TFY4200 - Optics, Advanced Course


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
work 25/100
work 25/100
Oral examination 50/100 D

Course content

The physics of the interaction of light with materials, advanced polarization description of light, classical thin film optics modelling and introduction to Computational Electro-Magnetics (CEM). Overview of linear and non-linear state of the art spectroscopy and imaging methods in material science and bio-optics. Practical hands-on introduction to spectroscopic ellipsometry and modelling of optical properties of complex materials structures (e.g. multilayer stacks such as solar cells, quantum wells, antireflection coatings etc).
- Jones formalism and description of fully polarized light, with emphasis on the more general Stokes-Mueller formalism, depolarization and partially polarized light and methods for analysis of the Mueller matrix, and the application to analyzing/designing polarization sensitive spectroscopy and imaging methods, such as e.g. the spectroscopic ellipsometer.
- Linear optics, with an introduction to nonlinear optics. Luminescence and fluorescence. The physics behind the dielectric function. Functional properties of solar cells, lasers, LEDs. Quantum mechanical models for optical absorption and the dielectric function. Practical dispersion models for phonons, rotational spectroscopy, free carrier response, and electronic band to band absorption of amorphous and crystalline media.
- Temporal and spatial coherence. FTIR and OCT techniques.
- Formalism for modelling the optical response from plane isotropic, anisotropic, electro-magnetic, and bi-anisotropic layers: The airy formulas and the 2x2 Abeles transfer matrix theory for isotropic materials, and the 4x4 Berreman transfer matrix theory for anisotropic electro-magnetic and bi-anisotropic materials. Chirality, the Faraday effect and the Kerr effect. Magnetic materials and artificial meta-materials. Optical coatings. Bragg mirrors. Photonic crystals.
- Modelling of spherical and spheroidal particles (Mie theory). The quasi-static approximation.
- Nano-plasmonics and applications and effective medium theories (electromagnetic mixing theories) in relation to inhomogeneous materials through effective medium theories of granular media (including nanostructures).
- Modelling, excitation and applications of Surface Plasmon Polaritons (SPPs) and Localized Surface Plasmon Resonances (LSPR) (including discussion of CEM methods versus quasi-static models).
- Meta-materials and a discussion of selected applications. Models for artificial chirality and artificial magnetism.
- Periodic structures such as photonic crystals, diffraction gratings, diffractive optics, and metasurfaces. The Rigorous Coupled Wave Analysis method.
- Introduction to dielectric waveguides (laboratory).
- Introduction to the modelling of random surfaces and surface roughness.
- Introduction to the modelling and design of meta-surfaces and applications.
- Introduction to non-linear optics and spectroscopy, the nonlinear optical susceptibility tensor, and concepts in advanced imaging using non-linear spectroscopy.

Learning outcome

Solid foundation of classical thin film optics, classical optics of particles, and solid understanding of linear optical properties of materials in the frequency range THz to photon energies of 25 eV. Introductory notions of concepts of modern electromagnetism applied to photonic crystals, metamaterials and nanoplasmonics. Hands on experience with optical thin film spectroscopy and therein spectroscopic ellipsometry. Notions of non-linear optics and spectroscopy.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and demonstrations, problem solving and compulsory lab-work.
Expected work load in the course is 225 hours.

Compulsory assignments

  • Laboratory exercises

Further on evaluation

The final grade is based on portfolio assessment. The portfolio includes oral exam and works. The evaluation of the different parts is given in %-points, while the entire portfolio is given a letter grade. For a re-take of an examination, all assessments in the portfolio must be re-taken.
The course will be given in English if students on the international master program in physics are attending the course. When lectures and lecture material are in English, the exam may be given in English only.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Course materials

Lecture notes AND course literature based on e-books available through the NTNU library, and handouts. A special compendium can be ordered on request.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SIF4042 7.5
FY8915 7.5 01.09.2017
More on the course

Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2021

No.of lecture hours: 3
Lab hours: 3
No.of specialization hours: 6

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Optics
  • Physics
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Physics



Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment

Term Status code Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Summer UTS work 25/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD work 25/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS work 25/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD work 25/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS Oral examination 50/100 D
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Oral examination 50/100 D 2021-06-02
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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