Skip to main content

Unit information: Semiconductor Physics in 2021/22

Unit name Semiconductor Physics
Unit code PHYSM2100
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Sarua
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

PHYS30021 and PHYS32011 or equivalent.

Co-requisites

None

School/department School of Physics
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description

To show how the transport properties of semiconductors may be exploited to create electronic devices and to explain how they function. To demonstrate the importance of semiconductor devices in fundamental research. To show how the optical properties of semiconductors may be used to create light-emitting diodes and lasers.

Aims:

To show how the transport properties of semiconductors may be exploited to create electronic devices and to explain how they function. To demonstrate the importance of semiconductor devices in fundamental research. To show how the optical properties of semiconductors may be used to create light-emitting diodes and lasers.

Outline syllabus:

Junctions (6): Intrinsic semiconductors. Doping of semiconductors. Carrier density and mobility. The p-n junction. Band bending. Carrier diffusion, generation and recombination. Shockley equation. Depletion layer capacitance. Reverse breakdown. Transient behaviour. Noise. Heterojunctions. Metal-semiconductor junction. Ohmic and Schottky contacts. Device fabrication (growth, photolithography, etching).

Optoelectronics (5): Optical properties of semiconductors. Quantum wells. Quantum dots. Carrier confinement. Light confinement. Homojunction and heterojunction LEDs. Internal loss mechanisms. Encapsulation. Light output characteristics. Wall-plug-efficiency. Semiconductor laser diodes. Stimulated emission. Gain. Threshold current. Double heterostructure laser diode. Separate confinement heterostructure laser diode. Vertical cavity surface emitting laser.

Transistors (5): Principles of bipolar transistor and field effect transistor (FET). PNP and NPN transistor. Thyristor. JFETs, MESFETs, MOSFETs and HEMTs. Static characteristic. Switching. Simple applications. The 2D electron gas (1): The quantum Hall effect.

Device reliability (1): Basic concepts.

Intended learning outcomes

Able to calculate band profiles at semiconductor-semiconductor and metal-semiconductor junctions. Able to explain I-V characteristics for semiconductor junctions. Understand the behaviour of simple electronic devices. Able to explain working of simple optoelectronic devices. Understand quantised electron transport in 2D electron gas.

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • asynchronous online materials, including narrated presentations and worked examples
  • synchronous group problems classes, workshops, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous directed individual formative exercises and other exercises
  • guided, structured reading

Assessment Details

Formative Assessment:

Problem sheets provide formative feedback.

Summative Assessment:

A final 2 hour written examination.

Resources

If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PHYSM2100).

Feedback