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Fundamentals of Semiconductor Characterization: Electrical and Optical Techniques

Fundamentals of Semiconductor Characterization: Electrical and Optical Techniques

Course Objectives

  • Understand junction formation and capacitance.
  • Learn to measure charge density in the depletion region.
  • Understand the free-carrier Hall effect, deep levels, and the Shockley-Read-Hall model.
  • Learn about recombination physics, minority-carrier lifetime measurement, and minority-carrier diffusion length measurements. Learn defect identification by photoluminescence spectroscopy.

Course Description

The measurement of semiconductor majority and minority carrier parameters is important in evaluating materials and making useful devices. Operating the measurement equipment is relatively simple for measurements of this type. The application of the appropriate physical models to the raw data is crucial to obtaining the real parameters. For example, what quantity does one really measure in a capacitance-voltage (C-V) measurement?
This course develops the device models needed to understand measurements and emphasizes measurement theory based on physical models of diagnostic devices. Techniques and hardware are described. The course begins with a brief review of elementary semiconductor device physics and junction formation. Measurement techniques include:

  • Capacitance-voltage measurements.
  • Resistivity and the Hall effect.
  • Deep-level transient spectroscopy.
  • Measurement of minority-carrier lifetime.
  • Photoluminescence analysis of semiconductors.
  • Measurement of diffusion length with surface photovoltage, electron beam, and laser-beam-induced currents (EBIC and LBIC).
Some in-class problem solving is included.

Course Materials

Course Notes

Course Cost: $790

Who should attend?

Scientists, engineers, and technicians who use electrical and optical measurements for characterizing semiconducting materials. Some familiarity with elementary calculus and solid-state physics is recommended. (Please bring a calculator)


Richard Ahrenkiel
Research Fellow/Group Leader, NREL, and Adjunct Professor, U. of Denver/Colorado at Boulder and Colorado School of Mines