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EEC140A – Principles Of Device Physics I

4 units – Fall, Winter Quarters

Lecture: 3 hours

Laboratory: 1 hour

Prerequisites: ENG 17, PHY 9D or PHY 9HE

Grading: Letter.

Catalog Description:

Semiconductor device fundamentals, equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, conductivity, diffusion, density of states, electrons and holes, P-N junctions, Schottky junctions, field effect transistors, bipolar junction transistors.

Expanded Course Description:

  1. Semiconductors, metals, and insulators
    1. Crystal structure
    2. Electron energy levels
    3. Energy bands, density of states
  2. Carriers and Conduction
    1. Intrinsic and extrinsic carriers
    2. Carrier concentration, Fermi level
    3. Carrier transport, drift, and diffusion
    4. Carrier generation and recombination
  3. P-N Junction Behavior
    1. P-N junctions and fundamental features
    2. Schottky junctions and ohmic contacts
    3. Biased junctions
    4. Excess carriers and transient effects
  4. Diodes
    1. Ideal I-V relationships in diodes: forward bias
    2. Ideal I-V relationships in diodes: reverse bias
    3. Ideal I-V relationships in diodes: breakdown
    4. Small signal behavior
    5. Charge storage: forward- and reverse-bias capacitance
  5. Fundamentals of the MOS Transistor
    1. Basic principle of MOS operation
    2. The two-terminal MOS capacitor
    3. Inversio layers and the transistor channel
    4. Device potentials and the threshold voltage
    5. The MOS transistor: basic operational characteristics
    6. The body effect: substrate bias
    7. Small signal operation of the MOSFET
  6. The Bipolar Transistor
    1. Bipolar transistor action
    2. Large-signal common-emitter gain
    3. Equivalent circuit models
    4. Basic small-signal operation and cutoff


  1. D. Neamen, Semiconductor Physics and Devices, McGraw-Hill.

Engineering Design Statement:

Homework assignments include the design of simple diodes and transistors that meet certain specifications.

Relationship to Outcomes:

Students who have successfully completed this course should have achieved:

Course Outcomes ABET Outcomes
An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering A
An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems E
An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. K


Professional Component:

Engineering Breadth

Engineering Science: 3 credits
Engineering Design: 1 credits