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Module IES-3002:
Microelectronics 3

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Jeffrey Kettle

Overall aims and purpose

This course will focus upon advanced aspects of microelectronic and semiconductor device design. The operation of microelectronic devices during both the dc and ac behaviour will be studied. The current trends in microelectronics will be studied including the issues with scaling devices, high speed operation and manufacturing. Mathematical models will be developed to relate the fundamental physics to limitations in operation and design rules to improve performance will be studied. The module will end by providing a 'bottom-up' cell-level description of MOS based devices to complement the VLSI Design module IES2007. This will include understanding memory and imaging components and basic CMOS circuitry such as inverters.

Course content

• MOS technology and the role of SiO2. Manufacturing approaches for reducing the effects of surface states and work function differences. Frequency response of the MOS capacitor • The mode of operation of a MOSFETs. Gradual channel approximation. I-V characteristic and gm of MOSFETs. Equivalent circuits and cut-off frequency. • MOSFET scaling; different scaling methods and the development of FINFETs • MESFET, JFET, Hetero-junctions and HEMT design • Components of base current in BJTs. Design equation for frequency response. HBT transistors • Solar cells silicon and concentration PV operation and electrical performance • Basic MOS circuitry, characterisation of inverter circuits; MOS-based memory elements - EPROM; SRAM and DRAM. Charge Coupled Devices, CMOS image sensors. Active matrix displays

Learning outcomes mapped to assessment criteria







Understand and explain the physical processes occurring in MOS capacitors and the role of surface states and work function on the threshold voltage.Understand the high frequency response of a MOS capacitor

Can explain the microscopic processes leading to accumulation, depletion and inversion at a semiconductor surface, showing some knowledge of the energy band diagrams. Can develop a math-ematical model of the MOS capacitor. Can explain the limitations of the model and the frequency related effects seen in MOS capacitors. Given guidance can derive an expression for the C-V characteristic of an MOS capacitor and can apply it. Can evaluate effect of surface states on the flat-band voltage.

Understand the issues with scaling transistor geometries and advanced device operation such as FINFETs, HEMTs, JFETs and BJTs

Given guidance, can derive the DC characteristic of a MOSFET. Can derive a cut-off frequency from the equivalent circuit. Understand how HEMTs work. Undeerstand the need for FINFET Can distinguish between a JFET, MESFET and MOSFET. Can explain the basic operation of the devices. Can draw the equivalent circuits and explain physical origin of components. Can explain the concepts of saturation and pinch-off. Can derive and use relevant equations to design MOSFETs and calculate cut-off frequencies. Can describe operation of FINFETs in detail

Understand the operation of a silicon-based solar cell

Understand the main physical steps needed for photocurrent generation. Some understanding of design, characterisation and overall operation. Can apply a detailed explanation for photocurrent generation. has a limited understanding of real effects upon solar cell output and characterisation. Can explain in detail the process of MOSFET fabrication. Can explain in detail the how real effects (temperature, shunt, series resistance etc) can impact upon solar cell output. Understands the need and operation of CPV

Know the various devices based on the MOS structures.

Can identify the various members of the MOS family and can outline their mode of operation Can discuss in detail the operation of the devices. Will have a basic understanding of the pros and cons of the various inverter circuits. Can discuss in detail the various devices and their implementation in silicon. Will know general areas of application.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Examination

Final exam

CLASS TEST In class test 1

Class test

CLASS TEST In class test 2

Class test


Teaching and Learning Strategy


2 x 1 hour lectures over 12 weeks 4 tutorials delivered in lecture slots

Private study 76

Transferable skills

  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.

Subject specific skills

  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;
  • Formulate and analyse requirements and practical constraints of products, processes and services, place them in an engineering context and manage their implementation;
  • Demonstrate an awareness of current advances and contemporary approaches in the discipline and have strategies for keeping that awareness current;

Courses including this module