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Syllabus for

Academic year
MCC086 - Microelectronics
Syllabus adopted 2013-02-14 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: TKELT
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: First-cycle
Major subject: Electrical Engineering

Teaching language: Swedish
Block schedule: A

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0111 Examination 3,0c Grading: TH   3,0c   21 Oct 2013 pm M,  13 Jan 2014 pm V,  18 Aug 2014 am M
0211 Project 3,0c Grading: TH   3,0c    
0311 Written and oral assignments 1,5c Grading: UG   1,5c    

In programs



Bitr professor  Kjell Jeppson
Docent  Per Lundgren


ETI145   Microelectronic devices and circuits MCC085   Microelectronics

Course evaluation:

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For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

Physics (FFY401 and FFY143), Circuit Analysis (EMI083, EMI084), Electronics (ETI146), Electromagnetism (EEM015) and Calculus in one variable (TMV136)


To give the participants an opportunity to familiarize with the subject of semiconductor devices and to train relevant skills for a future engineering career.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • explain how the conductivity and Fermi potential in a semiconductor vary with parameters like mobility, doping and temperature
  • explain qualitatively and quantitatively those mechanisms that limit current in devices like diodes and transistors
  • isolate physical phenomena in semiconductor materials and devices, and simplify their influence on device behaviour using piecewise linear models
  • predict diode and transistor currents as a function of the applied voltages for different temperatures and device geometries using suitable device models
  • characterize diodes and MOSFETs and from measurements extract model parameter values for best fit to data
  • illustrate the model to data fit by using Matlab or Excel for curve plotting
  • illustrate device characteristics, load lines, bias points and device behaviour by means of simple hand-drawn diagrams
  • apply dimensional analysis when solving physical problems and to use an engineering approach for judging whether the results of such calculations are reasonable or not
  • understand the difference between small-signal and large-signal analyses and be able to show to use these models in different situations
Depending on the student's own choice some of the following learning outcomes might also be reached:

  • mention the most important microelectronic milestones since the development of the transistor in 1947, and be aware of Moore¿s law
  • describe basic microelectronic fabrication techniques for semiconductor devices and ICs
  • apply simple models for photovoltaic cells and photodiods to describe their function
The student should also have gained some skills in using Excel and Matlab for plotting curves and diagrams.


  • Semiconductor fundamentals(repetition of basic concepts from Physics course):
    • Intrinsic/extrinsic semiconductors, doping of impurities (donors/acceptors); charge carriers: holes and electrons, majority/minority carriers, mobility. conductivity/resistivity.
    • Band theory, Fermi-Dirac distribution function, Fermi potential.
    • Temperature dependence.

  • pn-junctions (repetition of basic concepts from Electronics course):
    • ideal diodes, piecewise linear diode models (built-in contact potential and series resistance),
    • the diode as a rectifying circuit element,
    • ideal diode equation, ideality factor, small-signal model, dynamic resistance, the diode in Spice circuit simulator,

  • pn-junctions (course specific new material):
    • methods for extraction of model parameters from experimental data
    • built-in potential, balance between drift and diffusion across the junction
    • band diagrams, the law of the junction, low-level injection of minority carriers, diffusion length
    • depletion regions, breakdown mechanisms,
    • the diode as a nonlinear capacitance, Gauss' law, parallel plate capacitor analogy,
    • minority carrier charge storage, diode switching properties.

  • Short review of light-emitting diodes, solar cells, photo cells.

  • The MOSFET (repetition of basic concepts from Electronics course):
    • The MOSFET as a voltage controlled resistor and current source
    • Piecewise linear models, Shockley square-law model.
    • Current/voltage output and transfer characteristics.
    • Large-signal vs. small-signal MOSFET models
      • large-signal models for digital ON/OFF switching transients and for analog biasing
      • small-signal models for analog amplifier circuits
    • Basic MOSFET analog circuits. Basic CMOS logic gates.

  • The MOSFET (new course specific material):
    • Methods for extraction of model parameters from experimental data, linear regression
    • MOS capacitance, accumulation, depletion, inversion. Gauss' law. Capacitors in series.
    • MOSFET band diagrams.
    • Strong inversion MOSFET theory and modeling, the gradual-channel approximation.
    • Weak inversion MOSFET current modeling, subthreshold currents.
    • Second-order effects:
      • velocity saturation,
      • mobility roll-off,
      • Drain-induced barrier-lowering (DIBL),
      • The body effect,
      • Channel length modulation, Early voltage.

  • Plotting of device characteristics in Matlab and/or Excel.
  • The importance of engineering approaches and dimensional analyses in problem solving.
  • Microelectronic milestones. Moores' law.
  • Emerging technologies. Nanoelectronics.
  • Manufacturing technology for integrated CMOS circuits


  • The course is organized with lectures, class exercises, hands-on laboratories and projects. For each week and course section there is a diagnostic on-line test.
    • The first two weeks deal with semiconductor fundamentals such as conductivity and Fermi statistics in a traditional way and with two compulsory home assignments.
    • Weeks three and four includes a diode project with oral presentation of the results.
    • During weeks five and six a similar MOSFET project is done in parallel to lectures and exercises. One hands-on laboration is included. Oral or written presentation of project results.
    • During week seven the CMOS technology for manufacturing of integrated circuits is considered, as well as the history of microelectronics and its most important milestones. Moore's law.


Kjell Jeppson: Kurshäfte i Mikroelektronik, 2012


Robert F. Pierret: Semiconductor Device Fundamentals, Prentice Hall (1996)

book cover


The course is divided into three parts that are examined individually. The final grade will be a weighted average of the grades for the project and for the written examination.

The written examination consists of two parts. No aids are allowed in the first part, which consists of two problems. The first problems contains five basic questions covering the four main parts of the course. At least three of these must be correctly answered for a pass and for a review of the second part part. The second problem can be selected among a few alternatives, typically concerning the history of microelectronics or fabrication techniques.

The second part consists of three problems to be solved (book and formulas allowed). The requirements to pass are at least three points (out of four) for one problem solution or at least two plus two points for two problem solutions. The focus of the written examination is on extraction of model parameters, depletion regions and capacitances, and diode and MOSFET current models.

In total, a minimum of 8 out of 18 available points are required on the written examination.

Published: Wed 26 Feb 2020.