1 Introduction and Overview

By many accounts, the field of electro-optics is progressing at a faster pace than the field of computer electronics. For example, when we hear of breakthroughs in storage capacities and playback speeds, we know that optical media provide the best performance. With this in mind, anyone new to this field can easily become discouraged when trying to determine, for example, how the compact disc player stores and plays back this information. As with any other area of science, learning the basics will provide a good start to understanding a seemingly complex application. All optoelectronic devices such as diode lasers, LEDs, and photodiodes operate on the physical principle of the interaction of radiation and matter. This ...

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