This 14-week course, which includes both online and in-class components, gives an overview of modern photonic manufacturing processes and covers necessary background material for subsequent courses. The course discusses basic safety and ethics considerations, employment opportunities, communication skills, and a review of basic technical mathematics, problem solving skills, and software (Microsoft Excel and Office). The course includes several visits to MIT for photonic manufacturing “bootcamp” days that involve demonstrations and hand-on experiences introducing a sampling of advanced topics.

The working operations of DC and AC analog electrical components as discrete devices and as part of larger electrical circuits and systems will be covered in parallel with hands-on experimentation in the lab employing basic measure and test equipment. Basic ideas and applications of ADC and DAC computer-based data acquisition will also be used. Trouble shooting and lab-based problem solving will be emphasized coordinating skills interpreting data sheets, schematics and systems specifications.

This course, which includes lab, online, and in-class components, provides a hands-on introduction to tools and methods used for measurement, testing, and quality control, and for repair, with emphasis on those used in photonic systems. This class blends online and in-class learning, with a heavy emphasis on lab skill development.

This course, which includes lab, online, and in-class components, provides a hands-on introduction to the mechanical and thermal aspects of materials and mechanical systems. Applications include belt drives, gear systems, hydraulic control systems. Also covered are the mechanical, thermal, and electromagnetic properties of materials relevant to photonic systems and photonic fabrication processes.

Fundamentals of digital electronics including number systems, Boolean algebra and Karnaugh mapping will be covered. Students will apply foundational concepts in applications including Programmable Logic Controls, and microprocessors such as Arduinos, LabView and PICs with the goal of understanding the function, testing and troubleshooting of control and mechatronics systems. Programming and basic ideas and applications of ADC and DAC computer-based data acquisition and signal processing will also be used.

This course focuses on the principles of data analytics, automation, and process control. These principles will be practiced through exercises and lab work that will introduce the student to working with semiconductor wafers, clean rooms, lithography, and pumping systems.

Students will develop advanced experience with lasers, optics and optical systems that are commonplace for the photonics and optical technician based on SPIE Photonics publications. Laser fundamentals, safety and operation will be covered along with basics of geometric and wave optics theory. Optical system set up, including alignment, interferometers and test and measurement (component and system characterization) will also be covered.

Students will develop experience working with lasers, fiber optics and fiber optics applications that are commonplace for the photonics and optical technician. Fiber optics theory including index of refraction, materials, single and multi-mode operation, as well typical fiber optics applications including cleaning, cleaving and splicing will be covered.

This course, which includes both online and in-class components, provides an introduction to the basic concepts and methods of integrated photonics. Integrated photonics integrates the optical components: waveguides, waveguide bends, Y branch, grating couplers, interconnect, detectors, and so on. This course will teach students how to design, fabricate, and test an integrated photonic circuit and conduct a data analysis cycle, and will include the design and testing of an integrated circuit as a final project.

This course will consist of a summer apprenticeship at a company, gaining experience in optics- or photonics-related work. Coming in the final semester of the photonics technician certificate program, the student will gain practice at applying the skills learned in previous courses and will develop workplace experience and industry contacts, in preparation for seeking permanent employment at the end of the program.

Students will apply photonics and optical technician training in a capstone project of their choice, studying a problem or application of personal interest. Students are responsible for completing brief written descriptions of their work and making oral presentations to the Photonics faculty.