Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Semiconductor Physics
Academic Year
Semester 1
PH14310, and successful completion of Year 2.
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 22 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written examination  70%
Semester Assessment Course Work  30%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Written examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

After taking this module students should be able to:

  • understand the basic mechanisms of electrical conductivity in semiconductors.
  • understand the operation of the semiconductor junctions and appreciate their crucial role in the production of integrated semiconductor devices.
  • appreciate the future direction of semiconductor device technology.

Brief description

This module provides a basic introduction to semiconductor physics, concentrating on those elements which underpin an understanding of the operation of semiconductor devices. The physics of important devices, such as transistors, will be detailed. In addition, an introduction to novel device structures which are being developed as a result of advances in semiconductor research will be provided.


Semiconductor materials and their crystal structure - Miller indices.
Intrinsic and extrinsic conductivity. Shallow and deep centres and structures, effective mass.
Diffusion of carriers.
Junctions in semiconductor systems - the metal-semiconductor junction, homo- and hetero-semiconductor-semiconductor junction, and the metal-insulator-semiconductor junction.
The planar transistor structure. Planar resistor and capacitor structure.
Semiconductor optoelectronic devices. Detectors (photodiodes and transistors, photovoltaic devices, and emitters (LEDs and lasers).
Novel devices - HEMTs, quantum well devices.


This module is at CQFW Level 6