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Introducing optoelectronics through automated characterisation of devices and virtual measurement software

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4 Author(s)
J. Dunne ; Dept. of Electron. & Electr. Eng., Univ. Coll. Dublin, Ireland ; T. Farrell ; D. McDonald ; R. O'Dowd

It is widely accepted that experimental work is essential for the student engineer. However, in the area of optoelectronics, the scope of many experiments has been limited by the issues of safety for the student, and the cost and complexity of the instruments and devices required. A step has been taken towards overcoming these limitations with the development of an integrated software environment for the automated characterisation of semiconductor lasers. This paper will firstly describe the software which has been developed. This is followed by a description of a brief introductory study whereby a small number of students compared their experiences of an experimental demonstration with that of a lecture oriented approach. An attempt is made to quantify their reaction through a short test paper however the main purpose of the study was to illustrate the feasibility of the concepts described. The network capabilities of the software can be used as a basis for a set of undergraduate experiments. Many students would have remote access to a single measurement set-up over a computer network. Alternatively, virtual measurements may be used by allowing students access to a database of laser data previously collected. Both proposals address the issues of safety and cost and thus the software developed offers a much wider scope for the introduction of optoelectronic experimental work

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 4 )