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    5 Weeks
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    5–6 hours per week
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Undergraduate degree in engineering or the physical sciences, specifically differential equations, and linear algebra.

About this course

Very different from what is taught in standard courses, "Fundamentals of Current Flow" provides a unified conceptual framework for ballistic and diffusive transport of both electrons and phonons - essential information for understanding nanoelectronic devices.

The traditional description of electronic motion through a solid is based on diffusive transport, which means that the electron takes a random walk from the source to the drain of a transistor, for example. However, modern nanoelectronic devices often have channel lengths comparable to a mean free path so that electrons travel ballistically, or “like a bullet.” 

This course is part of a Purdue initiative that aims to complement the expertise that students develop with the breadth at the edges needed to work effectively in today's multidisciplinary environment. These serious short courses require few prerequisites and provide a general framework that can be filled in with self-study when needed.

What you'll learn

  • Ballistic and diffusive conductance
  • Density of states
  • Number of modes
  • Conductivity
  • Thermoelectric coefficients
  • Thermal conductivity
Unit 1: The New Perspective
Unit 2: Energy Band Model
Unit 3: What and Where is the Voltage
Unit 4: Heat & Electricity, Second Law and Information
Summary and Looking Forward: From Semiclassical to Quantum

Text: S. Datta, “Lessons from Nanoelectronics”, Part A: Basic Concepts,
World Scientific, Second Edition 2017

The manuscript will be available for download at the course's website.

Meet your instructors

Shuvro Chowdhury
Teaching Assistant
Purdue University

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Learner testimonials

“This is one of the best courses I ever had. Best wishes to Prof. Datta for being such a wonderful teacher. We want more courses like this in future." - Mainul28 

“Thank you for this amazing course. I had a really good time learning. The course TA's were amazing and of course, Dr. Datta made the subject not only simple but very interesting. I will definitely start reading a book or two on Nanoelectronics to improve my grasp of the subject. Hope the next course is just as amazing.” - Surajjoshi666