EECS 381 - Electronic Properties of Materials

Quarter Offered

Fall : 1-1:50 MWF ; Mohseni


EECS 223 or consent of Instructor.


CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Quantum physics; electrons and energy bands in crystals; electronic transport in materials, superconductivity; optical properties of materials and their applications; magnetic properties of materials and their applications; thermal properties of materials.



  • R.E. Hummel, Electronic Properties of Materials, Springer-Verlag, 3rd edition, 2001.
  • J. W. Mayer and S. S. Lau, Electronic Materials Science: for Integrated Circuits in Si and GaAs, Macmillan, 1990.

COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Hooman Mohseni

COURSE COORDINATOR: Prof. Manijeh Razeghi

COURSE GOALS: The course is designed to provide the opportunity for students from different backgrounds to undertake study and research in solid state engineering and electronic materials. For those students who look toward an industrial position after graduation, this course is designed to widen background in material engineering and help them to meet the industry demand. For students who plan on graduate studies, it provides an excellent opportunity to prepare themselves for advanced study in a variety of different areas of solid state engineering and material science: metals, semiconductors, superconductors, optical, magnetic and amorphous materials. The course is meant to create the background needed to understand the physics of device operations and also prepare students for advanced courses in solid state and quantum electronics.

PREREQUISITES BY COURSES: EECS 223 or consent of Instructor.


WEEK 1: Electrons and energy bands in crystals: one-dimensional zone schemes, Brillouin zones, reciprocal lattice, free electron band structures of metals and semiconductors, Fermi energy, Fermi surface, Fermi distribution, density of states, effective mass.

WEEK 2: Electrical conduction in metals and alloys: classical electron theory and quantum mechanical treatment of conductivity, experimental results, superconductivity.

WEEK 3: Electrical conduction in polymers, ceramics, and amorphous materials: conducting polymers and organic metals, ionic conduction, conduction in metal oxides, amorphous materials.

WEEK 4: Optical properties of materials: optical constants, index of refraction, damping constant, penetration depth, absorbance, reflectivity, transmissivity, Hagen-Rubens relation; atomistic theory, free electrons, bound electrons, harmonic oscillators.

WEEK 5: Quantum mechanical treatment of the optical properties: absorption, interband and intraband transitions, optical spectra of materials.

WEEK 6: Applications of the optical properties of materials: Kramers-Kronig analysis, reflection spectra, semiconductors, insulators, gas lasers, semiconductor lasers, light-emitting diodes, integrated optoelectronics, waveguides, modulators, switches, optical data storage, optical computer.

WEEK 7: Magnetic phenomena and their classical interpretation: basic concepts, diamagnetism, paramagnetism, ferromagnetism, antiferromagnetism, ferrimagnetism, Langevin theory.

WEEK 8: Quantum mechanical considerations of the properties of materials and their applications: paramagnetism, diamagnetism, ferromagnetism, antiferromagnetism, soft and hard magnetic materials, permanent magnets, magnetic recordings, magnetic memories.

WEEK 9: Fundamentals of thermal properties of materials: heat, work, energy, heat capacity, thermal conductivity, ideal gas theory, kinetic theory of gases.

WEEK 10: Advanced thermal properties of materials: classical and quantum mechanical theory of heat capacity, Einstein and Debye models, phonons, classical and quantum mechanical considerations of thermal conduction in metals and alloys, thermal conduction in dielectric materials, thermal expansion.



  • Measurement of electron charge
  • Hall effect
  • Thermoelectric effect
  • Electrical properties of point contacts
  • Ferromagnetic phase transition
  • Demonstration of superconductivity
  • Photoconductivity
  • Light-emitting diode

GRADES: Homework - 25%, Labs - 25%, Midterm - 25%, Final - 25%

COURSE OBJECTIVES: When a student completes this course, s/he should be able to:

  • Understand the quantum mechanics of electron in crystals.
  • Understand the basic electrical and magnetic properties of crystalline solids and amorphous materials.
  • Understand the difference between electronic structures and physical properties of semiconductors, metals, and dielectrics.
  • Understand the physics of magnetic phase transitions and superconductivity.
  • Measure and analyze transport characteristics of semiconductors.
  • Measure and analyze basic optical parameters of semiconductors.
  • Understand the physics behind solid state electronics and optoelectronic devices.
  • Understand the basic design of major microelectronic and optoelectronic devices, their features, and limitations.
  • Present the results of study and research.

ABET: 90 % Science, 10 % Engineering