Module code: EEE2042

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 provider

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Module Leader

ZHANG Wei (Elec Elec En)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 70

Lecture Hours: 36

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Part A Fundamentals of electronics and photonics

[1 - 2] Formation of energy bands. Charge carriers in semiconductors: Maxwell-Boltzmann and Fermi-Dirac distributions, density of states, carrier distributions, intrinsic/extrinsic semiconductors, doping. Calculations of charge carrier density. Semiconductor theory: band and E-k diagrams and the concept of direct and indirect band gaps, effective mass. 

[3 - 4] Transport of charge carriers: drift and diffusion. Mobility and basic scattering processes. Generation, recombination of charges and the continuity equation.  Radiative recombination and light emission.

[5] Metal-semiconductor contacts (Schottky and ohmic). Work function of common contacts.

[6] Detailed operation of a p-n junction, diode equation.

[7] Wave theory of light, polarization

[8-9] Interference and diffraction

[10-11] Refraction and dispersion

[12] Reflection and absorption

[13] Light propagation, wave guiding


Part B Device Applications

[14-15] Fabry-Pérot resonator, longitudinal modes

[16-17] Spontaneous and stimulated emission

[18] Gain and amplifiers

[19-20] Basics of lasers, operational principles

[21] Detectors

[22-23] Light emitting diodes (LEDs).

[24-25] Display devices: Liquid crystal, Organic light emitting diode, E-paper, plasma.

[26-29] Photovoltaic devices and solar energy conversion. Detailed operation, current-voltage characteristics. Strategies to improve conversion efficiencies. Emerging Photovoltaic technologies.

[30] Revision. (3hrs)


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.

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)

Module aims

  • To provide students with a basic understanding of discrete electronic and photonic devices. Students will be introduced to the wave nature of light and the underlying physics of 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 photonic and optoelectronic devices.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Relate experimentally observed phenomena to the properties of semiconductors.
2 Explain behaviour of electric current in semiconductors and relevance to electronic devices.
3 Discuss the basics of charge carrier properties in semiconductors.
4 Compare key semiconductor devices and explain their operation.
5 Critically assess the development and progress of semiconductor electronics and the significance of novel semiconductor materials.
6 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

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).



Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: EEE2042

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Electronic Engineering BEng (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Electrical and Electronic Engineering BEng (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Electronic Engineering with Nanotechnology BEng (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Electronic Engineering with Nanotechnology MEng 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Electrical and Electronic Engineering MEng 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Electronic Engineering MEng 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

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 2020/1 academic year.