ECE 59500 - Fundamentals of Transistors


This course will run the second five weeks of the semester and is offered through edX.

Course Details

Lecture Hours: 3 Credits: 1

Counts as:

  • EE Elective
  • CMPE Special Content Elective

Normally Offered:

Each Spring


On-campus and online


ECE 30500 or ECE 60600

Requisites by Topic:

Understanding of semiconductor fundamentals (e.g. energy bands, doping, carrier densities, drift-diffusion equations, Fermi and quasi-Fermi levels, etc.)

Catalog Description:

This course develops a simple framework for understanding the essential physics of modern nanotransistors and also discusses important technology considerations and applications of transistors; the focus is on MOSFETs. The goal is to do this in a way that is broadly accessible to students with only a very basic knowledge of semiconductor physics and electronic circuits. The course is designed for anyone seeking a sound, physical, but simple understanding of how nanoscale transistors operate. The course should be useful for advanced undergraduates, beginning graduate students, as well as practicing engineers and scientists.

Required Text(s):


Recommended Text(s):

  1. Fundamentals of Nanotransistors , Lundstrom, M. , World Scientific , 2017
  2. Semiconductor Device Fundamentals , 2nd Edition , Pierret, R. F. , Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. , 1996 , ISBN No. 0-201-54393-1

Learning Outcomes:

A student who successfully fulfills the course requirements will have demonstrated:
  1. An understanding of MOSFET IV characteristics and device metrics and an ability to analyze measured transistors characteristics and extract key device parameters.. [6]
  2. An understanding of the physical operation of transistors and an acquaintance with the traditional theory of the MOSFET.. [1]
  3. An understanding of 1D/2D/3D MOS electrostatics and an appreciation of the need for advanced MOSFET structures such as the FinFET.. [1]
  4. An understanding of how modern transport theory (the transmission approach) is applied to MOSFETs.. [1]
  5. An acquaintance with other barrier controlled transistors, such as HEMTs and bipolar transistors and an understanding of what a physics-based compact model is and the role it plays in electronics.. [1]

Lecture Outline:

Weeks Topic
Unit 1 Transistors, compact models, and circuits
Unit 2 Essential physics of the MOSFET
Unit 3 MOS Electrostatics
Unit 4 Transmission theory of the MOSFET
Unit 5 Additional topics

Assessment Method:

Students in this course are evaluated by exams.