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Over the last two decades, advances in fabrication have led to significant progress in creating patterned heterostructures that support either carriers, such as electrons or holes, with specific band structure or electromagnetic waves with a given mode structure and dispersion. In this article, we review the properties of light in coupled optical waveguides that support specific energy spectra, with or without the effects of disorder, that are well-described by a Hermitian tight-binding model.doi:10.1051/epjap/2013130240 fatcat:ba4gch2d2veb3accylmrrykldi