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PHY2027 : Semiconductor Devices

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sarah Olsen
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To describe the operation of commercially important semiconductor devices (diodes, BJT, MOSFET) and how these are described by the semiconductor physics.

Outline Of Syllabus

Semiconductor Physics
Bond & Band models; Ohm’s law; Einstein Relation; Drift and diffusion current; Current magnitudes; charge transport in solids; Wave-particle duality; DeBroglie wavelength; Heisenberg uncertainty principle; The Quantum mechanics concept;; Tunnelling; E-K bands in solids

p-n junction:
Ideal diode I-V characteristic; Dynamic equilibrium; Built-in voltage; Current flow in p-n junctions; Shockley’s equation; Ideality factor; Generation – Recombination; Small signal equivalent circuit; Characterization of semiconductor devices; Tunnel diode;

Bipolar Transistor:
Simple description of operation, Definitions of gain; Derivation of expressions for base, collector and emitter current; D.C. characteristic, Ebers-Moll equations; Small signal equivalent circuit; Hybrid- model;

Depletion, accumulation and inversion; Importance of Fermi Energy position; Mode of operation; Pinch-off; Threshold voltage; Enhancement and depletion mode; Analysis of operation; I-V relation; Short channel effects; Transistor delay time; Small signal equivalent circuit.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:3012:00Revision for final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Final Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion41:004:00Preparation for class test
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00Class test
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery120:102:00Office hours
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study155:3055:30General reading; reviewing lecture notes; solving practice problems
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
EEE2014Semiconductor Devices and Analogue Electronics
EEE2016Analogue Electronics
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide core material and guidance for further reading, problem solving practice is provided through tutorials. Work is further re-enforced through laboratory sessions. Office hours (two per week) provide an opportunity for more direct contact between individual students and the lecturer: a typical student might spend a total of one or two hours over the course of the module, either individually or as part of a group.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A85N/A
Written Examination401M15Class test
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
EEE2014Semiconductor Devices and Analogue Electronics1N/A
EEE2016Analogue Electronics1N/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination provides the opportunity for the student to demonstrate their understanding of the lecture course material. The (in class, therefore 40 minute) test allow the students to develop their problem solving techniques, to practise the methods learnt in the module, to assess their progress and to receive feedback; these assessments have a secondary formative purpose as well as their primary summative purpose.

Reading Lists