ECE 103 Fundamentals of Devices and Materials

Fall Quarter, September 26 – December 14, 2013


University of California San Diego

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering



Instructor:     Prof. Shadi Dayeh

            Office: Jacobs Hall (EBU1), Room 4803

                        Tel.: (858) 534-5171; Fax: (858) 534-0556; e-mail:

Office Hours: Tuesday 3:00 - 4:00 pm; Friday 10:00 - 11:00 am or by appointment/drop in.


Lectures:  Tuesday, Thursday, 12:30 - 1:50 pm Warren Lecture Hall (WLH), Room 2005. 

Discussion Session: Monday, Wednesday 12:00-12:50pm Pepper Canyon Hall (PCYNH), Room 122.


Teaching Assistants:

-       Farid Azzazi, e-mail:

Discussion Sessions: M 12:00 – 12:50 pm, PCYNH, starting Sept. 30

Office Hours: Thursday 3:00-4:00pm. Friday 3:00am-4:00pm, EBU1, Room (EBU1-5706).

-       Somayeh Imani, e-mail:

Discussion Sessions: W 12:00 – 12:50 pm, PCYNH

Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday 5:00-6:00pm, EBU1, Room (EBU1-5706).



Syllabus & Course Policy


Š      Announcements:


-       12/16/2013: The final has been graded. Here are the statistics, final questions, final solutions, and your grades. Your letter grades have been submitted. Best of luck at and beyond UCSD!

-       12/05/2013: In today’s lecture, we overviewed carrier transport in Schottky barriers and MESFETs (quite briefly and conceptually) and selected homework problems. We then we did an overview of the material we covered in this class from pn junctions onwards. Good luck studying for the final!

-       12/03/2013: In today’s lecture, we discussed the non-ideal MOS and MOSFETs. We looked into threshold voltage shift due to fixed and mobile charges, and interface traps and the general formula for flat-band voltage and threshold voltage. We also looked into the potential and inversion charge profile in MOSFETs and derived their IV characteristics. We started the metal-semiconductor junctions which we will continue on Thursday’s lecture and also provide a review for the Final.

-       11/26/2013: Here are two sample finals from previous years: Sample Final 1, and Sample Final 2 and solutions for homework 7 and homework 8 referenced in Sample Final 2.

-       11/26/2013: Quiz#2 has been graded. Here are the statistics, quiz solutions, and your grades up to date.

-       11/26/2013: In today’s lecture, we reviewed the ideal MOS diode/capacitor in the context of the lecture on 11/21/2013, and went on to calculate the MOS surface potential and electric field, depletion width, potential drop across the oxide, and the threshold voltage. We then discussed the capacitance voltage characteristics for ideal MOS. Next lecture, we will discuss non-ideal MOS and MOSFETs.

-       11/21/2013: In today’s lecture, we discussed the ideal MOS diode/capacitor, effects of bias electric charge, field, potential and energy band-diagrams and we then followed by definitions on surface potential, inversion condition, and 1D solution of Poisson’s equation.

-       11/19/2013: In today’s lecture, we looked into the npn BJT transistor operation to compliment our earlier discussion on pnp transistor operation from last lectuer. We also looked at the modes of operation relevant to minority carrier profile depending on base-emitter and base-collector biases, common base I-V characteristics, common emitter I-V characteristics, base width modulation/early voltage, performance parameters of BJTs, breakdown mechanisms due to punch through and avalanche multiplication effects, and briefly went over the Ebers Moll equations and model.

-       11/14/2013: In today’s lecture, we wrapped up our discussion on solar cells and discussed bipolar junction transistor’s principle of operation and transistor action, energy bands, and minority carrier density profiles and current densities.

-       11/12/2013: In today’s lecture, we went over derivation of the narrow base minority carrier concentration profile and current density. We then discussed fundamental aspects of the physics of operation of solar cells up to the IV characteristics of a solar cell. In our next lecture, we will finish up with figures of merit relevant to solar cells and start with BJTs. You will not be questioned about solar cells in quiz#2 and the exam.

