Introduction to Photonics

By Prof. Balaji Srinivasan, Prof. Shivananju   |   IIT Madras, IITM
Learners enrolled: 1273
Introductory course in photonics leading to more advanced courses such as Lasers, Optical Communications, Optical Sensors and Photonics Integrated Circuits. The learning objectives are: (1) Learn the fundamental principles of photonics and light-matter interactions, (2) Develop the ability to formulate problems related to photonic structures/processes and analyze them, and (3) Understand processes that help to manipulate the fundamental properties of light.

INTENDED AUDIENCE : Third or Final year BE/BTech, First year ME/MTech/MS/PhD

PREREQUISITES : Basic knowledge in Electromagnetics is preferred

INDUSTRY SUPPORT : Sterlite Technologies, NeST Photonics, Tejas Networks, Vinvish Technologies, BEL, CGCRI, RRCAT, DRDO – LASTEC/IRDE/CHESS
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • Photonics
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 14 Oct 2022
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 29 Oct 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 : Science of light – evolution, ray/wave/statistical/quantum optics 
Week 2 : Wave phenomena – Interference, Diffraction
Week 3 : Statistical properties of light - Coherence
Week 4 : What are photons? Photon properties - energy, flux, statistics
Week 5 : Interaction of photons with atoms
Week 6 : Light amplification
Week 7 : Laser fundamentals
Week 8 : Semiconductor junction characteristics
Week 9 : Semiconductor light sources
Week 10 : Semiconductor light detectors
Week 11 : Interaction of light with RF and acoustic waves
Week 12 : Nonlinear optics

Books and references

Fundamentals of Photonics, Saleh & Teich.   

Instructor bio

Prof. Balaji Srinivasan

IIT Madras
Balaji Srinivasan obtained his Ph.D. in 2000 from the University of New Mexico, USA. He subsequently worked as a Senior Development Scientist at Corning Incorporated, USA, where he led technology development efforts related to 3D Optical Cross-connects and Channel Selectable Tunable Filters. Since 2004 he has been with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras as a faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering, presently as Professor. Balaji’s research interests span the development of active and passive optical components / subsystems for fiber lasers and distributed fiber optic sensors. Balaji has co-authored more than 130 journal and international conference publications. He also has seven patents to his credit. He has successfully executed or currently investigating 24 research projects worth over INR 17 Crores (USD 2.6M) of funding, resulting in the development of 6 technologies, 3 of which have been successfully transferred to industry for commercialization.

Prof. Shivananju

Dr. Shivananju B. N. obtained his PhD degree from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore in 2014. He worked as a research fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies (FLEET), Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Monash University, Australia. He carried out his research work at Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication and Australian Synchrotron world-class facilities. Since 2020, he is working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, India. He is one of the 10 lead Chief Investigators of Centre of Excellence in Biochemical Sensing and Imaging Technologies (Cen-Bio-SIm), IIT Madras. He has authored or co-authored more than 45 international journals and conferences articles with more than 1,500 total citations and an H-index of 19 (Google Scholar). His research involves the investigation of two-dimensional materials-based photonics devices, optoelectronics devices, fiber optic sensors, polaritons, optogenetics, neural imaging, and healthcare applications. Shivananju serves as reviewer and guest editor of international journals.

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: 29 October 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 IIT Madras .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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