Physics of Semiconductor Devices (Φ-572)

Alexandros Georgakilas


This is a postgraduate level course. The successful completion of the course will provide the student with:

Knowledge of semiconductor physics that is required for understanding the fundamental semiconductor devices: Understanding of basic concepts in semiconductor physics, Knowledge of the equations enabling quantitative description/determination of electronic properties and carrier processes in semiconductors

Understanding the electronic operation of the fundamental semiconductor devices: PN junction, Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT), Semiconductor Heterojunction, Metal-Semiconductor Contact, Metal-Insulator-Semiconductor (MOS) Contact, Field-Effect Transistor (FET)

Analytical mathematical description of the electronic operation of the above fundamental semiconductor devices in steady-state conditions: Energy band diagrams and electric fields, Capacitance-voltage relationships, Current-voltage relationships

Knowledge allowing further studies on physics or applications of

Course Syllabus

The syllabus covers the following topics:

 1. Introduction to the physics of semiconductors : Main semiconductor materials, crystal structure, energy bands, effective mass, free electron and hole, energy band diagram, distribution and concentrations of carriers at thermal equilibrium, generation-recombination, drift and diffusion currents, quasi-Fermi levels, continuity equations, minority carrier diffusion equations.

2. PN junction diode : Abrupt and linear junctions, electrostatic description, C-V and I-V equations for the ideal diode, deviations from ideal behavior.

3. Bipolar junction transistor (BJT) : Terminology, symbols and regions of operation, I-V equations for the ideal transistor, I-V equations including recombination in the base, additional deviations from the ideal transistor, Ebers-Moll equations.

4. Semiconductor heterojunction: Band discontinuities based on electron affinity, energy band diagram, analytical electrostatic description of pn heterojunction, brief insight into the application of voltage and conduction.

5. Metal-semiconductor junction : Energy band diagram of ideal junction, rectifying contact (Schottky barrier diode), electrostatic description, Schottky effect, basic I-V relation, thermionic emission theory, diffusion theory, tunneling currents, experimental determination of barrier height and built-in voltage, effect of surface states, ohmic contacts.

6. Metal-insulator-semiconductor junction : The ideal metal-oxide-silicon (MOS) junction, bias on the MOS, the different states of the surface region of the semiconductor, capacitance-voltage behavior, flat-band voltage, threshold voltage and density of charge in the inversion layer, effect of oxide and interface charges, MOS memories, Charge-Coupled Devices (CCDs).

7. MOS Field Effect Transistor (MOSFET) : MOSFET types, long channel drain current equation, bulk-charge effect, body-bias effect, subthreshold conduction, small-signal circuit model, transconductance, drain current in short-channel MOSFET, short-channel effects,  determination of MOSFET parameters.

8. Brief introduction to FETs with gate consisting of a pn junction (JFET) or a Schottky diode (MESFET).  



  1. «Advanced Semiconductor Fundamentals», 2nd edition, R. F. Pierret, Modular Series on Solid State Devices vol. VI, Pearson, 2003
  2. «Device Electronics for Integrated Circuits», R.S. Muller & T.I. Kamins, 3rd edition, Wiley, 2002
  3. «The PN Junction Diode», 2nd edition, G. W. Neudeck, Modular Series on Solid State Devices vol. II, Addison-Wesley, 1989
  4. «The Bipolar junction Transistor», 2nd edition, G. W. Neudeck, Modular Series on Solid State Devices v. III, Addison-Wesley, 1989
  5. «Physics of Semiconductor Devices», 3rd edition, S. M. Sze and K. K. Ng, Wiley, 2007
  6. «Physics of Semiconductor Devices», M. Shur, Prentice Hall, 1990