Electrical and Optical Properties of Materials
Fall 2015
Catalog Data: 

ECE 434 -- Electrical and Optical Properties of Materials (3 units)

Description: Properties of semiconducting materials as related to crystal structure, interatomic bonding and defect structures

Grading: Regular gades are awarded A B C D E

Also offered as MSE 434 and OPTI 434


Simmons and Potter, Optical Materials, Academic Press, 2000.

Course Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, the student will be able to classify optical properties and electrical properties of materials according to material type, structure and physical properties.

Course Topics: 

Waves and Wave Propagation Waves

  • Electromagnetic spectrum
  • Wave propagation
  • Dispersion and material polarizability
  • Kramers-Kronig relations
  • Phonons
  • Measurement techniques


  • Drude model
  • Band structure
  • Coloration
  • Measurement techniques


  • Harmonic oscillator
  • Schroedinger wave equation
  • Refractive index and dispersion
  • Reflection and transmission
  • Attenuation and scattering
  • Measurement techniques

Special Topics and Thin-Film Optics


  • Free-electron models
  • Band structure
  • Impurities
  • Optical response
  • Measurement techniques
Class/Laboratory Schedule: 

Two, 75-minute lectures per week

Relationship to Student Outcomes: 

ECE/MSE 434 contributes directly to the following specific Electrical and Computer Engineering Student Outcomes of the ECE department:

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering (High)
  • an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams (High)
  • an ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems (High)
  • an ability to communicate effectively (Medium)
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning (Low)
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice (Low)
Prepared by: 
Dr. Kelly Potter
Prepared Date: 

University of Arizona College of Engineering