Module code: EEE2042

Module provider

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Module Leader

SPOREA RA Dr (Elec Elec En)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 5

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 70

Lecture Hours: 36

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable: students failing a unit of assessment resit the assessment in its original format.

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

Expected prior learning:   Learning equivalent to Year 1 and Year 2, Semester 1, of EE Programmes.

Module purpose:  Using lectures, problems classes, worked examples and tutorial sheets this module will provide the fundamentals needed to understand the operation of key electronic and photonic devices as determined by their fundamental semiconducting properties.  The module will also provide a brief introduction to more advanced topics covered in the Year 3 modules.


Module aims

To provide students with a basic understanding of discrete electronic and photonic devices and an introduction to the topics of integration and low dimensional devices.  Students will be introduced to the wave nature of light and the underlying physics of semiconductors and carriers in semiconductors.  The structure and operating principles of key electronic and photonic devices will be described.  Students will be introduced to the most recent developments in electronics, including both nano-electronics and also large-area printed electronics.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Relate experimentally observed phenomena to the properties of semiconductors.
Explain behaviour of electric current in semiconductors and relevance to electronic devices.
Discuss the basics of charge carrier properties in semiconductors.
Compare key semiconductor devices and explain their operation.
Critically assess the development and progress of semiconductor electronics and the significance of novel semiconductor materials.
Apply a working knowledge of the wave nature of light and the basic laws of optics to opto-electronic devices.

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes the following:

Part A Electronic Devices

[1 - 4]  Formation of energy bands and review of carriers in semiconductors: Maxwell-Boltzmann and Fermi-Dirac distributions, density of states, carrier distributions, intrinsic/extrinsic semiconductors, doping. Calculations of carrier density. Semiconductor theory: band and E-k diagrams and the concept of direct and indirect band gaps, effective mass.  Mobility and basic scattering processes.

[5 - 6] Transport of carriers: drift and diffusion. Generation, recombination of charges and the  continuity equation.  Radiative recombination and light emission.

[7 - 8] Electrodes and contacts in semiconducting devices. Work function of common contacts. Metal-semiconductor contacts (Schottky and ohmic).

[9  - 12] Detailed operation of a p-n junction, diode equation and applications of p-n junctions in  devices. Photovoltaic devices and solar energy conversion. Detailed operation, current-voltage characteristics. Strategies to improve conversion efficiencies.

[13 - 15] Field-effect transistors (FETs).  Classification, operational regimes, current-voltage characteristics. Junction field-effect transistors (JFETs). The bipolar junction transistors (BJT), types of devices, operational regimes. Insulated-gate bipolar transistors for energy conversion and electric vehicles.

[16 - 17] Large area electronics and organic electronics.

[18 - 20] Device scaling and Moore’s Law.  Challenges in electronics. Introduction to nanotechnology.

Part B Light and Photonic Devices

[21 - 24]  Wave theory of light, interference and diffraction, basic laws, reflection and absorption, light propagation, waveguiding. Light sources. Polarised light. 

[25] Display devices: Liquid crystal, Organic light emitting diode, E-paper, plasma.

[26] Basics of inorganic light emitting diodes (LEDs).

[27 - 29] Basics of semiconducting LASERs. Operational principles, spontaneous and stimulated emission, gain, heterostructures, laser cavities and modes.

[30] Revision.


Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to achieve the module aims by exposing students to  key areas of modern semiconducting devices, including semiconducting materials, underlying physics phenomena and operation of  devices. Students will be shown real samples of semiconductors and a range of electronic and photonic devices to demonstrate the connection between the course material and real life applications.  Students will be  motivated to learn about new developments in the field  including nanotechnology and large area electronics.

Learning and teaching methods include the following:

Lectures  (3hrs x 10 weeks).
Tutorials (1hrs x 2 weeks).
In class discussions (as part of lectures  x 10 weeks).
Private study of specified material (texbooks, web, articles) (3hrs x 10 weeks).



Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy for this module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the learning outcomes. The written examination will assess the knowledge and assimilation of terminology, concepts and theory of two parts of the module: electronic and photonic


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of the following.

·         2 hour closed book written examination


Formative assessment and feedback

For the module, students will receive formative assessment/feedback in the following ways.

·        During lectures, by question and answer sessions

·        During tutorials/tutorial classes

          ·        By means of unassessed tutorial problem sheets (with answers)

Reading list

Reading list for ELECTRONICS & PHOTONICS DEVICES : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/eee2042

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.