Loction: 304 Weniger
Meeting Times: MWF 1400-1530
(4.5 class hours/week)
Fall 2019 Instructor: Matt Graham (web)
Email: graham --AT-- physics.oregonstate.edu
Office Hours: TR 1-2 pm, 375 Weniger Hall
Phone: 510.737.4386


CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Basic optical spectroscopy; interband excitations and emissions; low dimensional systems; excitons; phonons; Boltzmann transport, phonon and defect scattering, quantum transport, transport in magnetic field, localization, Mott-insulator transition; photovoltaics.

PREPARATION: This course surveys modern (literature motivated) topics in optical & condensed phase physics; any motivated student interested in the the topics is likely to do well in this course. The majority of students tend to be upper-year graduate students from the physics department, but students from any department or level are welcome. To get the most out of the material, knowledge of electromagnetism and quantum mechanics is assumed. Students who have not taken these courses are advised to email the instructor before enrolling. Undergraduate-level introduction to solid satate physics 575(Solid State) is strongly recommended. As this course emphasizes literature appreciation rather than exam-style problem solving, excellent performance might be possible regardless of your background.

Recommended Textbooks: Optical Properties of Solids, Mark Fox, Oxford Press (2010).
Band Theory and Electronic Properties of Solids, John Singleton, Oxford Press (2010). [Ch 1, 6, 9]
Background text: Solid State Physics, Ashcroft and Mermin

12/23/19 -- Thanks for all your great contributions this term!
Slides and linked notes have been removed [available upon request].

Class Items Covered Reading & Class Notes Problem sets Associated Scientific Literature & Links
    [class notes taken down] [taken down]  
1: 11/4
  • Spectra, dielectric functions, complex index of refraction
  • Reflectivity, Transmission, Absorption
  • Skin depth; optical and electronic

Fox Chap 1 + Appendix A



Dielectric and optical properties of silicon  
course syllabus

2: 11/6
  • Thin film interferenece
  • R and T coefficients
  • The electron gas plasma resonance

Fox Chap 1
or Dresselhaus Ch 1 & 2

  Supplement on applications of optical thin film interference: slides 2 
3: 11/8
  • Lorentz and Drude models
  • Microscopic description of polarizability
  • Drude transport conductivity
  • Kramers-Kronig relations

Fox Chap 2,
Singleton Chap 1

  Supplemental (M. Dresselhaus Notes): Kramers-Kronig derivation  
4: 11/11 -------------- [Holiday]      
5: 11/13
  • Lorentz model reveiw
  • Interband transitions
  • Interband absorption

Fox Chap 3
or Dresselhaus Ch 4,5


6: 11/15
  • Scattering rates in electronic transport
  • Electronic transport: diffusive vs. ballistic models

Kittel Cap 18
A&M Chap 13

7: 11/18
  • 1D electronic transport
  • Ladauer eqatuion and interference scatterings

Kittel Cap 18 [handout]
Fox Chap 5.1 to 5.3

  Literature (Nature 2001): Fabry-Perot interference in a nanotube electron waveguide 
8: 11/20
  • 1D electronic scattering
  • Tranport in lightly doped semiconductors

Singleton Chap 1
Ch 18 (handout)


PL rates, a blackbody approach, a blackbody approach
Literature (Nature 1991): PL from silicon 
Literature (Annu Reviews Dresselhaus 2007): Exciton Photophysics in Carbon Nanotubes

9: 11/22
  • Exciton models (Wannier and Frenkel)
  • Exciton & defect state spectroscopy
  • Mott insulators

Fox Chap 4
or Dresselhaus Chap 7



(APL, Kash & Shah 1984): Carrier energy relaxation in In0.53Ga0.47As determined from picosecond luminescence studies

(Nano Letters, Brus, 2010) Carbon Nanotubes, CdSe Nanocrystals, and Electron−Electron Interaction

Exctions  (adv. comp book chapter)

10: 11/25
  • Mott insulators and hopping conduction
  • Ramans scattering
  • exciton-polaritons


Video-Link: Semiconductor Exciton Polaritons

11: 11/27
  • Raman and Brillouin scattering
  • polarons, plasmons and polaritons
  • phonon-polaritons, plasmon-polaritons
  • pn junctions & the diode equation derivation

Chap 10 Fox


(Science Reviews, D. Basov, 2016) Polaritons in van der Waals materials

(Nature Comm, Atwater, 2017) Dynamically controlled Purcell enhancement of visible spontaneous emission in a gated plasmonic heterostructure

12: 11/29 -------------- [Holiday]      
13: 12/2
  • pn junctions & the diode equation derivation

Ashcroft & Mermin Ch 28-29

  Diode simulator, diffusion lengths

14: 12/4

  • pn junctions & the diode equation derivation
  • illuminated pn junctions
  • fill factor and solar power conversrion



Review of Doped Semiconductors: a very good lecture set.
A full course in solar pn junctions: PV Education
Cohen Lecture (UO) on Semiconductor Solar Cell Physics
5-min presentation rubric

15: 12/6
  • fill factor and solar power conversrion
  • optimal bandgap, Shockley–Queisser Limit
  • p-i-n, np, Schottky junctions



(Shockley & Queisser, 1960) Detailed Balence Limit of Efficiency for p-n Junction Solar Cell

S. Brynes: Mathematic: S-Q limit calculation

Optional Supplement: Schottky Barriers

Transistor animation [fill in all the equations, 5.5M hits]

(Yu, 2010, Adv E Materials) 7.4% Efficiency in thin film polymer organic solar cells

Final Exam        


Nov~Dec~ 2019 ~







11 Stat Holiday

13 PS1 Due



20 PS2 Due



27 PS3 Due

29 Stat Holiday

2 4 5-min elevator-pitch presentations

6 PS4 Due, Term-project turn-in


Final exam


Proposed Topics:  

Electronic Transport
–free electron gas, Boltzmann transport
–Drude model, diffusion, phonon scattering
-Quantum transport –scattering, 1D wire, Coulomb blockade
-Quantum to classical crossover –transmission, tunneling, localization

EM Field-Matter Interactions

Interband excitations and emissions

Optical Semiconductor Interfaces & Light Harvesting 

Advanced Spectroscopic Techniques (time permitting)