This course provides the essential foundations required to understand the operation of semiconductor devices such as transistors, diodes, solar cells, light-emitting devices, and more.
The material will primarily appeal to electrical engineering students whose interests are in applications of semiconductor devices in circuits and systems. However, any learner seeking an understanding of semiconductors from an electrical engineering perspective will benefit.
The intuitive, largely descriptive treatment provides a framework for understanding the operation of almost any semiconductor device, as well as a starting point on semiconductor physics for those who wish to dive deeper.
Among other important learning objectives, the course will guide learners through the process of drawing and interpreting energy band diagrams. Energy band diagrams are a powerful, conceptual way to qualitatively understand the operation of semiconductor devices. In a concise way, they encapsulate most of the device-relevant specifics of semiconductor physics. Drawing and interpreting an energy band diagram is the first step in understanding the operation of a device. This course material is typically covered in the first few weeks of an introductory semiconductor device course, but this class provides a fresh perspective informed by new understanding of electronics at the nanoscale.
This course is part of a Purdue University 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.
Week 1: Materials properties and doping
Energy levels to energy bands
Crystalline, polycrystalline, and amorphous semiconductors
Properties of common semiconductors
Free carriers in semiconductors
Week 2: Rudiments of quantum mechanics
The wave equation
Quantum tunneling and reflection
Electron waves in crystals
Density of states
Week 3: Equilibrium carrier concentration
The Fermi function
Carrier concentration vs. Fermi level
Carrier concentration vs. doping density
Carrier concentration vs. temperature
Week 4: Carrier transport, generation, and recombination
The Landauer approach
Current from the nanoscale to the macroscale
Week 5: The semiconductor equations
Energy band diagrams
Minority carrier diffusion equation
Mark S. Lundstrom, Bikram K. Mahajan and Woojin Ahn