PHY567 - Physics of semiconducting devices

In the present course, the main concepts of semiconductor physics are presented, taking the example of a selected number of devices which are key components for industrial applications (energy, telecommunications, computer science, defense and security, environment, medical, etc.) and thus constitute model systems for fundamental physics.

After a concise and focused presentation of the main properties of "technological" semiconductors (silicon and III-V semiconductor compounds), of transport phenomena, and of optical properties of these materials, the following topics will be presented:

- the p-n junction: the p-n diode illustrates the underlying physics in minority carrier devices and is the core element of solar cells;
- the Metal / Oxide / Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor: the MOSFET is the building block of complex digital integrated circuits and recent technologies (e.g. 3D, FinFet) as well as floating-gate FETs in flash-memory technologies will also be discussed;
- LEDs - light-emitting diodes - and nitride-based emitters that are suitable for lighting and are cornerstones of energy savings;
- the quantum well laser diode, which determines the ultimate performance of telecommunication systems;
- recent evolution as well as the future of micro- and nanoelectronics will be analyzed in the case model of a few quantum devices (quantum well detectors, quantum cascade laser etc.).


Required level: PHY311 – Quantum mechanics. The course will also use a few elements from PHY430 - Advanced Quantum Physics and PHY433 - Statistical Physics 1. However, it will not require any prerequisites, thanks to an optional crash course ("Amphi Zero").
Course is given in English (in French if all the attendees are French speaking)