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

This course contains 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). It aims at giving an overview of linear and non-linear state of the art spectroscopy and imaging methods in material science and bio-optics. The course includes a practical hands-on introduction to spectroscopic ellipsometry and modelling of optical properties of complex materials structures (e.g. multilayers stacks such as solar cells, quantum wells, antireflection coatings etc).
- The Jones formalism and the description of fully polarized light will be briefly reviewed, 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.
- The physics of the interaction of light with materials is a core component of the course. The course deals with principally linear optics, but with an introduction to nonlinear optics, in addition to a description of luminescence and fluorescence. The physics behind the dielectric function in the range Thz-IR-VIS-UV and VUV is given, and how functional properties in terms of solar cells, lasers, Light Emitting Diodes, can be optimized by careful control of the dielectric function. The relationship between quantum mechanical models for optical absorption and the dielectric function, and the discussion of practical dispersion models for phonons (vibrational spectroscopy in IR), rotational spectroscopy (IR-Thz), free carrier response, and electronic band to band absorption of amorphous and crystalline media.
- A model for temporal and spatial coherence is presented and related to the polarization state of light, and the FTIR and OCT techniques.
- We present the 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 generally bi-anisotropic materials. Therein understanding of chirality, the Faraday effect, the Kerr effect, magnetic materials and artificial meta-materials. Optical coatings will be studied and particular attention will be made on Bragg mirrors and discussed together with an introduction to photonic crystals.
- We present the closed form solutions for modelling spherical and spheroidal particles (Mie Theory) where the quasi-static approximation is outlined in detail.
- An introduction to 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) will be treated in detail.
- Modeling, excitation and applications of Surface Plasmon Polaritons (SPPs) and Localized Surface Plasmon Resonances (LSPR) will be discussed in detail (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 and diffraction gratings are discussed and the Rigorous Coupled Wave Analysis method is outlined.
- Introduction to the modelling of random surfaces and surface roughness.
- Introduction to the modeling 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.
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.

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.

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
FY8915 7.5 2017-09-01
SIF4042 7.5


Detailed timetable


Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment

Term Statuskode Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Room *
Spring ORD Work 25/100
Spring ORD Work 25/100
Spring ORD Oral examination 50/100 D
  • * 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.