This is a required course for junior-level electrical engineering students. The first part of the course provides an introduction to the key aspects of electronic materials, quantum mechanics, and solid state physics needed to understand nanoelectronic devices. The second part is devoted to the fundamental theory of carrier transport including ballistic transport, drift, diffusion, and recombination/generation. The third part of the course applies the fundamentals to describe the operation of several basic semiconductor devices: p-n junctions, metal-semiconductor junctions, and metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs), and provides an introduction to fabrication methods used to create these devices. This portion of the course also highlights contemporary concepts in thin film electronics, optoelectronic devices, and solar energy conversion.
The course includes several in-class demonstrations and also web-based remote device measurement laboratories. One of the in-class demonstrations uses a Breeze interface to link a field emission scanning electron microscope session to the classroom. The students can see and communicate with the microscope operator to visualize real nanoelectronic materials and devices at different levels of magnification. The remote device measurement laboratories use web-based labview software to collect device characteristics from silicon p-n junctions and MOSFETs fabricated in the senior level device technology class. The students are given microscope images of the devices and an assignment to analyze the device performance. This allows the students to compare ideal text book performance to non-ideal device response.