ECE 4214 Semiconductor Device Fundamentals | ECE | Virginia Tech

Undergraduate PROGRAMS

Course Information


Fundamental semiconductor device physics associated with semiconductor materials and devices with an in-depth coverage of p-n and Schottky diodes, bipolar junction transistors, and metal-oxide-semiconductor and junction field effect transistors. A C- or better is required in all prerequisite courses.

Why take this course?

The electrical engineer, computer engineer, materials scientist, or physicist who works in the electronics area must have a basic knowledge of semiconductor devices and materials.

Technical Elective


2204 or MSE 3204 or PHYS 3455

Changes in the required curriculum for the B.S.E.E. and B.S.Cp.E. degree programs as well as a need to expand the student population to include students from Materials Science and Engineering and Physics so that they may take the course as part of the Microelectronics minor, the prerequisites have been altered from ECE 3204 to any one of the following courses: ECE 2204 or MSE 3204 or PHYS 3455. Each of these courses cover an introduction to semiconductor materials.

Major Measurable Learning Objectives

  • Determine the band structure of semiconductors when supplied with basic materials properties by applying their knowledge of quantum mechanics,
  • Calculate carrier distributions in thermal equilibrium and non-thermal equilibrium conditions for intrinsic and doped semiconductors,
  • Apply basic semiconductor drift-diffusion equations and continuity of Fermi energy to determine current flow in semiconductor devices,
  • Determine alignment of metal-semiconductor band diagrams and identify whether a junction is Ohmic or Schottky, and
  • Design a bipolar junction, metal-oxide-semiconductor and/or a field effect transistor that meets specific performance criteria through the selection of the appropriate semiconductor material(s), doping, and device dimensions.

Course Topics


Percentage of Course

Crystal structures, Band Diagrams, & Quantum Mechanics 15%
Carrier Concentration and Fermi Level 10%
Carrier Mobility 10%
Recombination and Generation of Carriers 5%
p-n Diodes, Schottky Diodes, and Ohmic Contacts 20%
Bipolar Junction Transistors 15%
Field Effect Capacitors 10%
JFET and CMOS Transistors 5%