Syllabus for Semiconductor Devices

Reviewed & Approved Fall 2015


The Semiconductor Devices preliminary examination will cover basic properties of semiconductors, physical principles and operational characteristics of semiconductor devices, and advanced device issues relevant to state-of-the-art integrated-circuit technologies. The primary emphasis will be on silicon devices. The syllabus is roughly equivalent to the material in the present EE 230A, 230B, and 230C course descriptions.

Expanded Description

  1. Physics and Properties of Semiconductors: crystal structure, energy bands, statistics, Fermi level, carrier concentration at thermal equilibrium, carrier transport phenomena, Hall effect, recombination, optical and thermal properties, basic properties for semiconductor operation.

  2. P-N Junction: depletion region, diffusion, generation-recombination, current-voltage characteristics, junction breakdown, charge storage and transient behavior.

  3. Bipolar Transistor: transistor action and dependence on device structure, charge control switching model, Ebers-Moll Model, current-voltage characteristics, non-ideal and limiting effects at extremes of bias.

  4. State-of-the-Art Bipolar Transistor Technology: poly-Si emitters, narrow base, structural tradeoffs in optimizing performance.

  5. Metal-Semiconductor Contacts: equilibrium, idealized metal semiconductor junctions, nonrectifying (ohmic) contacts, Schottky diodes, tunneling.

  6. Metal-Oxide-Silicon System: MOS structure, capacitance, oxide and interface charge (charging of traps, tunneling through oxide).

  7. MOS Field-Effect Transistor: threshold voltage, derivation of current-voltage characteristics, dependence on device structure.

  8. State-of-the-Art MOS Technology: small-geometry effects, fin-FETs, ultrathin body FETs, mobility degradation due to channel and oxide fields, velocity saturation, ballistic transport, hot-electron effects, device wearout mechanisms, introduction of new semiconductors.


NOTE: The following courses may not be used to fulfill the prelim breadth requirement if you take the Semiconductor Devices prelim: EECS 130, 131, 140, 141, 142, 143, 230A, 230B, 230C, 240 (series), 241, 242, 243.