Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

First Advisor

Steven T. Cundiff

Second Advisor

Rafael Piestun

Third Advisor

Daniel Dessau

Fourth Advisor

Robert McLeod

Fifth Advisor

Juliet Gopinath


Numerous investigative efforts have been made to study the properties of semiconductor materials, which are the foundation of modern electronics. In this dissertation, we study semiconductor electro-optics in both linear and nonlinear regimes. Three main topics are presented. First, we describe transverse electroreflectance (ER) and electroabsorption (EA) experiments using a rapidly oscillating radio-frequency (RF) bias and electrodes that are insulated from the semiconductor sample. This technique produces an effectively uniform transverse electric field in a metal-semiconductor-metal structure. Then a pulsed terahertz emitter that uses the RF biasing technique is described. The effectively uniform electric field generated by the RF technique allows excitation of a large laser spot, lowering the photo-excited carrier density for a given pulse energy and increasing the efficiency of terahertz generation. The last part focuses on quantum interference control in a semiconductor. Measurement of ballistic current injection and coherent control of the photo-excited carrier density through the interference of one- and two- photon absorption in the presence of a static electric field, are described. These experiments and results provide better understanding of electro-optical properties in semiconductor materials.