Microelectronics and Photonics

The tremendous advances in computers, personal electronics, electronic automotive systems, cell phones and smart phones, and lasers have been spurred by developments in the Microelectronics and Photonics area of Electrical Engineering. This area concerns itself with the development of the electronic and photonic devices that generate, detect, transmit, distribute, modulate and amplify electrical energy and information. Based on a strong knowledge of physics, optics, electromagnetic theory and the properties of materials, tremendous strides have been made in the development of transistors, integrated circuits, lasers and optical components and systems. Furthermore, advances in developing photonic devices and an improved understanding of the underlying physical principles (quantum electronics and nonlinear optics) have led to reliable and increasingly sophisticated applications in optical communications, displays, solid state lighting, sensors and medicine. The effect of such advances has revolutionized the electronics and photonics industries and continues to play a dominant role in the electrical engineering profession.

The electrical engineering student who is prepared to work in this field can be assured of working in an exciting and fast-moving field. Certainly, the demand for professional competence in electronic and photonic device development and fabrication continues to grow with each passing year as the impact of new device technology is felt in the industrial and consumer marketplaces. Graduates of this program are leaders in the design of electronic and photonic devices and systems and the integration of such devices in systems. The demand for sophisticated electronic products will continue to require the efforts of many electrical engineers prepared to work in the physical electronics area.

Microelectronics and Photonics includes a variety of topics such as those listed below:
Fiber Optics and Optical Communication, Gas Discharge Phenomena, Integrated Circuit Design and Fabrication, Lasers (Semiconductor, Gas, Molecular and Solid State), Integrated Photonic Devices, Linear and Non-Linear Optics, Nanoelectronics, Optoelectronics, Plasma and Material Processing, Semiconductor Device Design and Process Development, Semiconductor Physics and Computational Electronics, Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, Bioelectronics and Biophotonics.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of these topics, supplementary courses in physics and mathematics are always useful. Within electrical engineering, there are a number of courses available in this area. The curriculum has a common format for the first four semesters which are listed below with their location in the curricula as follows:

Semester 6

ECE 444

Semester 7

ECE 441, ECE 455, ECE 495

Semester 8

ECE 460, ECE 487, ECE 488

Other Suggested Technical Electives

  • CS 357 - Numerical Methods I
  • ECE398KC - Introduction to Photonics
  • ECE 447 - Active Microwave Circuit Design
  • ECE 452 - Electromagnetic Fields and Electro-Optics
  • ECE 457 - Microwave Devices and Circuits
  • ECE 484 - Advanced Microelectronics Processing
  • ECE498LG/446 - Principles of Experimental Research
  • ECE498MF - Semiconductor LEDs and Solar Cells
  • ME 300 - Thermodynamics
  • MATH 446 - Applied Complex Variables 87
  • PHYS 460 - Condensed Matter Physics
  • PHYS 486 - Quantum Physics, I
  • PHYS 487 - Quantum Physics, II

Core Faculty in this area