MSE 5460 / ECE 5570: Compound Semiconductors Materials Science

Spring 2016, Cornell University



Prof. Debdeep Jena (web)

Departments of ECE and MSE, Cornell University


Class Hours

T Th 8:40 – 9:55 am  [+ some extras 8:40 – 9:55 am]

Location: Bard Hall 140, Official Links MSE  ECE

Office hours: T Th 10-12 am



MSE 2620 or equivalent.


About the course

The course provides comprehensive understanding of compound semiconductors, stressing how differences from Silicon enable unique applications in electronics, photonics, photovoltaics, and thermoelectrics.  The compound semiconductor materials discussed include those from the semiconductor families of group IV (SiGe, SiC), III-V (GaAs, InP, GaN), II-VI (ZnO, CdTe), and layered semiconductors (MoS2, Bi2Se3, BN, etc), and will touch on organic and dilute magnetic semiconductors.  Methods of crystal growth, doping, strain control, and fabrication will be discussed.  Electronic bandstructure will be used to develop band diagrams of complex heterostructures and nanostructures including quantum wells, wires, and dots.  Examples of these semiconductor materials in electronic, photonic, thermoelectric, and solar cell applications will be used to motivate the materials science.



Reading assignments will be prescribed from the following texts: 

- Materials Science of Semiconductors (MSS, Angus Rockett)

- Quantum Semiconductor Structures (QSS, Weisbuch and Vinter)


Course related materials

1) Tentative course calendar

2) Lecture videos: Of this course, recorded during Spring 2016

3) Lecture videos: Of a related Short Course on Semiconductor Device Physics (SDP)

4) Semiconductors Today: Compound Semiconductor research and industry news

5) Archive of semiconductor material properties

6) 1D Poisson-Schrodinger solver for Energy Band Diagrams

7) Slides/Materials used in class for illustration



1 – Assignment 1         posted: 02/06/2016      due: 02/18/2016                       solutions

2 – Assignment 2         posted: 02/27/2016      due: 03/09/2016                       solutions

3 – Assignment 3         posted: 04/04/2016      due: 04/14/2016                       solutions

4 – Assignment 4         posted: 04/18/2016      due: 04/29/2016                       solutions

5 – Assignment 5         posted: 05/09/2016      due: 05/20/2016                       solutions



Topics, assigned reading materials, and assigned videos

1: What compound semiconductors are, and what they do [Reading: MSS Chp 1 & QSS Chp 1, Video: Lecture 1 of SDP]                                               

2: Optical absorption spectra of atoms and semiconductors, electron bandstructure [Reading: MSS Chp 2 & QSS Chp 2, Posted Slides]                                      

3: Tight binding electron bandstructure for Si, GaAs [Reading: MSS Chp 5 & QSS Chp 2, Posted Slides]                                  

4: Review of basic semiconductor concepts: Dielectric Constants, DOS, doping, transport [Reading: MSS Chp 2, Posted Slides]

5: Compound Semiconductors: Bandgaps & lattice constants, Band offsets, heterostructures & strain [Reading: Posted Slides]

6: Quantum design of Compound Semiconductor Heterostructures [Reading: MSS Chp 2 & QSS Chp 2, Posted Slides] 

7: Doping, heterojunction diodes, HEMTs, LEDs, and energy band diagrams [Reading: MSS Chp 3 & QSS Chps 4, 5, papers 1, 2, 3 and Posted slides]

8: Use of self-consistent 1D-Poisson solvers for compound semiconductor device design [QSS Chps 4, 5, paper 4, Posted slides]

9: Structural properties, entropy and spinodal decomposition, defect thermodynamics vs kinetics [MSS Chps 4, 6, 7, structure factor, paper 5, paper 6, paper 7, Posted slides]        

10: Strain and dislocations in compound semiconductor heterostructures [MSS Chp 7, Tsao book chapters I, Posted slides]

11: Thermal conductivity of compound semiconductors, high thermal conductivity semiconductors [SlackMorelli, Posted slides]

12: Epitaxial Growth, MBE and CVD, physics of crystal growth, opportunities and challengs [MSS Chps 10 & 11, MBE_history, Arthur, Tsao book chapters II, Posted slides]               



Email: djena at cornell dot edu if you have any questions