University of Illinois

Urbana Champaign

Electrical and Computer Engineering

 
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Fall 2013: ECE 198 EL1, "In a New Light: Hands-on Optical Engineering"

Course Description:  The purpose of this course is to introduce both science and non-science majors to major concepts in optical engineering in a hands-on, lab-centered, manner.  The labs will focus on major fields of optical engineering, such as optical communication, nanotechnology, imaging, lighting, and lasers, and will be buttressed by 2 hours of supplementary lecture each week.  Students will be introduced to major technical aspects of optical engineering, as well as the public policy, environmental, medical and health, and defense and security implications of this technology.   In addition, students will be exposed to UIUC’s storied history in optics and optical engineering, as well as current state-of-the-art research at UIUC, via a series of lab tours and guest lectures from UIUC faculty.

Grading

Lab Reports: 50%

Lab-based quizzes and assignments, attendance: 10%

Mid-Term Exams (x2): 20%

Final Project: 20%

Textbooks and Reading Assignments

No textbooks required for this course.  All exams and quizzes will be based on materials provided to students in lecture notes and lab manuals.

Required Reading:

"Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fruad in Physics Shook the Scientific World", By Eugenie Samuel Reich, http://www.amazon.com/Plastic-Fantastic-Biggest-Scientific-MacMillan/dp/0230623840

Supplemental Resources:

Optics, Ben Crowell (http://www.lightandmatter.com/lm/ )  Free online.

Optics, Eugene Hecht, with contributions by Alfred Zajac, (Addison-Wesley, 1987).

Labs
0.  Lab Intro

Introduction to the optics lab.  Description of optical components we will be using throughout the semester, gaining hands-on familiarity with optics, light sources, detectors, power supplies, etc.  Familiarity with safety equipment.  Each team will get their own breadboard for the semester.  Overview of laboratory protocol, including lab-notebooks, and note-taking.

Discussion of "Plastic Fantastic".

No Manual
No Lab Report.
1.  Build Your Own Spectrometer(2 weeks) Students will begin this lab by studying simple diffraction gratings and optical components.  As they become acquainted with the equipment, they will begin to construct a home-made spectrometer.  They will learn about basic optical concepts (diffraction, reflection, spatial filtering, wavelength, the visible spectrum).  The final spectrometer could be used to measure emission from LEDs or lasers.   Accompanying lectures will focus on the wave nature of light and basic interaction of light with bulk media and wavelength-scale geometries.

Spectrometer Lab Manual Link

Labview Program for Spectrometer Data Collection

Lab Report:  For this lab, your group will turn a 2-3 page brochure for the spectrometer you have built in class.  The brochure should descripe the operation of the system, it's specs, and should give examples of operation.  Include pricing information, as well as possible accessories for purchase!

See this example:  Horiba-JY i320

2. Holography (2 weeks)

Students will gain familiarity with the wave nature of light and working with lenses, mirrors, beamsplitters, and other basical optical components.  Students will build a Michelson Interferometer, which they will then modify to act as a holography set-up.  Students will expose holograms of 3D objects of their choosing, and then develop the holograms, and project them in the lab set-up.   Accompanying lectures will focus on the wave nature of light. 

Holography Lab Manual Link

Lab Report:  For this lab, you will turn in your Lab notebook.  Grading will be determined by the level of detail, legibility, and one simple question:  could someone recreate your results using only your lab notebook?

3. Nanotechnology (2 weeks) In this lab students will build an absorption/photoluminescence spectroscopy system. A PL/absorption system, using a hand-held fiber spectrometer, will be constructed using cage-rail optics, a white light source, a UV light-emitting-diode, and a handheld minispectrometer.  Students will characterize in-solution colloidal quantum dots of varying sizes, among other materials.   Accompanying lectures will focus on basic quantum mechanics, and nanotechnology in health and medicine, and energy applications.  Nanotechnology Lab Manual Link

Lab Report:  For this lab, you will prepare, as a group, a 3 page paper in the format of Applied Physics Letters describing the experiment undertaken, with figures, tables, data, etc. in order to present your results.

Example of APL publication (for format)

Template for Lab Report

4. Solid State Lighting (1 week) In this lab, students will study three different forms of lighting: Incandescent, Compact Fluorescent, and Solid State (or LED).  Students will determine electrical power requirements for each type of lighting system, as well as the optical power output of each light bulb.  Students will also look at the spectral output of each light source, as well as characterize each light source using a thermal imaging camera.  Accompanying lectures will discuss optoelectronic devices such as LEDs, lasers, and detectors, as well as concepts related to energy usage and conservation, and will encourage students to think broadly about global implications of consumer decision-making on products as seemingly trivial as lightbulbs. Solid State Lighting: Lab Manual Link

Lab Report:  For this lab, imagine you have been charged by President Obama to investigate solid state lighting: costs, benefits, implementation, etc.  For your lab report, prepare a position paper presenting your findings, and make policy suggestions for SSL implementation.  Please address technological, economic, and public policy issues relating to SSL, based on your data.

