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Principle of Semiconductor Devices Part I: Semiconductors, PN Junctions and Bipolar Junction Transistors

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via edX

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Overview

As a topic of study, semiconductor devices offer a unique challenge due to the complex mathematics involved. In this course, we take a more intuitive approach to explore the underlying concepts. Eschewing mathematics, we use engaging animations to help you visualize the working principles of many common semiconductor devices.

Whether you are completely new to the subject or an experienced engineer, this course will give you a different perspective and a new way to look at the behaviors of semiconductor devices.

Reducing the reliance of equations does not mean the depth of the material is sacrificed. In fact, the course provides even more in-depth explanations of key concepts. We shift the focus from quantitatively evaluating the behavior of semiconductor devices to intuitively visualizing the semiconductor device actions.

In addition, the course offers a wide array of content - from basic PN junctions to modern nano-electronic circuit and systems. Besides covering the existing technologies, the course also explores the development of the industry into the future.

Syllabus

Week 1: Intrinsic semiconductor materials
Introduction to the energy band diagram of a crystal and calculating the carrier concentration in the material. 

Week 2: Doping and PN junction formation
The effect of doping and the formation of PN junctions. 

Week 3: Current-voltage characteristics of PN junction diodes
Current-voltage characteristics and detailed carrier actions in a PN junction diode. 

Week 4: Real PN junction characteristics, its model and design
The characteristics of real PN junction diodes, the charge and capacitance models, and the design strategy.

Week 5: PN junction optical properties and metal-semiconductor contacts 
The optical responses of the PN junction; the working principles of optical detection, solar cells and LEDs; and the metal-semiconductor contacts.

Week 6: Basic operation of Bipolar Junction Transistor
Introduction to bipolar junction transistors, I-V characteristic and non-ideal effects.

Week 7: Real Bipolar Junction Transistor structures, switching characteristics and model 
Switching characteristics of the Bipolar Junction Transistor, it circuit model and design strategy.

Week 8: Final Exam

Taught by

Mansun Chan

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