ECE 616: Ultrafast Optics

By Andrew M Weiner

Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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Introduction and review
Ultrashort pulse generation techniques
Mode-locking: overview
Active mode locking
Passive mode locking
Measurement techniques
Correlation techniques
Time-frequency methods
Noise and jitter
Dispersion and its compensation
Material dispersion
Angular dispersion devices
Dispersion of mirror structures
Ultrafast nonlinear optics
Nonlinear propagation equation
Self-phase modulation
Pulse compression
Higher order effects
Further topics in mode-locked lasers
Soliton effects in lasers
Frequency combs
Ultrashort pulse manipulation
Pulse shaping
Chirp processing
Ultrafast Spectroscopy

Text: Ultrafast Optics (Wiley, 2009), ISBN 978-0-471-41539-8


Andrew M. Weiner Andrew M. Weiner graduated from M.I.T. in 1984 with an Sc.D. in electrical engineering. Upon graduation he joined Bellcore, first as Member of Technical Staff and later as Manager of Ultrafast Optics and Optical Signal Processing Research. Prof. Weiner moved to Purdue University in 1992 and is currently the Scifres Family Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research focuses on ultrafast optics signal processing and applications to high-speed optical communications and ultrawideband wireless. He is especially well known for his pioneering work on programmable femtosecond pulse shaping using liquid crystal modulator arrays.

Prof. Weiner is author of a textbook entitled Ultrafast Optics (Wiley, 2009), has published six book chapters and approximately 250 journal articles, and is inventor of 13 U.S. patents. Prof. Weiner is a Fellow both of the Optical Society of America and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He has won numerous awards for his research, including the Hertz Foundation Doctoral Thesis Prize (1984), the Adolph Lomb Medal of the Optical Society of America (1990), the Curtis McGraw Research Award of the American Society of Engineering Education (1997), the International Commission on Optics Prize (1997), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists (2000), and the IEEE Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award (2011). He is joint recipient, with J.P. Heritage, of the IEEE LEOS William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award (1999) and the OSA R.W. Wood Prize (2008) and has been recognized by Purdue University with the inaugural Research Excellence Award from the Schools of Engineering (2003) and with the Provost's Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor Award (2008). In 2009 Prof. Weiner was named a U.S. Dept. of Defense National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow. Additionally, a number of Prof. Weiner’s 27 graduated Ph.D. students have been selected for graduate student awards & fellowships from the IEEE Photonics Society and Optical Society of America.

Prof. Weiner has served as Co-Chair of the Conference on Lasers and Electro-optics and the International Conference on Ultrafast Phenomena, as Secretary/Treasurer of the IEEE Lasers and Electro-optics Society (LEOS), and as a Vice-President of the International Commission on Optics (ICO). He has also served as Associate or Topical Editor for Optics Letters, IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, and IEEE Photonics Technology Letters. Prof. Weiner is currently serving as Chair of the National Academy of Engineering’s U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Meeting.


This online course is made available on by NSF grant ECCS-1102110, High Repetition Rate Photonic Frequency Combs and Applications.


  • Ultrafast Optics

    Ultrafast Optics

    by Andrew M. Weiner (Wiley Online Library - October 28, 2008)

    This book fills the need for a thorough and detailed account of ultrafast optics. Written by one of the most preeminent researchers in the field, it sheds new light on technology that has already had a revolutionary impact on precision frequency metrology, high-speed electrical testing, biomedical imaging, and in revealing the initial steps in chemical reactions.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Andrew M Weiner (2011), "ECE 616: Ultrafast Optics,"

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ECE 117, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


Lecture Number/Topic Online Lecture Video Lecture Notes Supplemental Material Suggested Exercises
ECE 616 Lecture 1: Introduction to Ultrafast Optics View Notes (pdf) Homework 1 (Lectures 1-3)
ECE 616 Lecture 2: Laser Basics View
ECE 616 Lecture 3: Introduction to Short Pulse Generation via Mode-Locking View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 4: Active Mode-Locking: Time Domain Treatment View Notes (pdf) Homework 2 (Lectures 4-6)
ECE 616 Lecture 5: Active Mode-Locking: Frequency Domain Treatment View
ECE 616 Lecture 6a: Passive Mode-Locking with Saturable Absorbers I View
ECE 616 Teaching Materials: Homework Assignments (Fall 2011)
ECE 616 Lecture 6b: Passive Mode-locking with Saturable Absorbers II View
ECE 616 Lecture 7: Solid-State Laser Mode-Locking Using the Optical Kerr Effect View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 8: Solid-State Laser Mode-Locking Including Phase Effects View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 9: Ultrashort Pulse Measurement: Introduction and Electric Field Autocorrelation View Notes (pdf) Homework 3 (Lectures 9-12)
ECE 616 Lecture 10: Intensity Autocorrelation I View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 11: Intensity Autocorrelation II View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 12: Electric Field Cross-Correlation and Spectral Interferometry View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 13: Chirped Pulses and Measurement in the Time-Frequency Domain View Notes (pdf) Homework 4 (Lectures 13-16)
ECE 616 Lecture 14: Frequency-Resolved Optical Gating (FROG) View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 15: Characterization of Noise and Jitter View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 16: Dispersion View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 17: Temporal Dispersion Based on Angular Dispersion View Notes (pdf) Homework 5 (Lectures 17-22)
ECE 616 Lecture 18: Dispersion with Grating and Prism Sequences View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 19: Frequency Dependent Storage Time View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 20: Propagation Equation for Nonlinear Refractive Index Media View
ECE 616 Lecture 21: Self-phase-modulation View
ECE 616 Lecture 22: Pulse Compression and Solitons View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 27: Fourier Transform Pulse Shaping View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 29: Ultrafast Spectroscopy View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 30: Coherent Polarization Effects and Dephasing View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 23a: High Order Propagation Effects - Delayed Nonlinear Index and Raman Scattering View
ECE 616 Lecture 23b: High Order Propagation Effects - Delayed Nonlinear Index and Raman Scattering View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 28: Space-time Duality and Temporal Imaging View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 24: Soliton Effects in Mode-Locked Lasers with Fast Self-Amplitude-Modulation View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 25: Mode-Locked Frequency Combs View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Lecture 26: Ultrashort Pulse Amplification View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Student Presentation: Dual-Comb Spectroscopy View HTML
View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Student Presentation: Ultrafast Non-linear Plasmonics View HTML
View Notes (pdf)
ECE 616 Student Presentation: MIIPS - Pulse-Shaper Enabled Pulse Measurement and Shaping View HTML
View Notes (pdf)