The University of Southampton

OPTO6003 Photonic Materials

Module Overview

The course will give a detailed and mathematical introduction to glasses and crystals, optical fibres, fiberized devices and sensors, detectors, nonlinear phenomena and their applications.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of the course is to provide knowledge of optical materials as a fundamental tool for understanding optical fibres, optical communications, sensing and nonlinear optics, in general.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • Understand the fundamentals of photonic materials and recognise the importance of photonic materials in device applications
  • Understand the design, fabrication and characterisation of photonic materials (single crystals, amorphous and glassy materials) and evaluate their interaction with light
  • Perform quantitative calculations on the properties of optical materials (loss, dispersion, nonlinearity)
  • Comprehend the basics of light propagation in waveguides and optical fibres, the fundamentals of optical fibre devices and sensors and a qualitative understanding of waveguide properties (singlemode vs multimode, dispersion, nonlinearity, active vs passive)
  • Design basic fiberised components and sensors
  • Understand the basics of nonlinear optics
  • Evaluate nonlinear properties of specific devices
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Appreciate the influence of materials upon the performance of optical devices and sensors
  • Understand the underlying physical principles that determine the way in which optical devices and sensors are designed
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Produce a scientific report on specific topics
  • Design a device and predict its performance
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Formulate and propose an appropriate material or combination of materials for device development
  • Design optical fibre devices/sensors and understand the tools required to fabricate them
  • Conceive nonlinear devices and their response


Materials in Photonics - Introduction - Single crystals, amorphous and glassy materials - Crystallography - Novel glasses and transparent glass-ceramics Materials Fabrication and Characterisation - Crystal growth and thin-film deposition - Structural characterisation - Thermal and Optical characterisation Light – Matter – Structure Interaction - Light–Matter interaction - Waveguide structures: planar waveguides, fibres and optical microresonators - Fibre loss mechanisms: Structure-property correlations Optical fibres - Guiding conditions - Optical properties - Specialty fibres and photonic crystal fibres - Fabrication Fibre gratings - Bragg gratings - Long period gratings - FBG and LPG applications Fibre devices - Fused devices - Optical Fibre Sensors Detectors - Silicon - III/V detectors Introduction to Nonlinear Optics - Nonlinear susceptibility - Wave Equation - Nonlinear interactions (SHG and phase matching) Nonlinear Fibre Optics - Short pulse propagation (NLSE) - Dispersion and nonlinearity (pulse solutions) - Gain Novel Fibres and Waveguide Devices (semiconductors and soft glass) - Material considerations - Engineering dispersion and nonlinearity - Applications

Learning and Teaching

Completion of assessment task21.5
Follow-up work13.5
Wider reading or practice55.5
Preparation for scheduled sessions13.5
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

C. J. Simmons. Experimental Techniques of Glass Science. 

G.P. Agrawal. Nonlinear Fiber Optics. 

E. Born & M. Wolf. Principles of Optics. 

R. W Boyd,. Nonlinear Optics. 

B.E. Saleh, & M.C. Teich. Fundamentals of Photonics. 

S. O. Kasap & P. Capper. Handbook of electronic and photonic materials. 

C. B Carter & M. G. Norton. Ceramic Materials. 

A.W. Snyder & J.D. Love. Optical Waveguide Theory. 

K. Okamoto. Fundamentals of Optical Waveguides. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 30%
Exam  (2.5 hours) 70%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: OPTO6007 OR ELEC3217

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.