This course discusses the interaction of light with solid materials. Initially, we will model atoms as classical dipole oscillators (“electrons on springs”). We will use the calculated behaviour of these model atoms together with Maxwell’s equations to obtain expressions for the frequency-dependent refractive index, absorption, and susceptibility. To improve on our model descriptions we will discuss the foundations of quantum mechanics and derive a quantum mechanical description of the refractive index.
Once our “toolbox” is formed, we will apply it to a wide verity of optical phenomena (excitons, luminescence, scattering) in various materials ( Metals, semiconductors & insulators) and discuss the effect of quantum confinement.
List of topics
- Maxwell’s equations
- Classical propagation of light in solids
- Band theory
- Phonons and electron-phonon interactions
- Interband absorption
- Free electrons (optical properties of metals)
- Quantum confinement effects
- Light scattering