Master Course Description

No: EE482


Credits: 4

UW Course Catalog Description

Coordinator: Scott Dunham, Professor, Electrical Engineering

Goals: To extend the elementary knowledge of semiconductor physics that students have already acquired in EE331 and EE332. To provide students with a more advanced understanding of elementary band theory and the operation of important electronic devices such as pn junction diodes, metal-semiconductor contacts, MOSFETs and BJTs.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Translate a physical understanding of semiconductor devices into a mathematical formulation that will lead to a quantitative description of device operation.
  2. Introduce students to various approximations based on the physical understanding that would solve governing equations for quantitative description of device operation.
  3. Provide students with an understanding of the limitations of some device models.

Textbook: R. S. Muller and T. I. Kamins, Device Electronics for Integrated Circuits, 3rd Edition, 2003, Wiley.

Reference Texts: Donald A. Neamen, An Introduction to Semiconductor Devices, McGraw-Hill, 2006.

Prerequisites by Topic:

  1. Basic Carrier concepts: holes and electrons, drift and diffusion
  2. Basic energy band concepts: conduction and valence band, simple energy band diagrams
  3. Simple p n-junction diode concepts: minority carrier distributions in n and p regions.
  4. Electrostatics: understanding of and ability to apply Poisson's equation.


  1. Introduction of energy bands and E(k) diagrams
  2. The semiconductor physics in equilibrium
  3. Carrier transport phenomena
  4. None-equilibrium excess carriers in semiconductors
  5. Analysis of pn-junction diodes.
  6. Metal-semiconductor junctions
  7. MOS field effect transistors (MOSFETs).
  8. Bipolar junction transistors (BJTS).

Course Structure: The course meets for four lectures each week. Weekly assignments apply concepts learned to concrete examples.

Computer Resources: N/A.

Grading: Homework (8 assignments) 10% , Midterm exams (2 exams) 50% , Final exam/project - 40%.

Outcome Coverage:

(a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering. The vast majority of the lectures and homework assignment deal with the fundamental understanding of semiconductor device operational principles(pn junction diodes, BJT, MOSFET etc.), and translating this understandings into quantitative description of device characteristics. Mathematical formulations are commonplace throughout the course. Simple device modeling is also covered in lectures and homework assignments. (H)

(e) An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems. The lectures and homework involves solving engineering problems by (i) showing the students how to formulate the necessary governing equations and (ii) how to solve these equations with appropriate approximations guided by physical understandings of each device's operation. The midterms and final challenge the students accordingly. (H)

Prepared By: Scott Dunham

Last revised: 5/8/07