Electronics, Circuits, Devices & Transducers (ECDT)
Option A: The student will be tested in three out of the following six areas:
- circuit design
- semiconductor devices
- VLSI and MEMS microfabrication techniques
- principles of micro sensors and transducers
- quantum mechanics.
Description of option A:
- The student may choose the three areas for his/her exam.
- The material covered in these six areas is described in the posted syllabus, posted by the end of the second week of classes.
- The examination shall consist of a maximum of 60 minutes of questions and discussion.
Option B: The student will be tested based on a presentation of up to three publications. The details of option B are given below.
The option for the qualifying exam will be determined by a student’s advisor.
Description of option B:
- By the end of the fourth week of classes, the group chair shall select an exam committee of three faculty, which includes an exam committee chair.
- The exam committee with assistance from the student’s advisor will select a set of up to three peer-reviewed papers. These papers shall be assembled by the exam committee chair by the end of the fifth week of classes. These papers will be chosen to be relevant to the research of the student, but not identical to his/her research.
- The exam committee chair will determine a date for the examination by the end of the sixth week of classes.
- The committee chair shall deliver the set of papers to the student two weeks before the scheduled oral exam.
- During the ensuing two weeks, the student’s advisor may not impose any research deadlines on the student.
- The student is permitted to talk to anyone about the topics, but must cite any ideas provided by others as part of his/her presentation.
- The examination shall consist of a maximum of 30 minute presentation of the student’s ideas about the chosen topic. This will be followed by one hour of questions and discussion.
- The student will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- Clarity and coherence of presentation.
- Clarity of thought about the technical problems presented in the papers.
- Accuracy and clarity of his/her summary of the papers, as well as his/her thoughts on other work in the field.
- Technical correctness and depth of thought.
- Ability to answer questions about the work clearly and concisely.
- Originality of a plausible agenda of original research that might follow up on or compete with the work described in the papers.
- The reporting requirements and standards for this exam shall be identical to those for the standard departmental examination procedure.
Optional information to aid students: It is suggested that the presentation be structured as follows, though this is not a requirement:
- Summary of work in the field:
- What are the commonalities of these papers?
- What field of work do they represent?
- What other relevant recent work has been done in the area?
- Summary of the individual papers:
- What is the core innovation in each paper?
- What are the key methods?
- What are the important orders of magnitude?
- Quantitative description:
- Provide a quantitative description of the experiments described, and demonstrate an understanding of the relevant fundamentals.
- Future directions:
- Propose one or more of your own ideas of possible new directions for work in the relevant field.
- Back these ideas up with an order-of-magnitude argument as to why they might be interesting.
- Defend and discuss these ideas with the members of the committee.
- CMOS analog circuits
- Operational amplifiers
- Switched capacitor circuits
- Technologies: Low power CMOS, High frequency RF CMOS
- Device physics (band theory, drift-diffusion-recombination)
- Pn-junction diode
- Bipolar junction transistor
VLSI and MEMS Microfabrication Techniques:
- Unit processes: diffusion, implantation, film growth, deposition, etching
- Common/modern CMOS process and fabrication flows
- MEMS release processes
Principles of Micro Sensors and Transducers:
- Optical sensors
- Thermal sensors
- Pressure sensors
- Electrostatic transducers
- Thermal transducers
- Fundamentals of Optics: Geometrical optics and matrix methods; Wave optics, superposition, and interference; Gaussian beam optics and lasers; Polarization; Photons and photons in semiconductors.
- Semiconductor lasers, LEDs, and photodetectors
- Passive waveguide devices: Basic principles in optical waveguides; Modulators and Switches.
- Schrodinger’s Equation
- Closed and Open Systems (including Particle in a box, Single Barrier Tunneling, Double Barriers (resonant tunneling), Nanowire, Quantum Well, Quantum Dot, Coupled quantum wells, Hydrogen Atom, Kronig-Penney model, Time evolution of wave packets)
- Energy levels and wave function in a crystalline solid
- Density of states (including those listed in “Closed and Open Systems” listed above and technologically relevant nanomaterials)
- Perturbation theory (first order and second order perturbation theory)