ECE 5390 / MSE 5472: Quantum Transport in Electron Devices and Novel Materials

Fall 2017, Cornell University



Prof. Debdeep Jena (web)

Departments of ECE and MSE, Cornell University


Class Hours

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

Location: Upson 206

Office hours: TBD



ECE 4070/MSE 6050 or equivalent Solid-State Physics [See below for links to this class],

ECE 4060/MSE 5715 or equivalent Quantum Mechanics,

or permission of the instructor.


About the course

Modern electronic and photonic devices are increasingly incorporating new materials with a richer set of underlying physical phenomena in transport that are not covered in traditional materials and device courses.  A deep understanding of the underlying physics is key to controlling, and designing devices based on transport and electrostatics.  This course first connects the traditional “continuum” transport physics of micron-scale devices, to coherent quantum transport in nanoscale devices, and shows the major technical bottlenecks device physicists and engineers face in the coming decades.  By rigorously developing emergent topological and correlated ideas in quantum transport, the course will arm students with tools that will be used to invent new devices in the future.


Catalog Description [Official Link]

Charge, heat, and spin transport in semiconductors, 2D crystals, and correlated oxides. Electronic gain and speed and its link to transport. Rigorous quantum transport in semiconductors, ballistic transport, quantized conductance, non-equilibrium Green’s functions. Boltzmann transport equation, scattering, Fermi’s golden rule, and electron-phonon interactions. Transport coefficients, thermoelectric properties.  Mobility, high-field saturation and impact ionization. Gunn and IMPATT devices. Ultrafast (THz) semiconductor electronics. Tunneling transport, backward diodes, negative differential resistance. Magnetotransport/Quantum Hall effect, Berry phase, Chern numbers. Edge-state/surface transport phenomena in emerging chiral semiconductors such as TMDs, topological insulators, and correlated transport in BCS superconductivity in semiconductors such as diamond and 2D Crystals.



Part I: Review of fundamentals

            1.1: Review of classical and quantum mechanics                                     

            1.2: Current flow in quantum mechanics, classical and quantum continuity equations

            1.3: Drift, diffusion, recombination, and space-charge currents

            1.4: Quantum statistics and thermodynamics, quest for equilibrium as the driver for transport

Part II: Single-particle transport

            2.1: Ballistic transport: Quantized conductance, Ballistic MOSFETs                               

            2.2: Transmission and tunneling, Tunneling FETs and resonant tunneling diodes

            2.3. Closed vs. open systems, the Non-Equilibrium Green’s Function approach to transport

            2.4. Diffusive transport, Boltzmann transport equation, scattering

            2.5. Fermi’s golden rule, Electron-phonon interactions, mobility and velocity saturation

            2.6. High-field effects, Gunn diodes and oscillators for high-frequency power

            2.7. Feynman path integrals, the Aharonov Bohm effect and Weak Localization

Part III: Geometrical and topological quantum mechanics, unification with relativity

            3.1: Spin, transport in a magnetic field

            3.2: Berry phase in quantum mechanics, Quantum Hall effect, Anomalous Hall Effect

            3.3: Chern numbers, Edge/Topological states, Topological insulators and Majorana Fermions

Part IV: Many-particle correlated transport

            4.1: Fock-space way of thinking transport, second quantizationconductance anomalies

            4.2: BCS theory of superconductivity, Josephson junctions

            4.3. Landau/Ginzburg superconductivity theories of phase transitions due to broken symmetry         



Tentative course calendar

Slides from the 2017 class

Slides from the 2015 class

Mathematica File

1) Notes 1: Solid State Physics & Quantum recap.

2) Notes 2: Kroemer chapters, Lundstrom chapter (assigned problems), and Baym chapter

3) Notes 3: W/H/S transport chapters, and the GaAs Mobility paper for your Prelim question

4) Notes 4: Superconductivity and Cooper Pairs, Field Quantization, Tinkham BCS Chapter

5) Notes 5: Short Course on Topological Insulators (download & read Chapters 2, 1, and 10), XCN review paper for further reading.


Useful Lecture Videos and prerequisite materials

Link to 2015 ECE 5390 / MSE 5472 lecture videos and class website (the 2015 version of this class). 

Link to 2017 ECE 4070 / MSE 6050 lecture videos and class website.



1 - pdf posted: 08/26/2017      due: 09/07/2017          solutions                     

2 - pdf posted: 09/22/2017      due: 10/05/2017          solutions         

3 - pdf posted: 10/15/2017      due: 10/30/2017          solutions         

4 - pdf posted: 11/08/2017      due: 11/21/2017          solutions         

5 - pdf posted: 11/24/2017      due: 12/08/2017          solutions         


Design Projects

One research project through the last half of the semester for which there will be 2 in-class presentations, and 2 reports. The research project will integrate, refine, and advance the materials learnt in the class.

-       Suggested topics

-       Topic selections & presentation Schedules



Parts of these books and chapters are suggested as additional reading: 

-Quantum Mechanics [GB] (Gordon Baym)

-Solid State Physics [AM] (Ashcroft & Mermin)

-Lessons from Nanoelectronics [LN] (Datta)

-Fundamentals of Carrier Transport [FCT] (Lundstrom)



70% Homeworks,

10% Take-Home Prelim

20% Final Research Project



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