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Essentials of MOSFETs

Purdue University via edX

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The transistor has been called the greatest invention of the 20th century – it enabled the electronics systems that have shaped the world we live in. Today’s nanotransistors are a high volume, high impact success of the nanotechnology revolution. This is a course on how this scientifically interesting and technologically important device operates.

The objective for this course is to provide students with an understanding of the essential physics of nanoscale transistors as well as some of the practical technological considerations and applications. The goal is to do this in a way that is broadly accessible to students with only a very basic knowledge of semiconductor physics and electronic circuits. The course is designed for anyone seeking a sound, physical, but simple understanding of how modern transistors, specifically MOSFETS, operate. This course covers the traditional theory of MOSFETs with micrometer to sub-micrometer channel lengths, as well as modern, nanoscale MOSFETs with channel lengths of 20 nanometers (0.02 micrometers) or so. The course should be useful for advanced undergraduates, beginning graduate students, as well as practicing engineers and scientists.

This course is part of a Purdue initiative that aims to complement the expertise that students develop with the breadth at the edges needed to work effectively in today's multidisciplinary environment.  These serious short courses require few prerequisites and provide a general framework that can be filled in with self-study when needed.


Unit 1:  Transistors, compact models, and circuits

L1.1: Unit 1 Introduction
L1.2: The MOSFET as a black box
L1.3: MOSFET device metrics
L1.4:  Compact models
L1.5:  Digital circuits
L1.6:  Analog/RF circuits

Unit 2:  Essential physics of the MOSFET

L2.1:  Unit 2 Introduction
L2.2:  Energy Band View of MOSFETs
L2.3:  Traditional IV Theory
L2.4:  The Virtual Source model

Unit 3: MOS Electrostatics

L3.1: Unit 3 Introduction
L3.2: The depletion approximation
L3.3: The gate voltage and surface potential
L3.4  Flatband voltage
L3.5: Mobile charge: Bulk MOS
L3.6  Mobile charge:  ETSOI
L3.7: 2D MOS electrostatics
L3.8: The VS model revisited
L3.9: Unit 3 Summary

Unit 4: Transmission theory of the MOSFET

L4.1:  Unit 4 Introduction
L4.2:  Landauer Approach
L4.4: The ballistic MOSFET
L4.3  Transmission, mean-free-path and mobility
L4.4: Transmission theory of the MOSFET
L4.5: Analysis of experiments
L4.6: Connection to VS model
Unit 5:  Additional topics

L5.1: Limits of MOSFETs
L5.2: Power MOSFETs
L5.3: High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMTs)
L5.4: Quick look at bipolar transistors
L5.5: Compact models – another look

Taught by

Mark S. Lundstrom and Evan Witkoske

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