Textbook covers optoelectronic devices in depth

June 1, 1996
This comprehensive and rigorous textbook introduces the theory behind the design and operation of the entire gamut of optoelectronic devices. The text is divided into five parts: fundamental results, and the generation, propagation, modulation, and detection of light.

Textbook covers optoelectronic devices in depth

Physics of Optoelectronic Devices

Wiley Series in Pure and Applied Optics

Joseph W. Goodman, ed., John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York, NY, 1995, 717 pages, $69.95

This comprehensive and rigorous textbook introduces the theory behind the design and operation of the entire gamut of optoelectronic devices. The text is divided into five parts: fundamental results, and the generation, propagation, modulation, and detection of light.

The first part, "Fundamentals," presents the results of quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, basic semiconductor electronics, and band structure in semiconductors that are needed in the remainder of the text. The review chapters covering quantum mechanics and electromagnetism are considerably brief, only outlining the important results to be referenced later. A reader should already have a firm understanding of the complete undergraduate coursework in these two fields before attempting to pursue the rest of the topics covered. In contrast, the review of semiconductor electronics is on par with that found in nonspecialized sources, giving sufficient detail even for those unfamiliar with the field. The review of band structures in semiconductors is necessarily the most difficult.

The section on propagation of light is subdivided into three chapters. The first briefly covers propagation in isotropic and uniaxial media in a fashion adequate for the purpose at hand, but a greater variety of references than the two listed for this topic seems justified. Two chapters covering waveguides and coupled mode theory are particularly well-written, with helpful heuristic explanations and models. Also somewhat unique to this text are the sections on examples of waveguide-coupler applications and distributed-feedback structures, which are difficult to find elsewhere.

The generation of light spans only two chapters, but covers contemporary topics such as quantum-well lasers, coupled laser arrays, distributed-feedback lasers, and surface-emitting lasers. The theory of laser operation is treated entirely from the standpoint of semiconductors from the outset and gives this text a perspective unlike most other laser references.

The section on modulation of light contains excellent in-depth analyses of acousto-optic and electro-optic modulators, deriving most results in full detail. The chapter on electro-absorption modulators is particularly u¥to date, covering a topic that is not usually discussed in such detail.

The book concludes with a chapter on photodetectors that gives a brief summary of the typical devices and their practical applications. However, recent advances in quantum-well-detector technologies are also covered.

The general style of the text is that of a summary of the important results for a broad range of electro-optic devices. A unique and positive aspect is the text`s consistent attempt to work from first principles whenever possible. While the appendices give a more thorough derivation of some selected results, due to the breadth of topics covered, the reader is relegated to the extensive references for a majority of the required background material. While some topics of interest to the electro-optical-system engineers are covered, the text is definitely geared toward researchers desiring a rigorous, in-depth training in the theory and design of optoelectronic devices.

Robert J. Beeson

ROBERT J. BEESON is an electro-optical engineer at Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX 75265.

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