Semiconductor Fundamentals (edX)

Semiconductor Fundamentals (edX)
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Undergraduate physics, chemistry, and mathematics including basic differential equations.
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Semiconductor Fundamentals (edX)
From smartphones to satellites, semiconductors are everywhere. Tying together physics, chemistry, and electrical engineering, this easy-to-follow introduction provides the background needed to understand devices such as transistors and solar cells. 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.

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The material will primarily appeal to electrical engineering students whose interests are in applications of semiconductor devices in circuits and systems. The treatment is physical and intuitive, and not heavily mathematical.




Technology users will gain an understanding of the semiconductor physics that is the basis for devices. Semiconductor technology developers may find it a useful starting point for diving deeper into condensed matter physics, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, and materials science. The course presents an electrical engineering perspective on semiconductors, but those in other fields may find it a useful introduction to the approach that has guided the development of semiconductor technology for the past 50+ years.

Students taking this course will be required to complete two (2) proctored exams using the edX online Proctortrack software.

This course is part of the Nanoscience and Technology MicroMasters.


What you'll learn

Students will learn about the following specific topics:

- energy bands

- band gaps

- effective masses

- electrons and holes

- basics of quantum mechanics

- the Fermi function

- the density-of-states

- intrinsic carrier density

- doping and carrier concentrations

- carrier transport

- generation-recombination

- quasi-Fermi levels

- the semiconductor equations

- energy band diagrams

Among the important learning objectives, the course will introduce learners to 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.


Syllabus


Week 1: Materials Properties and Doping

Energy levels to energy bands

Crystalline, polycrystalline, and amorphous semiconductors

Miller indices

Properties of common semiconductors

Free carriers in semiconductors


Week 2: Rudiments of Quantum Mechanics

The wave equation

Quantum confinement

Quantum tunneling and reflection

Electron waves in crystals

Density of states


Week 3: Equilibrium Carrier Concentration

The Fermi function

Fermi-Dirac integrals

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

Drift-diffusion equation

Carrier recombination

Carrier generation


Week 5: The Semiconductor Equations

Mathematical formulation

Energy band diagrams

Quasi-Fermi levels

Minority carrier diffusion equation



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Course Auditing
665.00 EUR
Undergraduate physics, chemistry, and mathematics including basic differential equations.

MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.