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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
FMI040 - Semiconductor materials physics  
Syllabus adopted 2015-02-20 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPNAT
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Engineering Physics

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: B
Maximum participants: 18

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0102 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   03 Jun 2016 pm M,  09 Apr 2016 am EKL,  19 Aug 2016 pm M

In programs



Docent  Saroj Prasad Dash


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic course in solid state physics


The aim of the course is both to give a broad overview of the semiconductor materials field, and an understanding of the physics of semiconductor materials as well as the properties of different types of hetero- and quantum-structures. Also, the fabrication (synthetization) and characterization of semiconductors and quantum-structures, is treated.

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

  • Basic crystallography and surface reconstruction.
  • Describe phonons using simple mechanistic models. Understand phonon dispersion in semiconductors.
  • Use concepts of orbitals, atomic bonds and crystal structure to describe different single crystal semiconductor materials such as GaAs, GaN and ZnO.
  • Identify potential semiconductor materials with the help of the periodic table.
  • Qualitatively describe how the crystal structure affects the electron energy dispersion.

    Describe how the electron energy dispersion affects the electron mass and mobility.
  • Describe how the band gap depends on semiconductor alloys.
  • Understand and interpret band edge offsets and band diagrams.
  • Understand the principles behind different quantum structures. Use simple quantum mechanical models to calculate the energy levels in different types of quantum wells.
  • Describe methods for single crystal growth and and epitaxy of semiconductor materials.
  • Describe the fabrication, structure and energy profile of simple inorganic and organic electronic and optoelectronic devices such as HEMTs and LEDs.
  • Understand the differences between inorganic and organic semiconducor devices (especially LEDs and OLEDs).


  • Introduction: general course information, historical background, definitions, semiconductors today, future materials and novel phenomena.
  • Crystal structure, surfaces and phonons.
  • Electron structure: band structure, electron dispersion, bandgap, effective mass and density of states.
  • Impurities and defects:
    crystal defects, doping, shallow and deep impurity levels, excitons, Fermilevel, free charge carriers and high and low dopant concentrations.
  • Electron transport: el. conductivity, drift velocity, scattering, mobility, Hall-effect, bulk, 2DEG and 1DEG.
  • Optical properties:
    surface refraction, optical constants, absorption in semiconductors,
    relation absorption-bandgap, reflection, recombination och photoluminiscense.
  • Semiconductor materials - an overview: elementary and compound semiconductors, lattice constants and bandgap.
  • Heterojunctions:
    metal-semiconductor junctions, Schottky contacts, potential barriers,
    depletion region, charge carrier transport, semiconductor-semiconductor junctions,
    electron affinity, band-edge offset, interfaces, lattice matching,
    defects, critical thickness and Burgers vector.
  • Quantum wells: square quantum wells (QWs) with infinite and finite potential barriers,
    triangular wells, parabolic wells, quantum-confined Stark effect (QSCE),
    AlGaAs/GaAs QWs,electron-hole recombination, absorption/transmission, excitons, density of states and electron concentration, strain, stress and superlattices.
  • Crystal growth: bulk crystal growth, Czochralski, Bridgmann, float-zone, boules, wafers,
    substrates, liquid phase epitaxy, metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE), molecular beam epitaxy (MBE).
  • Heterostructure devices:
    transistors (MOSFETs, BJTs, HEMTs), light-emitting diodes (LEDs), laser diodes (LDs),
    detectors, solar cells, resonant tunneling diodes (RTDs) and quantum cascade lasers (QCLs).
  • Molecular semiconductors:
    small molecules and polymers, fabrication of thin molecular films,
    substrates, electron states, electrical and optical properties,
    organic LEDs (OLEDs) and organic transistors.
  • Spintronics
  • 2D materials: graphene, MoS2, h-BN


  • Lectures.
  • Two tutorials
  • Two home assignments. Each assignment counts with 0.5 p towards the exam result.
  • Two compulsory lab exercises.
  • One compulsory project assignment. Successful completion yields a 0.5 p bonus on the exam.


Compendium. "Semiconductors and heterostructures", by T.G. Andersson.


Written exam. Grading according to: U (Fail), 3, 4, 5.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.