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PYU44P03 Condensed Matter and Nanoscience

Michaelmas Term, Hilary Term – 48 lectures/tutorials – 10 credits (JMD Coey, P Stamenov, J Coleman)

Part I: Semiconductor Devices
Part II: Metal Physics and Superconductivity
Part III: Nanoscience

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Describe the characteristic physical properties of a superconductor (zero resistance, Meissner effect, absence of electronic heat capacity, isotope effect)
  • Relate the physical properties to underlying theoretical concepts, especially the energy gap, electron pairing and the two characteristic lengths
  • Manipulate the Ginzburg-Landau expression for the free energy to reproduce the phase transition
  • Describe in detail the physics of bipolar and unipolar homojunction and heterojunction semiconductor devices, as well as how they are fabricated in both discrete and integrated forms
  • Evaluate and predict through analytical calculations the performance of such devices, i. e. their input, output and/or their transfer characteristics 
  • Integrate the elements of module material to yield an appreciation of potential applications of superconductivity and semiconductor physics in a wide range of electronic devices
  • Achieve the learning outcomes for the Nanoscience module PYU44P04.



Part I: Semiconductor Devices
Construction techniques for devices. The planar process, diodes and bipolar transistors. Integrated circuit design. MOSFETs, LEDs and compound semiconductor devices, including Gunn devices, Esaki diodes and high-performance heterojunction transistors.  The specialised semiconductor laboratory introduces the students to the manufacturing process and testing requirements of commercial integrated digital electronics.  The complete PMOS-FET process is demonstrated and practised by the students.

Part II: Metal Physics and Superconductivity
This course provides a basic account of the phenomena and theory of superconductivity, and its applications including high-Tc oxide superconductors. Resistivity of normal metals: impurity scattering, temperature dependence of resistivity due to electron-phonon scattering. Superconductivity: zero resistance, Meissner effect, thermodynamic treatment of the phase transition. Energy gap from specific heat and tunnelling. Type I and II superconductors. Phenomenological Ginzburg-Landau theory. Penetration depth. Cooper pairs. Correlation length. Results of BCS theory Flux quantization, tunnelling, ac and dc Josephson effects.

Part III: Nanoscience
The syllabus for this part of the module is given in the following entry for Nanoscience PYU44P04.



Examination in Semiconductor Devices 


Examination in Metal Physics and Superconductivity


Examination in Nanoscience