de | en

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 2016/7

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

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
WS 2022/3WS 2021/2WS 2020/1WS 2019/20WS 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 description is valid from SS 2012 to SS 2019.

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 2016/7 was Martin Brandt.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module provides an introduction to the structural, electronic and optical properties of modern semiconductor materials and their associated nanostructures. The scientific and economical importance of semiconductor physics as a cross-cutting part of modern solid state physics is briefly outlined. Then, an introduction to the different methods for the fabrication and deposition used for ultrapure semiconductor materials, alloys and mixed crystal "multi-layer" systems will be given. The main body of the lecture deals with material and electronic properties of the most commonly used semiconductors. In particular, the electronic bandstructure and the resulting properties of effective mass electrons, holes and other relevant quasiparticles such as excitons are discussed. Equilibrium charge carrier statistics in intrinsic (undoped) semiconductors are then explored before discussing how doping can be used to controllably modify the electronic properties. This is followed by a discussion of electronic properties of semiconductors under application-related non-equilibrium conditions, such as illumination in solar cells or photo-detectors, or voltage biasing in diodes or transistors. To this end, the basic properties  of semiconductor/semiconductor-, semiconductor/metal-, and semiconductor/insulator-hetero-interfaces will be introduced.

Learning Outcome

After participation in the Module the student is able to:

  1. Describe the crystal structure and explain 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 of charge carrier statistics and scattering governing electrical conductivity in bulk semiconductors and low dimensional nanostructures.
  5. Understand and explain the optical properties of semiconductors, in particular optical absorption and recombination of non-equilibrium charge carriers.
  6. Understand and explain the basic properties of semiconductor surfaces and interfaces with device-relevant applications to Schottky diodes, solar cells and heterojunctions in optoelectronivs.


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

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Learning and Teaching Methods

A written manuscript developped on a tablet PC and projected during the lecture. Additional power point presentations summarizing complicated details and state-of-the-art research results. An additional excercise to obtain a better comprehension of and familiarity with the lecture contents.


Power point and One Note presentation.


Standard textbooks of semiconductor physics, e.g.:

·         Fundamentals of Semiconductors, P.Y. Wu, M. Cardona, Springer 2006: Schwerpunkt auf Theorie, hohes Niveau, viel Optik

·         Physics of Semiconductors, Marius Grundmann, Springer 2006: Mehr Anwendungs- und Materialbezug

·         Semiconductor Physics and Applications, M. Balkanski, R.F. Wallis, Oxford University Press 2000:  Gute Übersicht über derzeitigen Stand, inklusive theoretische Konzepte und Bauelemente

·         Halbleiterphysik, R. Sauer, Oldenburg, 2009: derzeit einziges empfehlenswertes deutschsprachiges Lehrbuch

·         Semiconductor Material and Device Characterization, D. K. Schröder, Wiley-IEEE 2006: viele Methoden der Halbleiterphysik

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In a written exam of 90 minutes duration 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.

Exam Repetition

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

Top of page