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Introduction to Semiconductors, PN Junctions and Bipolar Junction Transistors

This course uses engaging animations to help you visualize the working principles of many common semiconductor devices. The course covers PN junction diodes, optical sensors, solar cells, LEDs, and Bipolar Junction Transistors.

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Choose your session:

14,824 already enrolled!
Starts Dec 1
Ends Dec 20
Starts Dec 6

Introduction to Semiconductors, PN Junctions and Bipolar Junction Transistors

This course uses engaging animations to help you visualize the working principles of many common semiconductor devices. The course covers PN junction diodes, optical sensors, solar cells, LEDs, and Bipolar Junction Transistors.

8 weeks
2–4 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
Free
Optional upgrade available

Choose your session:

14,824 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archivedOpens in a new tab.
Starts Dec 1
Ends Dec 20
Starts Dec 6

About this course

Skip About this course

This course is part of the Principle of Semiconductor Devices Professional Certificate Program.

As a topic of study, semiconductor devices offer a unique challenge due to the complex mathematics involved. In this course, we take a more intuitive approach to exploring the underlying concepts. We shift the focus from quantitatively evaluating the behavior of semiconductor devices to intuitively visualizing the semiconductor device actions.

The course offers a wide array of content - from basic PN junctions to modern nano-electronic circuits and systems. Besides covering the existing technologies, the course also explores the development of the industry into the future.

At a glance

  • Institution: HKUSTx
  • Subject: Electronics
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:
    • Basic high-school chemistry and knowledge of the periodic table
    • Basic algebra
    • Basic calculus
  • Language: English
  • Video Transcripts: English, 中文

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • describe the motion of carriers in a semiconductor material
  • illustrate the operational principles of some common electronic devices including PN Junction Diode, Schottky Diode, Photo Diodes, Solar Cells, LED, and Bipolar Junction Transistor
  • identify the most important parameters to adjust for meeting certain design specifications
  • construct the circuit models of some common electronic devices
  • communication in the language of semiconductor

Week 1: Intrinsic semiconductor materials
Introduction to the energy band diagram of a crystal and calculating the carrier concentration in the material.

Week 2: Doping and PN junction formation
The effect of doping and the formation of PN junctions.

Week 3: Current-voltage characteristics of PN junction diodes
Current-voltage characteristics and detailed carrier actions in a PN junction diode.

Week 4: Real PN junction characteristics, its model and design
The characteristics of real PN junction diodes, the charge and capacitance models, and the design strategy.

Week 5: PN junction optical properties and metal-semiconductor contacts
The optical responses of the PN junction; the working principles of optical detection, solar cells and LEDs; and the metal-semiconductor contacts.

Week 6: Basic operation of Bipolar Junction Transistor
Introduction to bipolar junction transistors, I-V characteristic and non-ideal effects.

Week 7: Real Bipolar Junction Transistor structures, switching characteristics and model
Switching characteristics of the Bipolar Junction Transistor, it circuit model and design strategy.

Week 8: Final Exam

About the instructors

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