Physical Electronics
Subject Code: EEN2056
Aim of Subject: Introduction to basic quantum mechanics and physics of metals and semiconductors and to develop an understanding of semiconductor electronics.
Learning Outcome of Subject: At the completion of the subject, students should be able to:
  • apply the concepts of quantum physics in engineering and science

  • describe the theories, developments and applications of the electron gas model for metals, energy band theory, semiconductors, PN junction and liquid crystal displays

  • perform, under supervision, basic physical electronics laboratory experiments, such as the Hall Effect and the I-V characteristics of a solar cell

Programme Outcomes:
  • Ability to acquire and apply fundamental principles of science and engineering(50%)
  • Capability to communicate effectively(10%)
  • Acquisition of technical competence in specialised areas of engineering discipline(10%)
  • Ability to identify, formulate and model problems and find engineering solutions based on a systems approach(10%)
  • Understanding of the importance of sustainability and cost-effectiveness in design and development of engineering solutions(10%)
  • Ability to work independently as well as with others in a team(10%)
Assessment Scheme:
  • Lab Experiments - work in group of 2, lab report writing(10%)
  • Tutorial / Assignment - group assignment, to enhance understanding of basic concepts in lecture(10%)
  • Test/Quiz - written exam(20%)
  • Final Exam - written exam(60%)
Teaching and Learning Activities : 52 hours (lectures,tutorials and laboratory experiments)
Credit Hours: 3
Pre-Requisite: EEN1016: Electronics I
Text Book:
  • S.O. Kasap, ‘Principles of Electronic Materials and Devices’ Third edition, McGraw-Hill, 2006

  • D. A. Neamen, “Semiconductor Physics and Devices, 3 rd ed., McGraw-Hill, 2003.

  • Charles Kittel, “Introduction to Solid State Physics”, 8th Edition, John Wiley, 2004.

  • J. Allison, “Electronic Engineering Materials and Devices”, 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, 1990.

  • Kenneth Krane, “Modern Physics”, 2nd Edition, John Wiley, 1995.

  • M. S. Tyagi, “Introduction to Semiconductor Materials and Devices”, 1st Edition, John Wiley, 1991.

  • S.O. Kasap, ‘Principle of Electrical Engineering Materials and Devices’ Irwin Professional Publishing, 1996.

Subject Contents

  • Basic concepts of Quantum Mechanics
  • Experiments that Indicate Inadequacy of Classical Mechanics. Concept of Duality. The Uncertainty Principle. Representation of a Particle by a Wave: de-Broglie Wavelength, Wave Packet, Group and Phase Velocities, Schrodinger‘s Equation, Electron in Free Space, Infinite Potential Well, Step Potential, Potential Barrier and Tunneling Effects. Hydrogen Atom, Pauli’s Exclusion Principle and Periodic Table. Maxwell-Boltzman Distribution and Fermi-Dirac Distribution, Application of Both Statistics.


  • Electron Gas Model for Metals

  • Conduction Electrons, Free-Electron Gas, Electrical Conductivity, Resistively, Thermal Velocity, Drift Velocity, Collisions and Scattering, Mobility.
  • Energy Band Theory

  • Conductors, Semiconductors and Insulators, Semiconductor Materials, Types of Solids, Atomic Bonding, Crystal Lattices: Periodic Structures, Cubic Lattice, Planes and Directions and Diamond Lattice. Kronig-Penney Model: Periodic Potential, Band Structure and E-k Diagram, Concept of the Hole, Effective Mass, Direct and Indirect Semiconductor.
  • Semiconductors

  • Intrinsic and Extrinsic Semiconductors, Charge carriers in Semiconductors, Density of States, Fermi-Dirac Distribution Function, Intrinsic Carrier Densities, Location of Fermi Level, Compensated Semiconductors, Mass-Action Law, Charge Neutrality. Carrier Transport Phenomena: Thermal Velocity, Drift Velocity, Effects of Impurity Concentration and Temperature Mobility, Conductivity, Drift and Diffusion Currents, Einstein Relation, Hall Effect. Excess Carriers: Direct & Indirect Generation and Recombination, Low-Level Injection, Continuity Equation, Excess-Carrier Lifetime, Haynes-Shockley Experiment.
  • P-N Junction

  • Basic Structure. Equilibrium Conditions. Contact potential, Fermi Level, Space Charge in the Depletion Region. Biased Junction: Electric Field, Potential Distribution, Depletion Width, Junction Capacitance, Band Structure, Minority and Majority Carrier Distributions, Diffusion current and Ideal Diode Equation. Junction Breakdown: Zener and Avalanche Breakdowns, Punch Through. PN Diodes: Zener Diode, Tunnel Diode, Solar Cell, Photodiode and Light Emitting Diode.
  • Liquid Crystal Displays

  • Introduction, Liquid Crystal Phases: Nematic, Smectic and Cholesteric, Structure and Properties of LCDs, Display Mechanisms.


1. Measurements of Conductivity and Hall Effect in a Semiconductor.
2. I-V Characteristics of a Solar Cell.