Continuum models in semiconductor theory

Unit Coordinator: Michael Waltl, Tibor Grasser, Ulrich Schmid
Programme: Erasmus Mundus
ECTS Credits: 7
Semester: 1
Year: 2
Campus: Vienna University of Technology
Language: English
  •  Introduction to semiconductor physics and devices 360.241

Students will be able to have a basic understanding of the underlying physics involved in the operation of semiconductor devices and will have a consistent base level of comfort and familiarity with the topic before they move to more advanced courses. The primary focus of the course will be on the development of physics and concepts, however a basic introduction to the application of simulation and numerical calculation within the field of semiconductor devices will also be partially covered.

  • Theory, modelling and simulation of MEMS & NEMS:
  • Model the mechanical behavior of MEMS/NEMS by continuum mechanics.
  • State and test the underlying assumptions of the theory of linear elasticity.
  • Describe the interaction between MEMS/NEMS and fluids.
  • Model the piezoelectric effect.
  • Calculate the eigenmodes and eigenfrequencies of selected structures.
  • Derive the differences between macroscopic and microscopic systems
  • Predict the dynamics of resonators.
  • Derive the basic theory of the method of finite elements.
  • Explain the working principle of reference oscillators, mass und fluid sensors.
  • Discuss novel concepts like phononic crystals and quantum MEMS/NEMS.
  • Understand technical subject-specific technical terminology and critically evaluate relevant scientific publications.
  • Use open source software for eigenmode analysis.
  • Introduction to semiconductor physics and devices:

In this course we will learn how the quantum mechanics of solids and transport has been harnessed to build the Digital Age. We will explore the physics of semiconductors and semiconductor devices and the role they play in modern technology. We will also lay the ground-work for more advanced discussions of how computational techniques and simulation can be used to push knowledge in this field forward to new horizons.

* Basic Structure of Crystals and Solids, Quantum Mechanics of Solids, Physics of Semiconductors, Transport in Semiconductors, PN junction, PN diode, PN Junctions and Modern Technology (LEDs, Photovoltaics, etc.), MOS transistor, MOS capacitor, MOSFETs and Modern Technology (VLSI, IGFET Sensors, etc.), Metal/semiconductor interfaces, Heterostructures and Modern Technology (Schottky Diodes, 2D-FETs, etc.)

  • Theory, modelling and simulation of MEMS & NEMS:

The design of micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) is a highly interdisciplinary field which reflects in the variety of topics of this course. Starting from an introduction to continuum mechanics and piezoelectricity we investigate different aspects of the mechanics of basic MEMS/NEMS structures like membranes and beams. By understanding the interaction of MEMS/NEMS with their environment, we are able to understand the outstanding performance of MEMS/NEMS sensors for mass and fluid sensing. Another important aspect for the modelling of MEMS/NEMS is the representation of MEMS/NEMS with discrete lumped element models and we discuss the most important discrete models. For quantitative predictions often numerical methods need to be employed for which the FEM is the most known. We discuss the fundamental theory of the FEM and its limitations. Using the above theory, we study example applications like reference oscillators or fluid sensors. Additionally, we take a look at novel concepts like phononic crystals or quantum MEMS/NEMS. 

  • Some basic exposure to the concepts and equations in the physics of electromagnetism;
  • (Vector) calculus,
  • Differential equations especially. 
Reading list:

Lecture notes 


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