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On June 30, 1948, AT&T Bell Labs unveiled the transitor to the world, creating a spark of explosive economic growth that would lead into the Information Age. William Shockley led a team of researchers, including Walter Brattain and John Bardeen, who invented the device. Like the existing triode vacuum tube device, the transistor could amplify signals and switch currents on and off, but the transistor was smaller, cheaper, and more efficient. Moreover, it could be integrated with millions of other transistors onto a single chip, creating the integrated circuit at the heart of modern computers.
Today, most transistors are being manufactured with a minimum feature size of 60-90nm--roughly 200-300 atoms. As the push continues to make devices even smaller, researchers must account for quantum mechanical effects in the device behavior. With fewer and fewer atoms, the positions of impurities and other irregularities begin to matter, and device reliability becomes an issue. So rather than shrink existing devices, many researchers are working on entirely new devices, based on carbon nanotubes, spintronics,
molecular conduction, and other nanotechnologies.
Learn more about transistors from the many resources on this site, listed below. Use our simulation tools to simulate performance characteristics for your own devices.
ECE 606 Lecture 10: Additional Information
out of 5 stars
16 Feb 2009 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
Outline:Potential, field, and chargeE-k diagram vs. band-diagramBasic concepts of donors and acceptorsConclusion
ECE 606 Lecture 13a: Fermi Level Differences for Metals and Semiconductors
Short chalkboard lecture on Fermi level and band diagram differences for metals and semiconductors.
ECE 606 Lecture 9: Fermi-Dirac Statistics
04 Feb 2009 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
Outline:Rules of filling electronic statesDerivation of Fermi-Dirac Statistics: three techniquesIntrinsic carrier concentrationConclusion
ECE 606 Lecture 8: Density of States
Outline:Calculation of density of statesDensity of states for specific materialsCharacterization of Effective MassConclusions
ECE 606 Lecture 7: Energy Bands in Real Crystals
Outline:E-k diagram/constant energy surfaces in 3D solidsCharacterization of E-k diagram: BandgapCharacterization of E-k diagram: Effective MassConclusions
ECE 606 Lecture 5: Energy Bands
Outline:Schrodinger equation in periodic U(x)Bloch theoremBand structureProperties of electronic bandsConclusions
ECE 606 Lecture 6: Energy Bands (continued)
Outline:Properties of electronic bandsE-k diagram and constant energy surfacesConclusions
ECE 606 Lecture 4: Solution of Schrodinger Equation
Outline:Time-independent Schrodinger EquationAnalytical solution of toy problemsBound vs. tunneling statesConclusionsAdditional Notes: Numerical solution of Schrodinger Equation
ECE 606 Lecture 3: Elements of Quantum Mechanics
28 Jan 2009 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
Outline:Why do we need quantum physicsQuantum conceptsFormulation of quantum mechanicsConclusions
ECE 606 Lecture 2: Geometry of Periodic Crystals
Outline:Volume & surface issues for BCC, FCC, Cubic latticesImportant material systemsMiller indices ConclusionsHelpful software tool: Crystal Viewer in the ABACUS tool suite.
ECE 606 Lecture 1: Introduction
Outline:Course information Current flow in semiconductors Types of material systems Classification of crystals
Illinois ECE 440 Solid State Electronic Devices, Lecture 7: Temperature Dependence of Carrier Concentrations
30 Dec 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Eric Pop
Illinois ECE 440 Solid State Electronic Devices, Lecture 6: Doping, Fermi Level, Density of States
04 Dec 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Eric Pop, Umair Irfan
Illinois ECE 440 Solid State Electronic Devices, Lecture 1 Introduction
26 Nov 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Eric Pop
Introduction to Solid State Electronic Devices
ECE 606 Lecture 32: MOS Electrostatics I
19 Nov 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
ECE 606 Lecture 26: Schottky Diode II
ECE 612 Lecture 20: Broad Overview of Reliability of Semiconductor MOSFET
14 Nov 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
Guest lecturer: Muhammad A. Alam.
Lecture 1: Percolation in Electronic Devices
04 Nov 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
Even a casual review of modern electronics quickly convinces everyone that randomness of geometrical parameters must play a key role in understanding the transport properties. Despite the diversity of these phenomena however, the concepts percolation theory provides a broad theoretical framework...
From density functional theory to defect level in silicon: Does the “band gap problem” matter?
01 Oct 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Peter A. Schultz
Modeling the electrical effects of radiation damage in semiconductor devices requires a detailed description of the properties of point defects generated during and subsequent to irradiation. Such modeling requires physical parameters, such as defect electronic levels, to describe carrier...
Illinois ECE 440 Solid State Electronic Devices, Lecture 3: Energy Bands, Carrier Statistics, Drift
19 Aug 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Eric Pop
Discussion of scaleReview of atomic structureIntroduction to energy band model