• Length:
    8 Weeks
  • Effort:
    3–4 hours per week
  • Price:

    Add a Verified Certificate for $49 USD

  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
  • Language:
  • Video Transcript:


  • This course is intended for audiences with a background in the physical sciences or engineering.
  • Basic familiarity with the principles of Maxwell’s equations, covered in a first year class on physics, is needed.
  • Some working knowledge of integral and vector calculus, as well as basic linear algebra, is assumed.
  • Prior experience with basic programming techniques and algorithms is useful but not strictly required; pointers to web-based resources covering these background topics will be available.

About this course

Skip About this course

This course is an introduction to photonic materials and devices structured on the wavelength scale.
Generally, these systems will be characterized as having critical dimensions at the nanometer scale.
These can include nanophotonic, plasmonic, and metamaterials components and systems. This course
will aim to introduce students to computational techniques employed in current design and research
efforts in nanophotonics. You will learn the strengths and weaknesses of each approach; what types of
problems call for which one; and how your simulation will perform. Techniques include eigenvalue
problems, fast Fourier transforms, band structure calculations, rigorous-coupled wave analysis, and
finite-difference time-domain. Applications include photovoltaics, thermal management, radiative
control, and nonlinear optics. It is expected to be useful for graduate students interested in incorporating these techniques into their projects or thesis research. 

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Photonic bandstructures
  • Transfer matrices
  • Time-domain simulations
  • Finite-element methods
Week 1 & 2: Photonic Bandstructures
  • physical efforts of periodic media
  • Bloch solutions
Week 3: Transfer Matrices
  • transmissioin and reflections of multi-layer systems, with and without lateral periodicities
Week 4: Time-domain Simulations
  • leapfrog PDE solvers
  • Yee lattice
  • modern FDTD tools
Week 5: Finite-element Methods
  • Galerkin method
  • applications to photovoltaics
  • thermal management
  • radiative control

Meet your instructors

Peter Bermel
Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Purdue University
Haejun Chung
PhD student
Purdue University

Pursue a Verified Certificate to highlight the knowledge and skills you gain $49.00

View a PDF of a sample edX certificate
  • Official and Verified

    Receive an instructor-signed certificate with the institution's logo to verify your achievement and increase your job prospects

  • Easily Shareable

    Add the certificate to your CV or resume, or post it directly on LinkedIn

  • Proven Motivator

    Give yourself an additional incentive to complete the course

  • Support our Mission

    EdX, a non-profit, relies on verified certificates to help fund free education for everyone globally

Textbook included in the course: 
Photonic Crystals: Molding the Flow of Light
J.D. Jaonnopoulos, S.G.Johnson, J.N. Winn, and R.B. Meade
Princeton University Press, 2008
ISNB Number: 9780691224568