ECE 434

Electrical and Optical Properties of Materials
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, J., and K. 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:

  • Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering (high)
  • Ability to function on multidisciplinary teams (high)
  • Ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems (high)
  • Ability to communicate effectively (medium)
  • Recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning (low)
  • Ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice (low)
Prepared by: 
Kelly Potter
Prepared Date: 

University of Arizona College of Engineering