Arguably optoelectronics began around the start of the 20th Century and has developed to become a significant factor in all our lives. From the simple computer mouse, through digital music, cameras and displays, to worldwide optical fibre networks for communications, it has become ubiquitous and important. It has enabled solar energy production, reduced energy consumption and enabled new products, such as laptop computers.
The attached files should serve to paint a clearer picture of this and explain simply how some of these devices actually work and what they may do for us in the future. Although intended mainly for science teachers, much of their content should be capable of being understood, at least in outline, by pupils at secondary school level.