Nanostructured Electronic Devices: Percolation and Reliability

By Muhammad A. Alam

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



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Over the course of the 20th century, electronics changed many times. The early focus on radar and radio morphed into the phenomenal rise of computing and communication by 1970s. And today, as the transistors are scaled to their ultimate limit, the remaking of electronics for applications in displays, healthcare, and energy is underway. Each wave of reinvention has dictated the choice of electronic materials i.e. from metals in Klystrons to crystalline semiconductors for computing/communication to amorphous/random materials for solar cells and flexible electronics. As a result, the theoretical treatment of carrier transport in electronic devices and how we design/optimize them continues to evolve. In this series of lectures introduces a simple theoretical framework for treating randomness and variability in emerging nanostructured electronic devices for wide ranging applications – all within an unified framework of spatial and temporal percolation. The problems considered involve stochastic defect generation in integrated circuits (i.e. reliability), percolative transport in carbon nanonets for flexible electronics and nanbio sensors, and neo-classical electron/hole diffusion in phase-segregated polymer solar cells, etc.


Muhammad Ashraful Alam Muhammad Alam joined Purdue University as a faculty member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 2004 after spending nearly a decade in industry, first at Bell Labs and then at Agere Systems. His research interest involves physics of carrier transport in semiconductor devices, and he has worked on theory of electron transport models, quasi-ballistic transport in bipolar transistors, MOCVD and ALD crystal growth, laser dynamics, and most recent recently, on the theory of oxide reliability, transport in nanocomposite materials, and response of Nano-Bio sensors.

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ECE 606: Principles of Semiconductor Devices is recommended if additional background on semiconductor devices is needed.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Muhammad A. Alam (2009), "Nanostructured Electronic Devices: Percolation and Reliability,"

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Beering Hall, Room 2280, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


Lecture Number/Topic Online Lecture Video Lecture Notes Supplemental Material Suggested Exercises
Lecture 1: Percolation and Reliability of Electronic Devices View Notes (pdf)
Lecture 2: Threshold, Islands, and Fractals View Flash View Notes (pdf)
Lecture 3: Electrical Conduction in Percolative Systems View Flash View Notes (pdf)
Lecture 4: Stick Percolation and Nanonet Electronics View Flash View Notes (pdf)
Lecture 5: 2D Nets in a 3D World: Basics of Nanobiosensors and Fractal Antennae View Flash View Notes (pdf)
Lecture 6: 3D Nets in a 3D World: Bulk Heterostructure Solar Cells View Flash View Notes (pdf)
Lecture 7: On Reliability and Randomness in Electronic Devices View Flash View Notes (pdf)
Lecture 8: Mechanics of Defect Generation and Gate Dielectric Breakdown View Flash View Notes (pdf)
Lecture 9: Breakdown in Thick Dielectrics View Flash View Notes (pdf)
Lecture 10: Interface Damage & Negative Bias Temperature Instability View Flash View Notes (pdf)