EECS 401: Fundamentals of Electronic Devices

Quarter Offered

None ;


EECS 381, EECS 384, and EECS 388 or consent of instructor.


CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Transport phenomena in semiconductors, theory of the p-n junction, bipolar and unipolar devices, general analysis of the metal-semiconductor and MIS structures, CCD, MOSFET and bipolar transistors.

REQUIRED TEXTS: S.M. Sze, Physics of Semiconductor Devices , Wiley, 2nd edition, 1981.


  • S.M. Sze, ed., Modern Semiconductor Device Physics , Wiley, 1998.
  • S.M. Sze, ed., High Speed Semiconductor Devices , Wiley, 1990.
  • M. Razeghi, Fundamentals of Solid State Engineering , 2 nd ed., Springer, 2006.

COURSE INSTRUCTOR(S): Prof. Alan V. Sahakian & Prof. Matthew Grayson


COURSE GOALS: The course is designed to teach the physics behind electronic device operations and also prepare students for advanced courses in solid state and quantum electronics. The course is intended to increase knowledge gained in undergraduate level courses in electronic devices. The main emphasis is on the fundamental physics behind device operation. Topics include the background physics and the basic principles of electronic device operation with emphasis on bipolar transistors, and unipolar microwave devices.

PREREQUISITES : EECS 381, EECS 384, and EECS 388 or consent of instructor.


WEEK 1: p-n junction diode: basic device technology, depletion region, current-voltage characteristics, junction breakdown, transient behavior and noise, terminal functions, heterojunction.

WEEK 2: Bipolar transistor: static characteristics, microwave transistor, power transistor, switching transistor, related device structures.

WEEK 3: Thyristor: basic characteristics, Shockley diode and three-terminal thyristor, related power thyristor, diac and triac, unijunction transistor and trigger thyristor, field-controlled thyristor.

WEEK 4: Metal-semiconductor contacts: energy-band relation, Schottky effect, current transport processes, characterization of barrier height, device structures, ohmic contact.

WEEK 5: JFET and MESFET: basic device characteristics, general characteristics, microwave performance, related field-effect devices.

WEEK 6: MIS diode and CCD: ideal MIS diode, So-SiO 2 MOS diode, charge-coupled device.

WEEK 7: Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET):basic device characteristics, nonuniform doping and buried-channel devices, short-channel effects, MOSFET structures, nonvolatile memory devices.

WEEK 8: Tunnel devices: tunnel diode, backward diode, MIS tunnel diode, MIS switch diode, MIM tunnel diode, tunnel transistor.

WEEK 9: IMPATT and related transit-time diodes: static characteristics, dynamic characteristics, power and efficiency, noise behavior, device design and performance, BARITT and DOVETT diodes, TRAPATT diode.

WEEK 10: Transferred-electron devices: transferred-elecron effect, modes of operation, device performances.


HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS: Homework is assigned weekly to reinforce concepts learned in class.


Homework - 20%

Midterm - 30%

Final - 50%

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

• Understand the basic physics of carrier transport in bulk semiconductors and real device structures.

• Understand the fundamentals of operation of the main semiconductor electronic devices.

• Know basic parameters of electronic devices, their performance and limiting factors.

• Be able to present the results of study and research.

ABET: 10 % Science, 90 % Engineering