Course Title: Semiconductor Device Physics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Semiconductor Device Physics

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Anthony Holland

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2150

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 10.08.09

Course Coordinator Availability: see office door for semester consultation times or just knock

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

No formal prerequisite courses. Ideally you should have a background in physics at undergraduate level.

Course Description

The course will focus on the physics of semiconductor devices and the principals of their operation. The initial parts of the courses will be used to establish a solid understanding of aspects of electrical conduction in semiconductors. The major part of the course will be focused on different types of metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETS) and MOSFET devices which are the dominant type of devices in the semiconductor device market. The use of transistor devices and their design and optimisation for integrated circuit applications will be presented in detail. Nanoscale transistor dimensions and the effect of such dimensions on transistor behaviour will be presented. The physical limits to the scaling of CMOS devices will be discussed in detail.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course develops the following program learning outcomes of the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours):

     1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
     1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
     1.4 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
     2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
     2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.

This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes of the Master of Engineering (ECE):

  • High levels of technical competence in the field
  • Be able to apply problem solving approaches to work challenges and make decisions using sound engineering methodologies


On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Explain the basic theory and operation of semiconductor devices used for integrated circuit applications.
  2. Describe the techniques used in optimising semiconductor device design. 
  3. Communicate findings through written reports.
  4. Work in a team environment with minimal direction from a supervisor.


Overview of Learning Activities

The subject is to be based on a series of lectures covering the stated topics and laboratory demonstrations. In addition, you are expected to undertake self paced exercises in the topic material. In summary, the delivery methods will cover the following:

Lecture or equivalent material presentations;

Supervised laboratory demonstrations,

Self-paced exercises and problem solving.


Overview of Learning Resources

You will be able to access course information and learning materials through RMIT University’s online systems, including lecture notes prepared by the teaching staff.

Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.




Overview of Assessment

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

The assessment for this course comprises: Two class tests, Reports on laboratory assignments which include semiconductor fabrication, computer simulation and design projects; End of semester examination (two hours duration).

Assessment tasks

Early Assessment Task: Class Test 1

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1,2,

Assessment Task 2: Class Test 2

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1,2,

Assessment Task 3: Laboratory Assignment

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLO 3,4

Assessment 4: Written Examination

Weighting 50%

This assessment supports CLOs 1,2,3

Students will receive feedback on their progress in the course following the class tests and laboratory practice.