• Length:
    16 Weeks
  • Effort:
    7–10 hours per week
  • Price:

    Add a Verified Certificate for $2,250 USD

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  • Course Type:
    Instructor-led on a course schedule


Graduate standing in engineering and physics. At different points we will

use vector algebra, differential equations, and some mathematical scripting languages

will be helpful in some assignments (e.g. Python, Jupyter, MATLAB, octave). You may

want to review these topics.

About this course

Skip About this course

This course provides the graduate-level introduction to understand, analyze, characterize and design the operation of semiconductor devices such as transistors, diodes, solar cells, light-emitting devices, and more.

The material will primarily appeal to electrical engineering students whose interests are in applications of semiconductor devices in circuits and systems. The treatment is physics-based, provides derivations of the mathematical descriptions, and enables students to quantitatively analyze device internal processes, analyze device performance, and begin the design of devices given specific performance criteria.

Technology users will gain an understanding of the semiconductor physics that is the basis for devices. Semiconductor technology developers may find it a useful starting point for diving deeper into condensed matter physics, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, and materials science. The course presents an electrical engineering perspective on semiconductors, but those in other fields may find it a useful introduction to the approach that has guided the development of semiconductor technology for the past 50+ years.

Students taking this course will be required to complete:

  • three (3) proctored exams using the edX online Proctortrack software.
  • thirteen (13) weekly homework assignments.
  • thirty (30) online quizzes are spread throughout the 15-week semester.

Completed exams and homework will be scanned and submitted using Gradescope for grading.

This course is one of a growing suite of graduate-level courses being developed in an edX/Purdue University collaboration. Courses like this can apply toward a Purdue University MSECE degree for students accepted into the full master’s program.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn

With the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain the working principles of these devices.
  • Explain the physical processes in these devices.
  • Relate the device performance to materials and design criteria.
  • Speak the "language" of device engineers.
  • Be ready to engage in device research


1 Course Introduction

2 Materials

3 Crystals

Week 2:

4 Elements of Quantum Mechanics

5 Analytical Solutions to Free and Bound Electrons​

Week 3

6 Electron Tunneling – Emergence of Bandstructure ​

7 Bandstructure – in 1D Periodic Potentials

Week 4

8 Brillouin Zone and Reciprocal Lattice​

9 Constant Energy Surfaces & Density of States​

10 Bandstructure in Real Materials (Si, Ge, GaAs)​

Week 5

11 Bandstructure Measurements​

12 Occupation of States​

13 Band Diagrams

Week 6

14 Doping

15 Introduction to Non-Equilibrium

Week 7

16 Recombination & Generation

Week 8

17 Intro to Transport - Drift, Mobility, Diffusion, Einstein Relationship

18 Semiconductor Equations

Week 9

19 Introduction to PN Junctions

20 PN Diode I-V Characteristics

Week 10

21 PN Diode AC Response

22 PN Diode Large Signal Response

23 Schottky Diode

Week 11

24 Bipolar Junction Transistor - Fundamentals

25 Bipolar Junction Transistor - Design

26 Bipolar Junction Transistor – High Frequency Response

Week 12

27 Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor

28 MOS Electrostatics & MOScap

Week 13

29 MOS Capacitor Signal Response

30 MOSFET Introduction

Week 14

31 MOSFET Non-Idealities

Week 15

32 Modern MOSFET

Meet your instructors

Gerhard Klimeck
Director of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology; Reilly Director of the Center for Predictive Materials and Devices; Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Purdue University

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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.