Optical coupler switch. Mach-Zehnder interferometer.   Notes   Slides  

HW6 assignment   Paper1   HW6 solutions  

3/07 L14. Coupling to waveguide: edge coupling, grating couplers, adiabatic coupling, evanescent coupling, spot-size converters. (§8.1)(Class notes)   Notes   Slides   3/09 L15.Optical ring resonators and add-drop filters. §8.4)   Notes  HW7 assignment  Paper1  Paper2  HW7 Solutions
3/14 L16. Waveguide loss, scattering, absorption, radiation. Bent waveguides. Y-branch splitters.    Notes   Slides   3/16 L17.Passive optical filters, Add-drop multiplexers. Waveguide Bragg gratings.    Notes   Slides  
3/28 L18. Polarization dependence and management. Waveguide polarization splitters and rotators. Optical isolation.   Slides   3/30 L19. Signal distortion in optical waveguides, group delay. Optical data communications basics: modulation formats, optical link budget, BER and penalties.   Notes   Slides  
4/04 EXAM II   

Midterm Exam 2 assignment  

4/06 L20. Electro-optical effects and Amplitude modulators. Thermal phase shifter, thermo-optic switch.   Notes part 1   Notes part2   Slides part2  
4/11 L21. State of the silicon photonics industry   Slides   4/13 L22. Review of PN-and PIN-junctions. Static properties. forward and reverse biased junctions.   Slides  

HW8 assignment 

4/18 L23. Carrier-Injection phase shifter. PN-junction carrier distribution, optical phase response, small signal response. Variable optical attenuator.   Slides   4/20 L24. Carrier-depletion phase shifter. PN-junction carrier distribution, optical phase response, small signal response.   Slides  

HW9 assignment 

4/25 L25. Micro-ring modulators, small-signal response, ring modulator design 4/27 L26. Traveling wave design of reverse-biased electro-optic modulator. Design tradeoffs. (HW9 Due)
5/01 L27. Photonic modulators: Figures of merit. Modulators for advanced modulation formats. 5/04 Reading day (no class)


Unless specified otherwise, homework will be assigned weekly on Thursdays on-line on this web page and collected a week later next Thursday in class. No late homework will be accepted (except when special permission is granted by your instructor before the due date).


Two midsemester exams (in class) and the final exam are scheduled as follows

Exam I Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Exam II Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Final Exam During the final exam week of May 09, 2017


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