ELEC_ENG 381: Electronic Materials: Properties and Applications



ELEC_ENG 223 or consent of Instructor.


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.



  • 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


Week 1: Review of quantum mechanics. Electrons and energy bands in crystals: one-dimensional zone schemes, Brillouin zones, reciprocal lattice, free electron band structures of metals and semiconductors,

Week 2: Fermi energy, Fermi surface, Fermi distribution, density of states, effective mass.

Week 3: Electrical conduction in metals and alloys: classical electron theory and quantum mechanical treatment of conductivity, experimental results.

Week 4: Electrical conduction in polymers, ceramics, and amorphous materials: conducting polymers and organic metals, ionic conduction, conduction in metal oxides, amorphous materials. 

Week 5: 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 6: Quantum mechanical treatment of the optical properties: absorption, interband and intraband transitions, optical spectra of materials.

Week 7: 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 8: Magnetic phenomena and their classical interpretation: basic concepts, diamagnetism, paramagnetism, ferromagnetism, antiferromagnetism, ferrimagnetism. Soft and hard magnetic materials, permanent magnets, magnetic recordings, magnetic memories

Week 9: Quantum mechanical considerations of the properties of materials and their applications: atomic magnetic moment, g-factor, quantization under external magnetic field. Quantum mechanical view of paramagnetism and diamagnetism.

Week 10: Superconductivity: Cooper pair, Type I and Type II superconductors, Meissner effect. Final Project presentations.


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