Semiconductor physics

Goal: Semiconductors are fundamental materials for modern technologies. During the last century, the invention of the semiconductor devices enabled the first quantum revolution with the development of the microelectronics industry. Nowadays, researchers are pushing the semiconductor nanostructures to the quantum limit with the objective to produce a second revolution based on quantum information processing. This lecture describes the main electronic properties of the semiconductor materials and explains the working principle of basic electronic devices such as diodes and transistors. The objective is to give the students the ability to analyze various semiconductor configurations invloving doping, gating, illumination, voltage bias, and to calculate physical quantities such as carrier concentrations, electrostatic potentials, and electrical currents.

  • electronic structure : crystal, energy bands, holes, effective mass, density of states.
  • free carrier population : thermal equilibrium, chemical doping, degenerate limit.
  • weak non-equilibrium transport : diffusion, conduction, Hall effect.
  • light-induced effects : generation, recombination, light emission, heat dissipation.
  • electrostatics : self-consistent equations, screening, depletion.
  • pn junctions : space charge region, carrier injection, diffusion currents, photodiode.
  • metal-semiconductor contacts : work function, Schottky barrier, ohmic contact.
  • metal-oxide-semiconductor devices : capacitors, field-effect transistors.
Labwork: microfabrication and electrical characterization of a semiconductor device in the cleanroom facility of the CIME-Nanotech.

Prerequisites: solid-state physics, statistical physics, quantum physics.
Published on April 8, 2019
Updated on March 11, 2023