-       11/07/2013: In today’s lecture, we went over the midterm solutions, and overviewed minority carrier concentration profiles and currents in p-n junctions under different bias conditions. We then discussed the current-voltage characteristics and non-idealities in p-n junctions including Avalanche multiplication, tunneling process, recombination-generation currents in the depletion region, high-level injection effects, and series resistance effects on the I-V characteristics. We then discussed narrow base diodes and their minority carrier density profiles.

-       10/31/2013: In today’s regular lecture, we sharpened the qualitative discussion of band-edge diagrams and current transport in p-n junctions. We discussed reference electrostatic potentials and solved Poisson’s equation in the quasi-neutral regions to obtain field and potential expressions, which we then used to calculate the junction depletion widths and built-in potentials. In the make-up lecture, we worked with the energy-band diagrams under different biasing regimes and discussed their influence on depletion and current transport. We then solved for the minority carrier density in the p- and n- quasi-neutral regions and derived the IV characteristics for an ideal pn junction diode.

-       10/24/2013: In today’s lecture, we went over the continuity equations and looked an example of solving the minority carrier distribution as a function of x for steady state injection from 1-side. We then looked at p-n junctions, with a qualitative picture of how diffusion-drift components cancel each other, and how to construct the energy band-diagram of a p-n junction at thermal equilibrium. We then derived Poisson’s equation and applied it, qualitatively, to sketch the field, potential, and band-diagram in p-n junctions. I have uploaded the lecture notes and two extra pages on applying Poisson’s equation quantitatively to the p-n junction and on deriving the built-in voltage and the depletion widths. Please use these to attempt problems 5.2 and 5.11 of Homework#4. These will be considered bonus problems and we will give you extra credit if you solve them.

-       10/22/2013: In today’s lecture, we went overviewed drift/diffusion current concepts and discussed the derivation of Einstein’s relationship, concept of Quasi-Fermi levels total current density expression relevant to the quasi-Fermi levels, the Hall effect (not required), Recombination/Generation processes (mainly trap-assisted, direct band-to band, and Auger recombination). We then discussed the net recombination rate upon illumination and the steady-state spatial and time-dependent minority carrier density profiles.

-       10/17/2013: In today’s lecture, we overviewed mobility dependence on material parameters and velocity-field effects in Si and GaAs. We then discussed drift current, conductivity/resistivity, electrostatic potential and potential/kinetic energies, carrier diffusion, and Einstein’s relationship. We will start next time by a brief overview of drift/diffusion, and Einstein’s relationship and get to recombination/generation mechanisms and the continuity equations.

-       10/17/2013: There will be no lecture on Tuesday Oct. 29th. We will have a make-up lecture on Thursday Oct. 31st 6:30 - 7:50 pm in CSB (Cognitive Science Building, room   002).

-       10/17/2013: The first midterm will be pushed back to Nov. 5th.

-       10/17/2013: Homework # 3 is posted in the Homework section and is due on Oct. 22nd at the beginning the lecture.

-       10/15/2013: In today’s lecture, we reviewed free carrier statistics, went over a few concepts in carrier transport relevant to drift velocity, scattering mechanisms, and mobility field relationships. We then conducted our 1st ½ hour Quiz.

-       10/10/2013: In today’s lecture, we went over free carrier concentration density for intrinsic and extrinsic non-degenerate semiconductors, charge neutrality and electron-density as a function of temperature, and worked out two examples (3rd example included in the lecture notes). As for variation of the energy band-gap of Si with energy, the equation should be: Eg(T)=Eg(0)-alpha.T^2/(T+betta). All parameters were given in example 2.

-       10/08/2013: In today’s lecture, we went over the concepts and expressions for the density of states, Fermi energy and Fermi function, and the carrier concentration in non-degenerate semiconductors. Next lecture, we will iterate over the carrier concentration in intrinsic and extrinsic (doped) semiconductors and the temperature dependence of their carrier concentration and proceed to charge transport in semiconductors.

