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Centre for Photonic Devices and Sensors



Module 4B6 - Solid State Devices and Chemical/Biological Sensors

Module Leader: Prof Daping Chu (dpc31)
Lecturers: Prof Daping Chu (dpc31)

Dr Man Yi Ho (myh20)

Timing and Structure: Lent Term. 14 lectures (including examples classes).

Assessment: 100% exam

Prerequisites:    3B5 and 3B6 useful


The aims of the course are to:

  • introduce the student to the theory , and design of MOS Field-Effect Transistors (MOSFETs), based on both single crystal and thin-film materials.
  • introduce examples of applications of MOSFETs


As specific objectives, by the end of the course students should be able to:

  • understand MOSFET theory and standard approximations.
  • correlate material properties and conduction mechanisms with the MOSFET electrical characteristics, for single crystal, amorphous and polycrystalline devices.
  • understand the basic properties of ferroelectrics and its application for memory devices.
  • understand the concept of giant magneto-resistance and its applications including non-volatile memory devices.
  • understand the operation of liquid crystal displays.
  • understand the construction and operation of micromechanical displays, and other emerging display technologies.

Syllabus & Lecture Notes

The aim of this module is to introduce the student to the theory, and design of MOS Field-Effect Transistors (MOSFETs), based on both single crystal and thin-film materials. This will be followed by application examples, including chemical/biological sensors in sensor technologies,ferroelectric and magnetic random access memories (FRAM and MRAM) in non-volatile memory technologies, and active matrix liquid crystal displays and micromechanical displays in display technologies. Emphasis will be placed on both device physics and application technology.


MOS Devices Introduction (3L)

Properties of MOS Capacitors, Capacitance - voltage characteristics; MOSFET structures and operation.


MOS Devices & Thin Film Transistors (5L)

Short channel and hot electron effects; Applications and future trends in miniaturising single crystal devices; Amorphous and polycrystalline silicon and other thin-film transistors. Organic thin-film transistors, Ion-sensitive thin, film trasistors and biosensors.


Non-Volatile Memory Devices and Displays (5L)

Ferroelectrics and ferroelectric random access memories; Giant magneto-resistance (GMR) and magnetic random access memories. Directly driven liquid crystal displays; Active matrix liquid crystal displays and projectors; Micromechanical projectors; Other types of displays and emerging technologies.

Example Papers


  • Lecture Notes (see above).
  • S M Sze: "Physics of Semiconductor", John Wiley,1981, Chapters 7 and 8 (note that there is rather more than covered in the lectures).
  • J Singh: "Semiconductor Devices", John Wiley 2001.
  • Article "Thin -Film Transistors", by P Migliorato, in Encylopedia of Physical Science and Technology, (Excluding the mathematical derivations), distributed at the lectures.
  • J F Scott: "Ferroelectric Memories", Springer, 2000.


Please see the Booklist for Group B Courses for references for this module.


Please refer to Form & conduct of the examinations


This syllabus contributes to the following areas of the UK-SPEC standard:

Show/hide UK-SPEC list