5. Introduction to Labview (1 week) A one-week introductory Labview Lab to prepare for the wireless communication lab.  Accompanying lecture will focus on very basic programming concepts. Intro to Labview: Lab Manual Link

No Lab Report

6. Build Your Own Optical Communication System (4 weeks) Students will learn how to write a Labview program which can output data to the serial port and look at the serial port output on oscilloscopes.  Students will then build a transceiver board which will use the serial port output to drive a laser diode.  The board will also detect signal on a phototransistor and return this signal to the serial port.  The final product of the lab will be a wireless instant messaging system, which teams will use to communicate across the lab! Accompanying lectures will discuss communication languages, systems and networks, as well as the communication system hardware.

Optical Communication : Lab Manual Link

Labview Instant Messaging Program

Lab Report: For this Lab Report imagine you are a reporter with the New York Times (a technology, education, or science reporter) tasked with writing a feature article about your lab group as it completes the wireless communication lab.  Your article should include the results of the lab and MUST contain technical (and technically accurate) material.  Past this, use your creativity!!  1000-1500 words.

Final Project
For your final project, you will choose a cutting-edge field of optics research and develop a well-researched 20 minute powerpoint presentation on this topic. You will present this to the class during our scheduled final exam time slot.  Presentations should include a scientific/technical discussion of fundamentals of this field of research, as well as the potential for this work to impact our everyday lives.  Students can focus on the discussed technology's impact in Health, Medecine, Communication, Security, Defense, the Arts, Journalism, Finance, Policy, Energy, Transportation, or any other field.
Course Calendar
August

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

 

1

2

3

4

7

8

9

10

11

26

Class Intro, Ray Optics: Fermat’s Principle, reflection, refraction

Lecture 1 pdf

27

28

Lab Safety Lecture, lab protocol

29

Lab Intro

30

Lab Intro

September

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

2

Ray optics applications: lenses, mirrors, imaging

Lecture 2 pdf

Spectrometer 1

Turn in lab books for feedback (no grade)

6

Spectrometer 1

Turn in lab books for feedback (no grade)

9

Failure of Ray Optics, Intro to waves

Lecture 3 pdf

10

11

Wave Optics: Wave equation, superposition, interference, wave packets.

Lecture 4 pdf

 

 

12

Spectrometer 2

 

13

Spectrometer 2

 

16

Wave Optics:

Diffraction, double-slit exp., Holography, Michelson Interferometer

Lab books returned with feedback (Rubric.pdf)

Lecture 5 pdf

17

18

Michelson-Morely Experiment and the Failure of Wave Optics: Intro to EM Optics, Maxwell’s Equations, Polarization

Lecture 6 pdf

 

 

19

Holography 1

20

Holography 1

23

Interaction of EM waves and matter.  Reflection, Fresnel Equations, failure of EM Optics.

Lecture 7 pdf

Spectrometer Lab Report Due

24

25

Photon Optics and the Introduction to Matter. 

Lecture 8 pdf

Midterm1concepts.pdf

Midterm1_S13.pdf

26

No Lab

27

No Lab

30

Matter: The atom, insulators, conductors, semiconductors.  Band structure.

Lecture 9 pdf

 

 

 

 

 

October

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

 

1

2

Midterm 1

 

3

Holography 2

4

Holography 2

7

Interaction of Light and Matter: Light waves and bound/free electrons, photons and light.

Lecture 10 pdf

 

8

9

Nanotechnology: quantum wells, quantum dots.

Lecture 11 pdf

10

Nanotechnology 1

Holography Lab Report (2) Due

11

Nanotechnology 1

Holography Lab Report (2) Due

14

Light Emission: Blackbody emission, Spontaneous emission, luminescence, the light emitting diode.

Lecture 12 pdf

 

15

16

Stimulated emission, the Laser

Detectors.

 

Lecture 13 pdf

17

Nanotechnology 2

18

Nanotechnology 2

21

Plastic Fantastic Discussion

22

23

More Lasers, detectors .

Lecture 14 pdf

24

Solid State Lighting

25

Solid State Lighting

28

Optical fibers, optical communication, communication networks

Lecture 15 pdf

Nanotechnology Lab Report (3) Due

 

29

30

Optical Communication Activity

 

Lecture 16 pdf

31

Intro to Labview

1

Intro to Labview

 

November

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

4

Quantum Communication

Lecture 17 pdf

5

6

The Diffraction Limit

Lecture 18 pdf

Midterm2Concepts

S13Midterm2

7

No Lab

8

No Lab

11

Midterm 2

 

12

13

Special Topics:

Lecture 19: Plasmonics

 

Final Project Abstract Due

14

Optical Communication 1

15

 

Optical Communication 1

18

Special Topics: Metamaterials

Lecture 20: Metamaterials

Solid State Lighting Report (4) Due

19

20

Special Topics:

Mid-IR Photonics

Lecture 21: Mid_IR

21

Optical Communication 2

22

Optical Communication 2

25

Thanksgiving Break, No Class

26

27

Thanksgiving Break, No Class

28

Thanksgiving Break, No Labs

29

Thanksgiving Break, No Labs

 

May

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

2

Nanophotonics

Lecture 22

3

4

Review

 

Lecture 23

5

Lab Tours

6

Lab tours

9

Final Projects Presentations

10

11

Final Projects Presentations

12

13

16

17

18

19

20