-       10/08/2013: Prof. Dayeh will hold an extra office hour this Wednesday (10/09/13) 1-2pm, and another office hour on Monday (10/14/13) 4-5 pm in 4803-EBU1. There will be no office hour at 10-11 am on Friday (10/11/13).

-       10/08/2013: Homework # 2 due date is postponed to Oct. 15th.

-       10/08/2013: Next Tuesday (Oct. 15th) is our first quiz. It will include materials we went over thus far up to the contents of the lecture on 10/10/13. A sample quiz is uploaded to the Handouts section.

-       10/03/2013: In today’s lecture, we continued our discussion on crystal structure and went over FCC, Diamond/ZincBlende structures, miller indices of planes and directions. We then went over the concept of hole charge transport, donors and acceptors.

-       10/01/2013: In today’s lecture, we went over the concept of energy-momentum diagrams, their characteristics for insulators, semiconductors (direct and indirect bandgaps), metals and semi-metals. We discussed classification of semiconductors according to composition and long-range structure. We then discussed crystal structure classification with unit cells for the cases of simple cubic and body-centered cubic. 

-       09/26/2013: In today’s lecture, we went over the logistics of ECE103, an introduction to the Electronic Devices and Materials depth and the class syllabus. We then went over the evolution of energy bands from molecules to solids and discussed the concept of energy bandgap, valence band, and conduction band.

-       09/25/2013: Welcome to ECE103! Please check this website regularly for announcements and class related handouts.


Š      Lecture Notes:


- 09/26/2013                Lecture 1 (~36MB)

- 10/01/2013                Lecture 2 Notes          Lecture 2 supporting slides

- 10/03/2013                Lecture 3 Notes         

- 10/08/2013                Lecture 4 Notes

- 10/10/2013                Lecture 5 Notes

- 10/15/2013                Lecture 6 Notes

- 10/17/2013                Lecture 7 Slides

- 10/22/2013                Lecture 7-8 Notes       Lecture 8 supporting slides

- 10/22/2013                Lecture 9 Notes

- 10/22/2013                Lecture 10-11 Notes

- 11/07/2013                Lecture 12 Notes        Lecture 12 supporting slides

- 11/12/2013                Lecture 13 Slides

- 11/14/2013                Lecture 14 Notes        Lecture 14 slides

- 11/19/2013                Lecture 15 Notes        Lecture 15 slides

- 11/21/2013                Lecture 16 Notes

- 11/26/2013                Lecture 17 Notes        Lecture 17 slides

- 12/03/2013                Lecture 18 Notes        Lecture 18 slides         Introduction to metal-semiconductor-contacts

- 12/03/2013                Lecture 19 Slides


Š      Handouts:


- 10/08/2013                Midterm and its Solution

- 10/08/2013                Quiz Example

- 10/17/2013                Quiz  #1 Solution

- 10/31/2013                Selected Midterm Review Slides

- 10/31/2013                Sample midterm questions

- 10/31/2013                Somayeh Discussion Session Notes#1

- 11/14/2013                Somayeh Discussion Session Notes#2

- 11/26/2013                Quiz  #2 Solution

- 11/26/2013                Sample Final 1

- 11/26/2013                Sample Final 2



Š      Problem Sets and Solutions:


- Homework 1 due on Oct. 8th                                                              Homework 1 Solutions

- Homework 2 due on Oct. 10th Oct. 15th                                           Homework 2 Solutions

- Homework 3 due on Oct. 22nd                                                           Homework 3 Solutions

- Homework 4 due on Oct. 31st                                                            Homework 4 Solutions

- Homework 5 due on Nov. 14th                                                           Homework 5 Solutions

- Homework 6 (overall review) due on Nov. 21st                                 Homework 6 Solutions

- Homework 7 due on Dec. 3rd                                                            Homework 7 Solutions

- Homework 8 due on Dec. 5th                                                            Homework 8 Solutions


© Shadi Dayeh, 2013  Last update: 12/16/2013 10:41 pm