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Module IME-1009:
Microelectronics 1

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Mohammed Mabrook

Overall aims and purpose

To give a basic appreciation of the fundamental physics which determine the electronic properties of materials used in the electronics industry and of how real devices are fabricated from these materials.

Course content

• Photoelectric effect, quantum theory of light. De Broglie waves and wave-particle duality. Atomic models, electron orbital’s, Bohr atom. Electron energies and energy levels, atomic excitation, continuous and line spectra. Pauli Exclusion Principle and electron energy bands.

• Fermi energy and Fermi-Dirac function. Drift velocity, mobility and conductivity. Energy bands and electrical conductivity in metals and intrinsic silicon. Impurity semiconductors. Temperature dependence of conductivity. Equations for carrier concentration, conductivity, mobility, mass action and charge neutrality. p-n junction diode.

• Silicon purification, crystal growth, doping, slice preparation, epitaxial growth, molecular beam epitaxial, growing SiO2, photolithography, atomic diffusion, ion implantation, p-n junction. Four point probe.

Learning outcomes mapped to assessment criteria







Understand the experimental and theoretical Physics including mathematical models that underpin the electronic properties of materials.

Knows fundamental experiments. Has a basic understanding of wave-particle duality and can discuss the concepts of discrete electron energies and electron energy bands. Has good understanding of fundamental experiments and concept of wave-particle duality. Can describe clearly with equations the concepts of discrete electron energies and energy bands. Can describe clearly and concisely and with basic derivations, the concepts which link simple quantum theory to electron energy levels and energy bands.

Apply appropriate analysis to calculate the values of key parameters associated with the electronic properties of semiconducting materials.

Has a basic understanding of energy bands in metals and semiconductors. Can describe the conductivity mechanisms in these materials. Knows the equations of mass action and charge neutrality. Knows basic theory of p-n junction operation. Can clearly link energy band systems in metals and semiconductors with conduction properties. Has good understanding of key parameters and can perform simple calculations using relevant equations. Understands energy band theory of p-n junction. Can apply appropriate equations and derivations to concepts of energy bands and conduction mechanisms. Can perform more involved calculations of key parameter values. Can apply energy band theory to p-n junction.

Know the principal methods associated with the processing of semiconductor materials.

Understands the requirement of purity and structure and can give a basic description of each process. Can produce a clear and concise description of each process and understands the effect of each on silicon structure and electronic properties. Is able to give an in-depth description including appropriate equations of processes and resulting silicon material.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Closed Book Examination 70
ESSAY Essay-type questions 20
CLASS TEST In-class tests 10

Teaching and Learning Strategy


2 x 1 hour lectures over 12 weeks Tutorials to replace lectures during week (3, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12)

Private study 76

Transferable skills

  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives

Subject specific skills

  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Pre-requisite of:

Courses including this module