Photonic devices are devices in which the basic particle of light—the photon—plays a major role. We consider four groups of photonic devices: light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and lasers (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation), which convert electrical energy to optical energy; photodetectors, which electrically detect optical signals; and solar cells, which convert optical energy into electrical energy. In this chapter, we focus on LEDs and semiconductor lasers. Photodetectors and solar cells will be discussed in the next chapter.
Specifically, we cover the following topics: