Exams for Semiconductor Device Fundamentals

By Robert F. Pierret

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Collected herein are 54 mostly hour tests that were utilized over the years in a junior/senior-level course entitled “Semiconductor Devices” offered by the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the West Lafayette campus of Purdue University. Although the material probed on the tests is closely correlated with the coverage in the “SDF” text (R. F. Pierret, Semiconductor Device Fundamentals, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA © 1996) and its forerunner, Volumes 1-4 in the Modular Series on Solid State Devices, the scope of the coverage is very similar to that found in a number of undergraduate tests on the subject.

It is hoped that this collection of tests dealing with Semiconductor Device Fundamentals will be useful to both instructors and students. For instructors, the tests at a minimum provide a wealth of possible problem ideas. In addition, there are examples of open-book and closed-book tests, with a range of test problem types including fill-in-the-blank, draw a picture, work out a numerical problem, and provide an explanation. Specific test formatting may also be of interest. For example, in the vast majority of tests, space is left to complete the problem beneath the question statement, or there is a blocked area where the answer is to occur. For students, the collected tests provide an excellent tool for course-related or individual study. It has been the author’s experience that students are always seeking practice problems. Answers to the test questions have not been included herein to encourage student self-determination of the problem solutions.

Although the majority of tests were created an assembled by the author, interaction with Purdue ECE faculty colleagues is gratefully acknowledged. Moreover, some problems and a limited number of the reproduced tests associated with a given semester were created by Purdue ECE professors Alam, Cooper, Furgason, Gray, Melloch, Neudeck, or Woodall. Again, their contributions are gratefully acknowledged.

Robert F. Pierret
Professor Emeritus
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Purdue University
September, 2012

Testbook Organization



Module A - Semiconductor Basics

Module B - Diode Basics

Module C - Transistor Basics


The book is divided into three parts containing tests associated with the roughly five week modules of the semiconductor device course taught at Purdue University. Tests treating material covered in course modules labeled A, B, and C herein generally probed student understanding of semiconductor, diode, and transistor basics respectively. The tests, given over a number of years, are arranged in reverse time order, with the latest tests appearing first. Sheets containing key equations and numerical information were typically provided during closed book tests. A set of info/equation sheets is included in each of the three book parts and are identified with page numbers beginning with A0, B0, and C0 respectively. Test page numbers are similarly of the form…(module)(test number)-N… to provide ready access to a given test. A title sheet precedes each test noting the module designation (A, B, or C), the test number (A2, B5, etc.), whether the test is open or closed book, a reminder that info/equation sheets are available for use with closed book tests, and problem weighting information.

Finally, to provide an indication as to difficulty, the median of student scores on the tests is provided in the document download Preface and Table of Contents.


  • Semiconductor Device Fundamentals

    by Robert F. Pierret (Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1996) Although roughly a half-century old, the field of study associated with semiconductor devices continues to be dynamic and exciting. New and improved devices are being developed at an almost frantic pace. While the number of devices in complex integrated circuits increases and the size of chips decreases, semiconductor properties are now being engineered to fit design specifications. Semiconductor Device Fundamentals serves as an excellent introduction to this fascinating field. Based in part on the Modular Series on Solid State Devices, this textbook explains the basic terminology, models, properties, and concepts associated with semiconductors and semiconductor devices. The book provides detailed insight into the internal workings of "building block" device structures and systematically develops the analytical tools needed to solve practical device problems.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Robert F. Pierret (2013), "Exams for Semiconductor Device Fundamentals," https://nanohub.org/resources/18724.

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