Low-dimensional semiconductor structures, often referred to as nanocrystals or quantum dots, exhibit fascinating behavior and have a multitude of potential applications, especially in the field of communications. This book examines in detail the optical properties of these structures, gives full coverage of theoretical and experimental results, and discusses their technological applications. The author begins by setting out the basic physics of electron states in crystals (adopting a "cluster-to-crystal" approach), and goes on to discuss the growth of nanocrystals, absorption and emission of light by nanocrystals, optical nonlinearities, interface effects, and photonic crystals. He illustrates the physical principles with references to actual devices such as novel light-emitters and optical switches. The book covers a rapidly developing, interdisciplinary field. It will be of great interest to graduate students of photonics or microelectronics, and to researchers in electrical engineering, physics, chemistry, and materials science.