This course will present some of the core advanced methods in the field for structure discovery, classification and non-linear regression. This is an advanced class in Machine Learning; hence, students are expected to have some background in the field.


Students analyse the fundamental characteristics of optical detectors. Thermal and photoemissive devices as well as photodiodes and infrared sensors are studied. CCD and CMOS cameras are analysed in detail. Single photon detection is explained.


  • Introduction: Electromagnetic radiation, radiometric quantities, interaction of light with matter, classification of detectors, noise sources, detector figures of merit.
  • Opticla methods: few examples: Synchrone detection and interferometers, position sensors, 3D imaging, Fourier optics and microscopy.
  • Thermal detectors: Basic relationships, bolometers, thermocouples, pyroelectric detectors, applications.
  • Photoemissive detectors: External photoeffect, vacuum photodiodes, photomultipliers, microchannels, applications
  • Photovoltaic detectors: Photodiodes (p-n diodes, p-i-n diodes, schottky diodes), avalanche photodiodes, noise sources, ultimate limits of photovoltaic photodectection.
  • Ultra-fast photodiodes: interface electronics, bandwidth, travelling wave photodiodes, Bit-Error-Rate, eye diagram, telecom applications.
  • CCD cameras: Charge Coupled Devices (CCD): CCD principles and building blocks, CCD charge transport and image sensor architectures
  • CMOS cameras: Photocharge detection, photodiodes in CMOS, traditional MOS photodiodes array sensor architectures, noise in photo detection systems, the APS (Active Pixel Sensor).
  • Infrared detectors: Photoconductors, MCT cameras, QWIP.
  • Single photon detection: PMT and photon counting, intensified CCD, electron bombarded CCD, electron multiplying CCD, SPAD and avalanche effect.


Photodetectors, photodiodes, CCD cameras, CMOS cameras, single photon


This course aims at providing engineering and design guidelines for selected Photonic Micro- and Nanosystems. In particular, Optical MEMS and Integrated Photonics will be reviewed. Standard fabrication processes and related design approaches will be introduced and product aspects will be discussed.


  • Introduction: Course Overview; Review of Relevant Optics, Fabrication Technologies, MEMS/NEMS Actuation Mechanisms; Fiber vs. Waveguide vs. Free Space; Integrated Optics Material Systems and Wavelengths.
  • Micromirrors, Scanners, Projectors, Displays: Reflective Coatings, Distributed Bragg Reflectors, High Contrast Gratings; Mechanical and Optical Design Constraints and Tradeoffs; Scanning and Projection Systems based on Micromirrors; Interference Modulator Display; MEMS Shutter Display; Design Tradeoffs (Angle, Size, Speed, Resolvable Spots, Optical Throughput, Power').
  • Spatial Light Modulators: Technologies, Performance and Applications: Liquid crystal, MEMS, Micro Mirrors, Grating light valve (GLV), Magneto Optic, Quantum Well, Optical Phased Arrays.
  • Photonic Switches: Telecommunication Applications, Definition of Key Performance Figures, 2D Switches, Wavelength Selective Switches, Optical Cross Connects
  • Tunable Lasers: Tuning Mechanisms and Configurations, Design and Performance (Noise, Power, Tuning Range, Linewidth, Response Time, ')
  • Microspectrometers, Filters, Sensors: Dispersive Systems, Gratings, FTIR, Fabry Pérot Filters, Resonant Cavity Enhanced Detectors, Sensors.
  • Silicon Photonics: Platforms and `Standard' Fabrication Processes, Waveguide Design, Loss Mechanisms, Grating Couplers, Edge Couplers, Adiabatic Couplers, Source, Modulator, Detector, Interferometers, Switches, Polarization Rotators, Combiners, Splitters, Resonators, Filters; Silicon Photonic Switches.
  • Integrated Photonic Systems: Promise of integration; Transceivers and LIDAR-on-Chip example systems.
  • Engineering Approaches for Photonic Micro- and Nanosystems: Process and Design, Fab vs. Fabless, Commercially Available Standard Processes (MPW, MUMPs, MOSIS, CMOS, Review of MEMS / SiPh Foundries), Design Tool Examples, Pricing, Scheduling.
  • Photonic System Packaging: Assembly Strategies, Interfaces: Optical, Electrical, Thermal, Mechanical, Hermeticity.