Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


There are two exams during class hours, and one final exam. A term paper is due in November. There will be problem sets due most weeks except for exam and term paper weeks.


Exam 1 15%
Exam 2 15%
Paper 30%
Final Exam 30%
Problem Sets 10%

Students are encouraged to work in small groups (2-3 students) to complete the problem sets. Each student must work individually to complete the paper and exams.

ABET Educational Objectives and Outcomes

Instructional Objectives and Outcomes

  • Analyze the behavior of carriers (electrons and holes) in semiconductors in terms of drift, diffusion and recombination/generation.
  • Understand the meaning of energy levels in semiconductors, including the position of the fermi level at equilibrium and out of equilibrium.
  • Describe the operation of a pn junction and apply this understanding to more complex situations (bipolar junction transistor, junction field effect transistor, solar cell, light emitting diode, laser diode, etc.)
  • Understand the behavior of light in solids and how this can be incorporated into photonic devices, waveguides, optical fibers etc.
  • Understand basic magnetic quantities (field, induction, and moment) and phenomena (e.g. induction) and apply to simple devices (D.C. motor, disk drive, and transformer).
  • Demonstrate ability to select materials for device applications based on the desired optical, electrical or magnetic performance of the device.
  • Demonstrate ability to research the literature and to summarize important findings in writing.


  • Lectures: 3 hours per week. Encouragement of classroom participation and discussion.
  • Homework Assignment: Reading assignments to supplement lectures. Seven problem sets, at 1-2 week intervals, to practice application of concepts learned in lectures.
  • Term Paper: Each student researches a particular device to determine how the desired device performance governs the choice of material and processing route. 8-10 page written report.
  • Exams: Two during class time and one final exam, all closed book, to test understanding of concepts (rather than testing numerical problem solving).

Assessment Methods

  • Portfolio Analysis: Graded problem sets form a record from which a quantitative assessment of mastery of concepts can be made. These constitute 10% of final grade.
  • Examinations: Two during class time, approximately 1/3 and 2/3 of the way through the lecture schedule, to test mastery of the first and second third of the material (15% of grade each). Final exam (30% of grade) tests synthesis of concepts.
  • Term Paper: (30% of final grade) assesses ability to research and summarize the literature and to apply materials selection criteria to electronic/optical/magnetic devices.
  • Self Assessment: Students will complete an evaluation to assess how well the objectives and outcomes were satisfied.
  • Instructor Assessment: Instructor will prepare memorandum that summarizes the success of the subject and outlines suggestions for improvement.