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This subject serves as an introduction to semiconductor devices. It describes the fundamentals, theory, material and physical properties of semiconductor devices. The following topics will be covered.
Fundamentals: Crystal properties and of the growth of bulk crystals and of epitaxial layers. Physical concepts related to atoms and electrons. These concepts may include the photoelectric effect, the Bohr model, quantum mechanics, and the periodic table.
Energy bands and charge carriers in semiconductors: Bonding forces and energy bands in solids, charge carriers in semiconductors, carrier concentrations, the drift of carriers in electric and magnetic fields, and the Fermi level.
Excess carriers in semiconductors: Optical absorption, luminescence, carrier lifetime and photoconductivity, and the diffusion of carriers.
Junctions: fabrication of pn junctions, equilibrium conditions, forward and reverse biased junctions in steady state, reverse bias breakdown, transient and AC conditions, metal-semiconductor junctions and heterojunctions. In the next part of the subject
PN junction diodes: junction diode, tunnel diodes, photodiodes, and light-emitting diodes and lasers.
Bipolar junction transistors (BJTs): amplification and switching, fundamentals of BJT operation, BJT fabrication, minority carrier distributions and terminal currents, generalised biasing, switching, the frequency limitations of transistors, and heterojunction bipolar transistors.
Field effect transistors (FETs): Topics may include junction FETs, the metal semiconductor FET and the metal-insulator-semiconductor FET.
Additional topics (if time permits): integrated circuits, lasers, pnpn switching devices, and microwave devices.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Explain the properties of semiconductor materials from first principles, including concept that include energy bands, charge carriers, drift and the Fermi level
- Articulate the behaviour of excess carriers in semiconductors, including optical absorption, luminescence, carrier lifetime and diffusion
- Analyse the properties of semiconductor junctions, including homojunctions, heterojunction, metal-semiconductor junctions, photodetectors and light-emitting diodes
- Explain and understand the frequency, speed and sensitivity limitations of transistors and advanced devices
- Model and simulate semiconductor devices to optimise their properties
- Apply the developed understanding towards applications of semiconductor devices in sensing, imaging, and communications
- Capacity for independent thought.
- Awareness of advanced technologies in the discipline.
- Ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals.
- Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution
- The ability to comprehend complex concepts and communicate lucidly this understanding
- The ability to confront unfamiliar problems In-depth technical competence in at least one engineering discipline.
- Ability to plan work and to use time effectively
- Ability to apply engineering methods to solve complex problems.
Last updated: 21 November 2023