• Length:
    16 Weeks
  • Effort:
    8–12 hours per week
  • Price:

    FREE
    Add a Verified Certificate for $150 USD

  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Intermediate
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English

Prerequisites

  • Physics, calculus, and chemistry at the first year university level
  • Familiarity with materials structure and bonding
  • A background in solid state physics is helpful, but is not absolutely essential

About this course

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This course will explain the basis of the electrical, optical, and magnetic properties of materials including semiconductors, metals, organics and insulators, and will show how devices are built to take advantage of those properties. It is illustrated with a wide range of devices, placing a strong emphasis on new and emerging technologies. Applications presented include diodes, transistors, photodetectors, solar cells (photovoltaics), displays, light emitting diodes, lasers, optical fibers and optical communications, photonic devices, magnetic data storage, motors, transformers and spintronics.

Image attribution: Disk drive: KEURT Datenrettung, Lasers: US Navy Surface Warfare Center, Computer Chip: Jon Sullivan

What you'll learn

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Part 1:
  • The origins of semiconductor properties
  • Carrier action in semiconductors: drift, diffusion, recombination and generation
  • The behavior of p-n junctions at equilibrium and under bias
  • The derivation and application of the ideal diode equation, and how real diodes differ from ideal diodes
  • Operating principles of bipolar junction transistors and MOSFETs
Part 2:
  • The fundamental operating principles of photodevices
  • LED and heterojunction laser materials selection and design
  • Fundamentals of organic electronics and liquid crystal displays
  • An overview of photonic systems
  • Optical fibers: dispersion, losses, and design choices
Part 3:
  • Fundamentals of magnetism
  • The role anisotropy plays in the magnetic behavior of materials
  • The operating principles of transformers and DC motors
  • How data is stored on hard disks
  • Principles of optical and magnetooptical storage

Meet your instructors

Caroline Ross
Toyota Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
MIT
Jessica Sandland
Lecturer & Digital Learning Scientist
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. EdX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.