ECE 4570: Electronic Device Fundamentals

Fall 2019, Cornell University



Instructor: Prof. Debdeep Jena (web)

Departments of ECE and MSE, Cornell University

Office: Phillips Hall 424


Class Hours

MWF 9:05-9:55 am @ Phillips Hall 101

Office hours & Labs: TBD @ TBD



ECE 3150 or permission of instructor


Course Contents [Cornell roster information]

Develops an understanding of semiconductor device physics.  Starting with a look at carrier statistics, energy band diagrams and transport, the course analyzes the operation of Schottky and p/n diodes and bipolar junction transistors to elucidate operational principles in quasistatic, small-signal and high-frequency conditions.  It then spends about two thirds of the time on metal-oxide-semiconductor structures and their transistors with an emphasis on advanced features of modern technology for digital and high frequency operation.  The exploration encompasses long to short devices, inversion, strain, gate-stack, silicon-on-insulator, tunneling, hot carriers, instabilities and reliability, and the non-volatile memories.  Accurate modeling, manufacturability and applications underlie this exploration.  By using computer simulation and experimental data, the course culminates in a design project dealing with technical concerns in current VLSI industry.  The goal for this course is to develop an understanding in the student of the working of the devices so that circuits, devices, and semiconductor processes can all be placed in a fulsome context of the modern integrated semiconductor integrated chip.



+ Obtain a well-grounded understanding of semiconductor device operation and advanced ideas in use in microelectronic industry.

+ Learn through simulations, the aspects of physical behavior that analytic solutions are incomplete at and their more complete description of operational physics.

+ Apply device fundamentals and simulation techniques to design modern nanoscale device structures.

+ Develop comprehensive skills straddling electronics, integration, and devices as used in integrated circuits leading to effective communication of results.


Course Piazza link for discussions and resources 

Course info sheet

Course calendar

Course slides: Go to the Piazza link.

Lecture Videos from a 1-week short course from Summer 2015 on Semiconductor Device Physics


The periodic table

The Semiconductor Properties Database



1) Semiconductor Physics for Devices

2) Energy Band Diagrams

3) Schottky Junctions

4) p-n Junctions

5) Bipolar Transistors and Electronic Gain

6) Field-Effect Transistors

7) Introduction to LEDs and Lasers

8) Quantum Limits of Semiconductor Devices



• Homework assignments are an integral part of learning in this course.

• You are allowed to work with other students in the class on your homeworks. The name(s) of the student(s) you worked with must be included in your homework. But what you turn in must be in your own writing, and have your own plots and figures. Turning in plots/figures/text that are exact replicas of others is considered cheating (see below).

• Assignments must be turned in before class on the due date.  The time the assignment is turned in should be written.  There will be no exceptions to this rule.

• Present your solutions neatly. Do not turn in rough unreadable worksheets - learn to take pride in your presentation.  Show the relevant steps, so that partial points can be awarded. your final answers where applicable.  Draw figures wherever necessary.  Please print out the question sheet(s) and staple to the top of your homework.  Write your name, email address, and date/time the assignment is turned in on the cover.


All assignments and solutions posted in Piazza link.


1 - pdf posted: 08/30/2019 due: 09/11/2019

2 - pdf posted: 09/11/2019 due: 09/18/2019 

3 - pdf posted: 09/18/2019 due: 09/25/2019

4 - pdf posted: 09/26/2019 due: 10/04/2019

5 - pdf posted: 10/06/2019 due: 10/21/2019

6 - pdf posted: 10/21/2019 due: 10/30/2019

7 - pdf posted: 11/01/2019 due: 11/14/2019

8 - pdf posted: 11/14/2019 due: 11/22/2019

9 - pdf posted: 11/22/2019 due: 12/04/2019

10-pdf posted: 12/05/2019 due: 12/13/2019


Exams and Grades

10 Assignments, 2 written prelim exams, and 1 written final exam. The approximate breakup of scores that will go towards your final grade is:

50% Assignments [~10 assignments, each assignment = 5% of final grade!]

10% Prelim 1 [Tuesday Oct 1st, 2019]

15% Prelim 2 [Tuesday Nov 5th, 2019]

25% Final [Thursday Dec 19th, 2019]


Demonstrations and Laboratories

A few demonstrations will be performed in the course. Some course assignments may include laboratory components or demonstrations.  



I will hand out notes as and when required.  I will post typed notes for the topics I prefer presenting in ways different from the textbook/references.  Unless otherwise stated, the textbook will be the primary source of reference.  The required text for the class is -

Richard Muller, Theodore Kamins, and Mansun Chan (MKC)

John Wiley and Sons, 3rd Edition, ISBN: 0471593982

Excellent treatment of MOSFETs and Bipolar Transistors.  Limits itself to Silicon based electronic devices.

The suggested references are -

Taur and Ning (TN),

Cambridge University Press

Very comprehensive and well written textbook, limits itself to Silicon based electronic devices.

Mark Lundstrom and Jing Guo (LG)

Springer, 2006

A short book describing MOSFETs from the ballistic transport viewpoint.  Discusses scaling and transistor limits.

Simon Sze (SZE),

Wiley Interscience

A classic.  Very encyclopedic; an excellent handbook for practicing device engineers.


Academic Integrity:
Students are expected to abide by the Cornell University Code of Academic Integrity with work submitted for credit representing the student’s own work. Discussion and collaboration on homework and laboratory assignments is permitted and encouraged, but final work should represent the student’s own understanding. Specific examples of this policy implementation will be distributed in class. Course materials posted on Black- board or Piazza are intellectual property belonging to the author. Students are not permitted to buy or sell any course materials without the express permission of the instructor. Such unauthorized behavior will constitute academic misconduct. Please read Cornell’s policy on cheating here: Link. Let’s approach the course in the spirit of adventure & enjoy discovering the secrets of materials and devices that power our world today!