ECE 495N - Fundamentals of Nanoelectronics

Lecture Hours: 3 Credits: 3

Counts as:

Experimental Course Offered: Fall 2007

Prerequisites: MA 266 and MA 265 or MA 262 Concurrent Prerequisites: ECE 305

Requisites by Topic:
Prerequisites: Familiarity with matrix algebra, MATLAB, Elementary differential equations. Concurrent Prerequisites: Basic semiconductor device physics.

Catalog Description:
The development of "nanotechnology" has made it possible to engineer materials and devices on a length scale as small as several nanometers (atomic distances are ~ 0.1 nm). The properties of such "nanostructures" cannot be described in terms of macroscopic parameters like mobility or diffusion coefficient and a microscopic or atomistic viewpoint is called for. The purpose of this course is to convey the conceptual framework that underlies this microscopic viewpoint using examples related to the emerging field of nanoelectronics.

Course Objectives:
To convey the basic concepts of nanoelectronics to electrical engineering students with no background in quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics.

Required Text(s):
  1. Quantum Transport: Atom to Transistor, S. Datta, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN No. 0-521-63145-9.
Recommended Text(s):
  1. MatLab: Student Version, The MathWorks, Inc..
  2. Series of four lectures posted at

Learning Outcomes:

A student who successfully fulfills the course requirements will have demonstrated:
  1. Ability to perform simple analysis of nanoelectronic devices. [a,k]
  2. Ability to calculate the density of states in nonelectronic devices. [a,k]
  3. Ability to perform in-depth analysis of nanoelectronic devices. [a,k]

Lecture Outline:

Weeks Topic
1-5 An atomistic view of electrical resistance See also
Schrodinger equation Hydrogen atom, Method of finite differences
Self-consistent field / Coulomb blockade One-electron versus the many-electron picture See also HW#1, 2, 3, Exam I
6-10 Basis functions Converting a differential equation to a matrix equation
Bandstructure Toy examples, general result, common semiconductors
Subbands Quantum wells, wires, dots and nanotubes Density of states HW#4,5,6, Exam II
11-15 Minimum resistance of a quantum wire, Capacitance: Quantum versus electrostatic
Local density of states, Lifetime, Golden rule Coherent transport, Current-voltage characteristics See also
Nanodevices and Maxwell's demon See Atom to transistor HW# 7,8,9 New paradigms for nanoelectronics
Exam III (Finals Week)