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EE 309N Physical Electronics

Objective of the course:

This course aims at providing a clear understanding of  the physical concepts behind the operation of microelectronic devices.

Structure of the course:

Exposure to first year level physics and familiarity with calculus including differential equations are assumed as prerequisites  in this introductory course. The emphasis is on understanding the physical principles which control  the design, performance and limitations of most commonly used microelectronic devices.

You are expected to participate in the class not only in terms of raising questions and answering them but also in terms of applying what you learn to contrived and real world problems. You are most welcome to discuss with me right in the class if something is unclear.

Detailed Course Outline:

Semiconductor fundamentals: Band structure and Charge carriers in semiconductors, Dopant atoms and energy levels,  Statistics of donors and acceptors, charge neutrality,  Position of Fermi level, Carrier transport phenomena, Drift and diffusion currents, Transport equations, Recombination and generation, excess carriers, Continuity equations, quasi-fermi levels, surface effects.(8 Lectures)

Physics & models related to PN junctions: Zero applied bias, reverse and forward applied bias, built-in potential, depletion widths, drift and diffusion capacitances, step and linearly graded junctions, Ideal I-V characteristics, generation and recombination currents, high injection level effects, Junction breakdown. SPICE model of a diode, Heterojunctions, 2D electron gas, band diagrams, applications of heterojunctions.  (8 Lectures)  

Metal-Semiconductor Junctions: Schottky junctions, Image force barrier lowering, Fermi level pinning, I-V characteristics, Ohmic contacts  (4 Lectures)  

Bipolar Junction transistors: Modes of operation, carrier distributions, Bipolar device static characteristics and performance parameters,  Gummel-Poon model, Hybrid-pi model, Charge control model, Frequency limitations,  Secondary effects in real devices,  breakdown voltage, High frequency behaviour and limitations,  Brief overview of BJT CAD SPICE model.  Need for bandgap engineering.. Modern BJT fabrication.  (8 Lectures)

Field Effect Transistors:  Basic  JFET concepts, MESFET operation, Device characteristics, Nonideal effects, Equivalent circuits, Modulation doped FET. (4 Lectures)
MOSFET Design and Modeling: MOSFET fabrication principles, MOS Capacitance fundamentals, Interface and frequency effects, MOSFET Operation and modeling, Issues related to long and short channels, Drain and oxide  Breakdown, LDD, parasitic bipolar effects, CMOS latch-up, Level 1 MOSFET CAD SPICE model.  (7 Lectures)  

Brief Overview of Special purpose Devices: Optoelectronic devices, High power bipolar and MOS devices, IGBT and Microwave devices. (5 Lectures)  

Reference Books:

1. J.Singh, "Semiconductor Devices - Basic principles,"  Wiley, 2001. (Preferred Text)
2. M. Shur, Physics of semiconductor devices, Prentice-Hall of India, 1995.

Exam Policy and Grading:

There will be 2 Minor exams and 1 Major exam.  During the exam, you are allowed to bring one  A4 size sheet on which you can write any thing useful to you.

Marks Distribution: 25 %  Minor-I, 25 %  Minor-II, 40 %  Major, 10 %  Seminar    

Seminar on Advanced Topics: For the Seminar, you have to find a paper  related to  Nanoelectronic Devices, Modeling and Technology  from  journals.  You should  submit a  clear and concise report(5-10 typed pages)   based on the chosen paper and the related references by noon of  29 October 2004. No late submissions will  be permitted. You will give a 10 minute presentation  based on your report on 6th of November 2004  Attendance in the  seminar is a must.

Your feedback is valuable:

Please note that your  feedback on any aspect of this course will be greatly appreciated.  Any time, you can talk to me  to give your informal feedback. However, I will be taking two written feedbacks from you -  one just after Minor-I and the other, a week before the Major.  I expect you to be objective and enthusiastic to give your feedback.

Contact outside lecture hours:

In the department,  you can find me in II-303. Phone: 1085
Home: Email:

Final Pointers:

* Coming to the class on time is very essential.
* You must clarify your doubts during the lecture or at the very least immediately after the class.
* Practice solving as many problems from the text books as possible.
* Always keep a calculator with you in the class.