The Physics of Integrated Devices (2019/2020)

Course code
Alessandro Romeo
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
Teoria 4 I semestre Alessandro Romeo

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Laboratorio 2 I semestre Alessandro Magalini, Antonio Franco Selmo

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Learning outcomes

The course provides the physical working principles of semiconductor devices, p/n junctions, FETs, MOSFETs, LEDs and of the logic gates fabricated through the planar technology of integrated circuits. At the end of the course the student must demonstrate to have assimilated the physical principles of operation of a semiconductor, a p/n junction and electronic devices such as transistors. This knowledge will enable the student to: i) assemble different types of transistors in circuits by making electronic devices; ii) construct a simple integrated circuit system with the ability to choose between the different devices to be inserted in the circuit; iii) to master the physical phenomena linked to basic devices of integrated circuits in order to know and understand the different behaviours of each circuit based on the set electrical parameters. At the end of the course the student will be able to: i) interface the software structure with the hardware devices knowing the basic methods of operation of the electronic circuits; ii) understand the programming of hardware systems with greater depth.


In order to properly follow the lectures it is strongly recommended to have already acquired knowledge on classical physics (laws of motion, work, energy, electric field, electric potential).

The course consists of theoretical section and two different experimental sections in the lab (simulation and hardware).


Elements of Classical Physics and Atomic Physics: work and energy, electric field and potential, electric current, Ohm's law, linear circuits resistivity and temperature dependence in metals and semiconductors, the Bohr model, the periodic table of the elements

Crystal structure and electrical properties of metals, semiconductors and doped semiconductors: gas model of electrons in metals as a link model in semiconductors, concept of gap, doped semiconductors, nods to the band theory, conduction current and dissemination

P-n junction: non-polarized and polarized junction, ddp contact, voltage-current characteristic in forward and reverse bias, junction diode, Zener diode, OR / AND gates to diodes, switching times

Bipolar junction transistor BJT, input curves and in common emitter configuration output, common base, inverter, transfer rates characteristic and noise margins, switching times

Transitor in the field of JFET and MOSFET effect, manufacturing techniques, output and transfer curves, MOSFET and CMOS inverters, transfer characteristics, noise margins, switching times

Elementary digital circuits in MOS technology, CMOS, bipolar, ECL: NOR and NAND MOSFET and CMOS, NAND DTL, HTL, TTL, OR / NOR ECL

Comparison of logic families: propagation delay, power dissipation, fan-out, noise margins

-Laboratory (software) with circuit simulation with Micro Cap (12 hours).
-Laboratory (hardware) with circuit fabrication on pre-prepared electronic cards (12 hours).

The complete teaching material is available on the e-learning portal.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final test will be an oral exams on the topics covered in the lectures.
Specifically a small report (thesis) on a specific topic developed in the course, for example a particular device and/or sensor. The student will present his work by an oral presentation (for example in power point) where questions on the basic physics principles of semiconductors and of electronic devices might arise.

Reference books
Activity Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Teoria Luciano Colombo Fisica dei Semiconduttori Zanichelli 2018 978-88-08-52054-8