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Semiconductor Physics and Devices - ELE00051I

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. James Lees
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module provides both fundamental theory and hands-on experience on semiconductor physics, devices, fabrication and analysis techniques. The module will cover first the basic semiconductor physics such as crystal structures, doping and band gaps etc, devices such as diodes and transistors and then various measurement techniques to probe the morphology, compositions, electrical, magnetic and optical properties of materials and devices at nano/atomic scales, along with both conventional nanofabrication techniques (e.g, e-beam lithography) and non-conventional nanofabrication techniques (e.g, self-assembly). The module will provide practical experiences.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

Subject content aims:

Subject content aims:

  • To explain the semiconductor physics such as crystal structures, doping and band gaps.

  • To explain the operation and characteristics of the various devices such as diodes and transistors

  • To understand the electronic structure and the properties of the materials and devices down to nanoscale

  • To give an overview of common approaches used for the fabrication and analysis of nano-structured materials, with an emphasis on semiconductor materials and devices

  • To understand the basic principles of fabrication at the nanoscale, including conventional and non--conventional lithography

  • To understand and apply techniques for analyzing the structural, physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials and nanodevices

  • To develop experimental skills including approaches to good experimental design, hypothesis testing, safe execution of experimental protocols and quantitative data analysis.

Graduate skills aims:

  • Advanced skills in experimental design, hypothesis testing, execution of experimental protocols and analysis of experimental data

  • To develop skills in summarising and showing understanding of information from reliable sources and technical writing

Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes

After completing this module, students should be able to:

  • Explain how the properties are correlated with structure, doping and sizes in semiconductors and generally in solids.

  • Explain the working principle of the various devices such as diodes and transistors

  • Describe the change of the properties of the materials and devices down to nanoscale

  • Describe the operating principles and use of scanning probe techniques

  • Explain the principles of electron microscopy and its application to analysing structure and chemical composition at the nanoscale including scanning electron microscopy (SEM) transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Photoemission Electron Microscopy (PEEM) and Auger electron microscopy

  • Utilise techniques to measure electron transport in nanoelectronic materials and devices: contact resistance, four point probe techniques, Hall effect, lockinamplifier techniques, low temperature measurements

  • Understand and apply structure analysis using Low Energy Electron Diffraction (LEED) and Reflection High Energy Electron Diffraction (RHEED)

  • Discuss the processes of crystal growth and thin film deposition, including evaporation, sputter coating, PECVD, and MBE

  • Explain conventional approaches to lithography: optical, electron and ion beam lithography, resists, limits of resolution (diffraction)

  • Explain non-conventional lithography: scanning probe techniques, self assembly, nano-imprint lithography

  • Describe pattern transfer techniques: lift-off, thermal oxidation, reactive ion etching (RIE), wet chemical etching

  • Design experiments, carry them out safely, and analyse the results

Graduate skills learning outcomes

After completing this module, students should be able to:

  • Have an appreciation of and be able to communicate across disciplines

  • Be able to summarise and show understanding in technical reports based on information selected from a variety of reliable sources, to a specified audience

Module content

The physics in the module will be placed into the context of engineering problems where possible.


Task Length % of module mark
Individual Report
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The continuous assessments will be a series of computer-marked tests, including MCQs and numeric questions.


Task Length % of module mark
Individual Report
N/A 100

Module feedback

'Feedback’ at a university level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme. We aim to help you reflect on your own learning and help you feel more clear about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you in both formative and summative assessments. A comprehensive guide to feedback and to forms of feedback is available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.

The School of PET aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme. In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work. The School will endeavour to return all exam feedback within the timescale set out in the University's Policy on Assessment Feedback Turnaround Time. The School would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback. The School will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum. Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate. Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date.

Statement of Feedback

Formative Feedback

Regular lab sessions will provide the opportunity to ask questions and receive verbal help and feedback about your progress in developing practical skills.
You will have the chance to discuss and receive feedback on your module work plan and reflective report from your supervisor.
Practice exercises for the continuous assessments will be provided, allowing you to check your progress throughout the module.
Questions can be asked at any time, and will be answered as soon as possible.

Summative Feedback

Individual feedback will be provided on your individual report along with detailed marks and the correct answers.

Indicative reading

If you would like to purchase a textbook which will cover most of the material you will study during this module, this would be a good book to use. There is no need to buy the latest edition.

Nano and micro electromechanical systems, S. Lyshevski, CRC press, ISBN 0-8493-2838-1

Solid State Electronic Devices, B. Strretman and S. Banerjee, Pearson, Prentice Hall, ISBN, 0-13-149726-X

Handbook of Microscopy for Nanotechnology, Yao, Nan; Wang, Zhong L. (Eds.) Springer, 2005, 742 p.

ISBN: 978-1-4020-8003-6

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.