All tracks begin with intensive summer course work in the area of study. To complete the master's degree, students in this track will also need to complete 30 internship credits and an additional 8 credits of course work. An overview of credits and requirements can be found on the Overview page of this website.

The Optical Materials and Devices Program is the latest addition to the Industrial Internship Program. Launched in 2007, the goal of this program is to prepare students for diverse opportunities and challenges in the expanding optics industry.

Our industrial partners represent many facets of the optics industry. This diversity of technologies allows our students the opportunity to work on a myriad of projects including optical thin films, fiber interconnects, integration/packaging of optical components, design and manufacture of high-power semiconductor diode lasers, fiber lasers, and many others. These companies are at the forefront of incorporating exciting breakthrough advances into new products and markets.

Students in this track typically have bachelor degrees in physics, applied physics or electrical engineering.

Overview of Summer Course Work:

As a student, you will work hands-on in teams to solve some of industry's toughest technical challenges. During the summer, you will develop communication and time management skills, research techniques, and a deep understanding of the equipment and materials used in the optics industry to ensure success in your internship and career.

An important aspect of the summer course work is to discover how to solve technical challenges involving the integration of complex components. Often, there are no purchasable or readily available solutions that allow you to successfully complete a project. Therefore, you will learn to design and machine novel components in our machine shop, build custom electronics and engage industrial experts to overcome technical hurdles.

In the final weeks of the summer, students will work in teams to fully assemble and optimize a fully functioning fiber laser and fiber interferometer from scratch - without faculty guidance. Through trial and error, experimentation, networking, and research, students will utilize their expertise in the following technologies:

The summer courses will be co-taught by faculty from Oregon State University and the University of Oregon. Classes will be taught at both campuses – transportation will be provided.

Topics Covered:

Optics fundamentals

• Geometric optics, ray optics and ray matrix formulation (Optical imaging, telescope design, microscope design, beam expander)

• Wave optics, polarization, diffraction, interference, mirrors, filters and anti-reflection coatings (Optical isolator, Michelson interferometer, Bragg grating simulation, Dielectric mirror simulation, thin-film deposition, sputtering, pulsed laser deposition)

• Electromagnetic wave propagation, complex index of refraction, absorption, dispersion (Thin film optics, spectrometer)

Optical cavities, resonators and guided wave optics

• Optical cavities and mode structure, Fabry-Perot resonators (HeNe laser beam into cavity, Fabry-Perot interferometer)

• Hermite-Gaussian beams (Gaussian beam characteristics, transverse modal structure in open cavity HeNe laser)

• Planar waveguides, optical fibers (optical fiber coupling, measure numerical aperture)

Solid-State, semiconductor basics

• Introduction to k-space and electronic band structure

• Electron and hole dynamics, carrier generation and recombination, pair injection

• Properties of semiconducting materials, density of states, carrier densities, etc

• P-n junction behavior under forward and reverse bias (measurement of diode I-V curve)

• LED operation, output flux, external efficiency, electrical efficiency, linewidth and modulation bandwidth (LED threshold current, determine band gap)

Laser basics

• Spontaneous emission, stimulated emission, threshold level, gain, saturation and peak gain coefficient

• Various laser geometries, confocal, concentric, Fabry-Perot, ring lasers, folded cavities and end mirror properties

Absorption and emission of light in semiconductors

• Inter- and intra-band transitions, direct and indirect transitions, optical joint density of states

• Laser diodes, spontaneous, stimulated and absorption rates in semiconductors, equilibrium emission spectrum, non-equilibrium emission under carrier injection

• Diode detectors, operation under various bias conditions, PIN, Schottky, heterojunction diodes, Avalanche diodes

Special topics

• Quantum-well lasers, VCSEL laser diode, Distributed Feedback Lasers, Distributed Bragg Reflector Lasers

• Acousto-optical modulators, Electro-optical modulators

• Ultra-fast optics, Non-linear optics, non-linear materials, parametric up and down conversion

Text and Reference Books:

Fundamentals of Photonics; Bahaa E. A. Saleh, Malvin Carl Teich

Optical Properties of Solids; Mark Fox

Fiber Optics Cabling; Barry Elliott, Mike Gilmore


David H. McIntyre, Oregon State University, Department of Physics: B.S., University of Arizona, 1980. Ph.D., Stanford University, 1987.

Nima Dinyari: B.S. in Physics, University of California Santa Barbara, 2005; Ph.D. in Physics, University of Oregon, 2012.

Walter Hurlbut: B.S. in Physics and Mathematics, Southern Oregon University, 1999: M. S. in Physics, Auburn University, 2003, Ph.D. in Physics, Oregon State University, 2007.

Bryan Boggs, UO Lecturer of Physics: PhD Physics, University of Oregon, 2012.


Photo of Mt. Hood by Zack Mensinger