Chuang publishes new edition of textbook

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April 6, 2009

  • Professor Shun Lien Chuang published Physics of Photonic Devices.
  • The new version of the book has more topics, incorporates new device concepts, and introduces novel photonic devices.
  • The first edition has been used a number of prestigious universities.

Shun Lien Chuang
Shun Lien Chuang

A new edition of ECE Professor Shun Lien Chuang’s book Physics of Photonic Devices was recently published as part of the Wiley Series in Pure and Applied Optics. The book introduces the topic for graduate and upper-level undergraduate students in electrical and computer engineering, material science, and physics.

“Since the publication of the first edition, there have been significant advances in the field of photonics and optoelectronics,” said Chuang, who holds the Robert C. MacClinchie Distinguished Professorship in Electrical and Computer Engineering. “In this new version, I wanted to incorporate these new device concepts and introduce novel photonic devices developed over the years.”

In doing so, Chuang added topics that are new to this edition, including a brief history of the invention of semiconductor lasers, the Lorentz dipole model and metal plasmas, matrix optics, surface plasma waveguides, and optical ring resonators.  Novel semiconductor lasers, such as quantum-dot lasers, quantum-cascade lasers, photonic crystal lasers, and GaN-based blue-green lasers and LEDs, have also been added.   In addition, a new section on solar cells has been included.  The exercises and problems have also been updated.

Physics of Photonic Devices
Physics of Photonic Devices

Some items were deleted from the previous edition. “I tried to take out material that I felt had proven too mathematical for many students,” said Chuang. “I also shortened some sections. In all, I think I took about 30% of the previous text, but added about 40% new material. I think, though, that the changes together make it a better text.”

The first edition has been used a number of prestigious universities, such as UC Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, Harvard, and Cambridge University. Chuang thinks that the new edition will also find a wide audience.

Overall, it has been a relatively time-consuming process to update the text. “I’ve worked on this edition from 2000 to 2008,” he said. “But the first edition took 10 years to complete, so I’m getting faster.”

Chuang is an expert in the area of semiconductor optoelectronic and nanophotonic devices. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, IEEE, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Optical Society of America (OSA). He received the Engineering Excellence Award from the OSA, the Distinguished Lecturer Award and the William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award from the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society, and the Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He was an associate in the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois for the 1995-1996 school year.

Editor's note: media inquiries should be directed to Brad Petersen, Director of Communications, at or (217) 244-6376.

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