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Semiconductor Physics

Module PH2155

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2012/3

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

available module versions
WS 2018/9WS 2017/8WS 2016/7WS 2015/6WS 2012/3

Basic Information

PH2155 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
300 h 110 h 10 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2155 in the version of WS 2012/3 was Jonathan Finley.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module provides an introduction to the electronic and optical properties of modern semiconductor materials and their associated nanostructures. After a contextual and historical motivation, it begins with an introduction to the different methods of fabrication used for ultrapure semiconductor materials, alloys and mixed crystal "multi-layer" systems. It describes how quantum mechanical effects can be exploited for novel device applications in electronics and opto-electronics. After this material properties of the most commonly used semiconductors, lattice vibrations and electronic bandstructure are discussed. Carrier statistics in intrinsic (undoped) semiconductors are then explored before discussing how doping can be used to controllably modify the electronic properties. Thereafter the semi-classical and quantum electronic properties of semiconductors are studied and it is describe how these charge transport properties can be controlled by tailored quantum phenomena.

Learning Outcome

After participation in the Module the student is able to:

  1. Describe the crystal structure and recall the principle fabrication methods for the most prominent semiconductor materials
  2. Explain and calculate the electronic bandstructure of these materials and its dependence on material composition.
  3. Understand the terms "two-dimensional", "one-dimensional" and "zero-dimensional" semiconductor nanostructure and explain the influence of quantum confinement on the electronic properties of semiconductors.
  4. Understand and explain the physics governing electrical conductivity in bulk semiconductors and low dimensional nanostructures.
  5. Understand and explain magneto transport phenomena including the integer quantum Hall effect and
  6. Understand and explain the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with semiconductors.


No prerequisites that are not already included in the prerequisites for the Master’s programmes.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 4 Physics of Semiconductors Brandt, M. Mon, 10:00–12:00, PH HS3
Tue, 12:00–14:00, PH HS3
UE 2 Exercise to Physics of Semiconductors
Responsible/Coordination: Brandt, M.
dates in groups

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lectures, Beamer presentations, discussions


no info


Standard textbooks of semiconductor physics, e.g.:

  • J. H. Davies: The Physics of Low-Dimensional Semiconductors (Cambridge University Press, 1998),
  • M. Grundmann: Semiconductor Physics, (Cambridge University Press, 2006),
  • C. Weisbuch and B. Vinter: Quantum Semiconductor Structures, (Academic Press-1991),
  • T. Heinzel: Mesoscopic Electronics in Solid State Nanostructures, (Wiley VCH, 2003),
  • Bushan, Bharat (Editor): “Springer Handbook of Nanotechnology, (2nd revised and extended edition)

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In a written exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.

In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as an oral exam. In this case the time duration is 40 minutes.

A bonus mark of +0.3 will be awarded to students who complete and actively participate in the exercise classes (>75% attendance).

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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