Physics of Semiconductor Heterostructures
Physics 619 (Applied Physics 619):

 Course Description

After a review of semiconductor physics, the course will focus on quantum transport in semiconductor heterostructures. Topics such as electronic structure of III-V semiconductors, heterojunctions and band gap engineering, quantum wells, superlattices, resonant tunneling structures, two-dimensional electron gas, quantum point contacts, quantum dots and other mesoscopic structures, ballistic transport, coherent transport, and integer and fractional quantum Hall effects will be covered.

Course Outline

I. Introduction and a Review of Quantum Mechanics (2 weeks)

II. Fundamentals of Semiconductors (4 weeks)
    1. Bulk semiconductors
        a. direct and indirect bandgap semiconductors
        b. doped semiconductors
    2. Contacts, junctions and interfaces
        a. metal-vacuum interface, work function
        b. metal-semiconductor interface
        c. p-n junction
    3. III-V semiconductors
        a. heterojunctions and band alignments
        b. epitaxial growth

III. Vertical Transport (3 weeks)
    1. Thermionic emission
    2. p-n junction
    3. Light emitting diodes and lasers
    4. Quantum wells  and resonant tunneling diodes
    5. Superlattices, minibands and Bloch oscillations
    6. Infrared devices
        a. multiple quantum well infrared detectors
        b. quantum cascade lasers

IV. Lateral Transport (4 weeks)
    1. Two-dimensional electron gas
        a. remote doping
        b. electron transport and scattering
    2. Mesoscopic systems
        a. quantum transport and Landauer-Buttiker formalism
        b. quantum point contact
        c. quantum dots and Coulomb blockade
        d. single electron transistor
    3. Magneto-transport, integer and fractional quantum Hall effects


There will be homework assignments (not every week), two midterms, and a final exam. The first midterm will cover sections I and II. The second midterm will cover section III and the first part of section IV. In the calculation of your final score, your homework and each midterm will have 20% weight and the final exam will have 40% weight.