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ELEC2228 Photonics I

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- To introduce the fundamentals of optical waveguides including optical fibres. - To foster a quantitative understanding of passive photonic devices and their design. - To introduce design of photodetectors and receiver circuits.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Basic concepts governing optical fibres and planar waveguides
  • Operation of key passive photonic devices
  • Use of photonics in optical interconnects
  • Operation of photodectors and receiver circuits
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the operation of many photonic devices, physically and theoretically
  • Develop analytical approaches to understanding photonic devices
  • Approach research into photonic devices
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Develop analytical approaches to understanding complex photonic systems
  • Use theoretical techniques for the solution of photonic problems
  • Design passive photonic devices in silicon technology using state of the art software packages
  • Understand techniques for the fabrication of photonic devices
  • Complete a formal report on laboratory experiments
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use knowledge of physics to understand the behaviour of photonic devices
  • Apply appropriate mathematical and software techniques to solve photonic problems
  • Understand the operation of photonic devices
  • Apply appropriate laboratory techniques to characterise passive photonic device


Optical waveguides - Planar dielectric waveguides - Loss mechanisms, propagation and insertion loss - Waveguide design (using the Lumerical software package) - Planar waveguide fabrication - Passive device characterisation Optical fibres - Step index fibre theory - Gradient index fibre theory - Optical fibre fabrication - Optical fibre attenuation - Optical fibre dispersion Passive optical devices - Couplers - Splitters - Filters - Interferometers - Resonators - Multiplexers Optical detectors - Photodiodes - Receiver circuits - Responsivity, bandwidth, noise

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will consist of lectures, laboratory, tutorial, and feedback sessions. The lecturers will use electronic voting systems for in-class testing and peer instruction learning. Students will learn basics of photonic modelling software packages and will characterise the designed photonics devices in a photonic laboratory.

Follow-up work14
Wider reading or practice36
Completion of assessment task14
Specialist Laboratory6
Preparation for scheduled sessions14
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

G. T. Reed (2004). Silicon Photonics: An Introduction. 

G. Lifante (2003). Integrated Photonics: Fundamentals. 

L. Chrostowski and M. Hochberg (2015). Silicon Photonics Design: From Devices to Systems. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  (40 minutes) 10%
Examination  (2 hours) 75%
Technical Laboratories  (6 hours) 15%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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