Near-Equilibrium Transport: Fundamentals and Applications

By Mark Lundstrom

Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN



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Engineers and scientists working on electronic materials and devices need a working knowledge of "near-equilibrium" (also called "linear" or "low-field") transport. The term "working knowledge" means understanding how to use theory in practice. Measurements of resistivity, conductivity, mobility, thermoelectric parameters as well as Hall effect measurements are commonly used to characterize electronic materials. Thermoelectric effects are the basis for important devices, and devices like transistors, which operate far from equilibrium, invariably contain low-eld regions (e.g. the source and drain) that can limit device performance. These lectures are an introduction to near-equilibrium carrier transport using a novel, bottom up approach as developed by my colleague, Supriyo Datta. This approach is more rigorous than the Drude approach - and often more physically insightful and less mathematically involved than approaches based on the Boltzmann Transport Equation. It also works for nanoscale as well as for micro and macroscale devices. Using this approach, these lectures will introduce the essential principles of near-equilibrium transport theory needed by scientists and engineers working on electronic materials and devices.

These lectures complement a set of lectures notes published by World Scientific, "Near-Equilibrium Transport: Fundamentals and Applications" which is part of the "Lessons from Nanoscience: A Lecture Note Series."

Sponsored by

"Electronics from the Bottom Up" is an educational initiative designed to bring a new perspective to the field of nano device engineering. It is co-sponsored by the Intel Foundation and the Network for Computational Nanotechnology.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Mark Lundstrom (2011), "Near-Equilibrium Transport: Fundamentals and Applications,"

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Burton Morgan 121, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


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