Fundamentals of semiconductor devices

By Prof. Digbijoy N. Nath   |   IISc Bangalore
Learners enrolled: 853
This course seeks to cover the basics of semiconductor devices including the physics of energy bands, doping and carrier statistics and transport leading up to the understanding of common semiconductor devices including p-n junctions and their applications, BJTs and MOSFETs. The course will also give a flavour of the basics of compound semiconductors and their devices, and also touch base with opto-electronic devices such as solar cells, photodetectors and LEDs. The course will ensure that undergraduates, college teachers and other interested audience with no background in semiconductors are able to grasp the content. In parallel, the course will consistently seek to engage the audience by giving real-life examples pertaining to the content, and also seek to calibrate the content with respect to practical and commercial technologies which are all around us and which use semiconductor devices. There will be enough food for thought even for advanced learners such as PhD students and active researchers. 

INTENDED AUDIENCE : Students pursuing B.E./B.Tech in ECE/EE, or M. Sc Physics
PRE-REQUISITES : High school physics & math, 10+2 physics
INDUSTRY SUPPORT : Semiconductor
Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Exam Date : 24 Apr 2022 IST
Category :
  • Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • VLSI design
  • Electronic Materials
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate

Course layout

Week 1  :  Importance of semiconductor devices and their diverse applications. Introduction to semiconductors, concept of energy bands and how bands form. Effective mass of electrons, E-k diagram. Concept of holes. Concept of Fermi level, Fermi-Dirac distribution. Doping (extrinsic & intrinsic semiconductor), density of states. 
Week 2  :  Equilibrium electron-hole concentration, temperature-dependence. Carrier scattering and mobility, velocity saturation, Drift-diffusion transport 
Week 3  :  Excess carrier decay & recombination, charge injection, continuity equation, quasi-Fermi level 
Week 4 : p-n junction: static behaviour (depletion width, field profile), p-n junction under forward & reverse bias, current equations, generation-recombination current and reference to typical devices. 
Week 5  :  Zener and avalanche breakdown, Capacitance-voltage profiling, metal/semiconductor junction – Ohmic and Schottky contacts, reference to device applications. 
Week 6 :  MOS capacitor, charge/field/energy bands, accumulation, inversion, C-V (high and low frequencies), deep depletion, Real MOS cap: Flat-band & threshold voltage, Si/SiO2 system. 
Week 7  :  MOSFET: structure and operating principle, derivation of I-V, gradual channel approximation, substrate bias effects, sub-threshold current and gate oxide breakdown. Control of threshold voltage, short channel effects. Moore’s Law and CMOS scaling 
Week 8 : Introduction to compound semiconductors & alloys, commonly used compound semiconductors, heterostructure band diagrams and basics of MODFET & HEMT, introduction to quantum well, applications of heterostructure device technologies 
Week 9  :  BJT: working principle, DC parameters and current components, base transport factor, Early Effect, charge control equation & current gain, need for HBT. Applications of BJTs/HBTs in real-life. 
Week 10 : (Basics of) - transistors for high-speed logic, transistors for high frequency (RF), transistors for high power switching, transistors for memories, transistors for low noise, transistors for the future. 
Week 11 : Solar cells: principle, efficiency, Fill factor, Shockley-Quiesser limit, silicon solar cells, multi-junction solar cell, Photodetectors: operation, figures of merit (responsivity, QE, bandwidth, noise, Detectivity), examples from IR to UV detectors. 
Week 12 : LEDs: working principle, radiative/non-radiative recombination, various types of efficiencies (EQE, WPE, IQE), light extraction and escape cone. Blue LED and the Nobel Prize, visible LEDs and chromaticity. 

Books and references

 i. Solid State Electronic Devices, by Ben Streetman and Sanjay Banerjee, Prentice Hall.
ii. Introduction to Semiconductor Materials and Devices, by M. S. Tyagi, Wiley Publications.

Instructor bio

Prof. Digbijoy N. Nath

IISc Bangalore
Digbijoy N. Nath completed his B.E. (Hons) in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from BITS, Pilani (Rajasthan) and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Ohio State University, Columbus specializing in gallium nitride based semiconductor devices. He has been as Assistant Professor at Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE) at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore since Aug 2014. His research interests lie in wide band gap semiconductor devices for high power & RF electronics/deep-UV opto-electronics. He has authored/co-authored 46 publications so far. He has been teaching a postgraduate level course Semiconductor Devices and IC Technology for PhD/Masters students at IISc for four years while he has also started a new advanced-level course titled Semiconductor Opto-electronics and Photovoltaics (jointly with another faculty member).

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 24 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IISc Bangalore.It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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