Optical Spectroscopy and Microscopy : Fundamentals of optical measurements and instrumentation

By Prof. Balaji Jayaprakash   |   IISc Bangalore
Learners enrolled: 656
Optical spectroscopy and microscopy plays a very vital role in modern day research. Due to extensive commercialization and the cost associated with usage of these instruments most often these instruments are bought and used as turn key systems. While this has served the academic as well as industrial usage very effectively, it is very limiting when it comes to understanding the inner workings of these equipment. Specifically, understanding the inner working would help the user to push the boundaries of technical capability and perhaps come up with new technology. In this course I am planning to teach the foundations of spectroscopy from the viewpoint of light matter interaction and demonstrate the working of these instruments in a lab setting through teach them how to build some of these systems. It is unique course in which I am planning to give theoretical foundation as well as practical aspects of the building a scientific equipment from ground up.
INTENDED AUDIENCE : Life Science, Photonics, Instrumentation
INDUSTRY SUPPORT : Carl Zeiss, Leica, DSS Image Tech, Olympus, Nikkon, Optica, Holmarc
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Biological Sciences & Bioengineering
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Photonics
Credit Points : 3
Level : Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 23 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Essential Quantum Mechanics: Uncertainity Principle, Probabilistic nature of measurement, postulates of qmech, Stern Gerlach equivalent in light, Photon picture (PMT response), Linear Vector Space.
Week 2: Time dependent perturbation theory, Fermi Golden Rule, Transition probability in light matter interaction, Beer Lambert relation, Einestin’s phenomenolgical treatment, A and B coefficients, Spontaneous emission, Origins of fluorescence
Week 3: Nature of Fluorescence, Emisson spectrum, Absorption spectrum, Anisotropy, Life time, FRET
Week 4: Second quantaisation, creation and anhilation operators, Fock states, light matter interaction in Feynman digrams
Week 5: Spontaneous emission orgin, Stimulated Emission origin dependence through Fock states
Week 6: Laser emission, two state, three state and four state laser systems
Week 7: Real world lasers, Charecteristics of laser emission, thershold behavior, Laser gain equation, CW operation, Pulsed lasers, Qswitching, mode locking, Saturable absorber
Week 8: Laser induced fluorescence, optical components (lenses, mirrors, gratings, prisms) and their working principles, Interference filters, dichroic filters, efficiency calculations for SNR improvement, aligning an optical equipment.
Week 9: Intro to optical hardware, common opto-mechanical assemblies, setting up a simple laser based spectrometer using gratings in lab, calibration and acqusition of fluorescein spectra.
Week 10: Principles of photo detection, QE, Dynamic range shot noise, photodetectors – PMTs, photodiodes, photo resistors, understanding common metrics and specs. Detection electronics – preamps, A2Ds
Week 11: Area detectors, CCDs, emCCDs, sCMOS, comparison, read noise, speed and other sensor charecteristics. Theory of Image formations – widefiled microscopy, bright field, phase contrast, DIC and fluorescence microscopy
Week 12: Scanning system: Principles of scanning system, Gaussian light progation and focussing, optical resolution, deinition in xy and z. Measurement and charecetrisation in lab. Scanning as time averaged focus, optical hinges, imaging of hinges, Confocal microscope

Books and references

1. Optical Spectroscopy (Demtroder), Quantum Electronics – Yariv, Building Scientific Apparatus – WJ Moore

Instructor bio

Prof. Balaji Jayaprakash

IISc Bangalore
Dr. Balaji Jayaprakash Assistant Professor, Centre for Neuroscience, Indian Institute of Science

Research: Learning and Memory

Post Doctoral Fellow with Prof. Silva, Department of Neurobiology, UCLA, Los Angeles, July 2007- Dec 2011
Post Doctoral Fellow with Prof. Ryan, Department of Biochemistry, Weil Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY - 10021. USA, 2005 - 2007
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Visiting Fellow, 2004 - 2005
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Ph.D. (Chemistry), 2004

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 23 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IISc Bangalore.It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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