- Student Records
Programme & Unit Catalogues

PH20015: Semiconductor physics

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2015/6
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Physics
Further information on credits Credits: 3
Further information on unit levels Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: PH20015 - Mandatory Extra Work (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must take PH10007 AND take PH10008 AND take PH20029
While taking this module you must take PH20017
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aims of this unit are to explore some of the physics underlying the behaviour of electrons in semiconductor materials and the operation of simple semiconductor devices.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* discuss the basic concepts of semiconductor physics;
* calculate carrier concentrations and effective masses;
* outline the basic principles of semiconductor device operation;
* describe the interactions between electrons and photons such as absorption, spontaneous emission and stimulated emission;
* give examples of common optoelectronic devices for emitting, detecting and modulating light, and explain their physical principles of operation.

Numeracy T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A.

Basic properties of semiconductors (4 hours): Electrons and holes and their effective masses. Extrinsic and intrinsic semiconductors; donors and acceptors. Electron and hole concentrations, semiconductor statistics.
Transport properties (2 hours): Electrical conduction and scattering of electrons and holes in solids. Drift velocity, resistivity, diffusion, electron-hole recombination, recombination length. The Hall effect.
The p-n junction (2 hours): The unbiased p-n junction; junction formation, depletion layer width. Biased p-n junctions; band profiles, depletion region width, junction capacitance. Balance of drift and diffusion currents. Qualitatitive introduction to the ideal diode equation, reverse bias breakdown.
Electron-photon interaction in semiconductors (3 hours): Optical absorption in bulk semiconductors; spectral dependence, photocurrent, P-I-N photodiodes. Optical emission in semiconductors; radiative and non-radiative transitions, light-emitting diodes.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH20015 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USPH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Physics (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFB05 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAB06 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKB06 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing with Year long work placement (Year 2)

PH20015 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2015/16 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2016/17 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2015/16.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.