PHY2034 Lasers, Materials and Nanoscale Probes for Quantum Applications 2017-18
Dr A.S. Plaut
Delivery Weeks: T2:01-11
Level: 5 (NQF)
Credits: 15 NICATS / 7.5 ECTS
Enrolment: 12 students (approx)


We are living in the age of quantum optoelectronics: optical-signal processing, high-power laser sources, optical amplifiers, single-photon manipulation, quantum confined-electron devices, etc.. This module will emphasize how our understanding of light and matter may be used to provide assorted optoelectronic devices, and also how they in turn may enhance our understanding of light and matter.

Module Aims

This module pre-dates the current template; refer to the description above and the following ILO sections.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

A student who has passed this module should be able to:

Syllabus Plan

  1. Introduction
    Brief historical survey
  2. Designing and Building New Materials
    1. Molecular-beam epitaxy - Layout of an MBE reactor, Atomic-monolayer growth conditions
    2. Band-gap engineering
  3. Materials Characterization
    1. Characterization techniques
      1. Reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED)
      2. Photoelectron spectroscopy
      3. Auger electron spectroscopy
      4. Secondary-ion mass spectrometry
      5. Optical spectroscopy
    2. Electron microscopy
      1. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
      2. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
    3. Scanning probe microscopy
      1. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM)
      2. Atomic-force microscopy (AFM)
      3. Near-field scanning optical microscopy
  4. Lasers and Amplifiers
    1. Absorption, spontaneous and stimulated emission, Einstein coefficients
    2. Three- and four-level systems
    3. Amplification and lasing - population inversion, optical gain and feedback
    4. Cavities and cavity modes
    5. Continuous wave and pulsed operation
    6. Gas lasers
    7. Liquid lasers
    8. Solid lasers: PN junctions as LEDs and lasers; Double-heterojunction and quantum-well lasers; Blue-green semiconductor lasers

Learning and Teaching

Learning Activities and Teaching Methods

Description Study time KIS type
17×1-hour lectures 17 hours SLT
2×1-hour seminars 2 hours SLT
1×1-hour laboratory visit 1 hours SLT
2×1-hour problems/revision classes 2 hours SLT
5×6-hour self-study packages 30 hours GIS
2×4-hour problems sets 8 hours GIS
2×4-hour preparation for seminars 8 hours GIS
Reading, private study and revision 82 hours GIS


Weight Form Size When ILOS assessed Feedback
0% Guided self-study 5×6-hour packages Fortnightly 1-7 Discussion in class
0% 4 × Problems sets 4 hours per set Fortnightly 1-7 Solutions discussed in problems classes.
100% Final Examination 120 minutes May/June assessment period 1-7 Mark via MyExeter, collective feedback via ELE and solutions.


The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of information that students are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Instructor(s).

Core text:

Supplementary texts:


Further Information

Prior Knowledge Requirements

Pre-requisite Modules Quantum Mechanics I (PHY2022)
Co-requisite Modules Condensed Matter I (PHY2024)


Re-assessment is not available except when required by referral or deferral.

Original form of assessment Form of re-assessment ILOs re-assessed Time scale for re-assessment
Whole module Written examination (100%) 1-7 August/September assessment period

Notes: See Physics Assessment Conventions.

KIS Data Summary

Learning activities and teaching methods
SLT - scheduled learning & teaching activities 22 hrs
GIS - guided independent study 128 hrs
PLS - placement/study abroad 0 hrs
Total 150 hrs
Summative assessment
Coursework 0%
Written exams 100%
Practical exams 0%
Total 100%


IoP Accreditation Checklist
  • Not applicable, this is an optional module.
Availability unrestricted
Distance learning NO
Keywords Physics; Laser; Electronic; Microscopy; Spectroscopy; Quantum; Characterization; Materials; Devices; Transmission; Light.
Created 02-Mar-16
Revised 01-Oct-11