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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ELEC1901 Physical Electronics 2

10 creditsClass Size: 160

Module manager: Professor John Cunningham

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The teaching and assessment methods shown below will be kept under review during 2020-21. In particular, if conditions allow for alternative formats of delivery, we may amend the timetable and schedule appropriate classes in addition to (or in place of) the Online Learning Workshops. For Semester 2 (from January 2021), we anticipate that this will be most likely, in which case online teaching will be substituted for traditional face-to-face teaching methods, including lectures and practical classes. ‘Independent online learning’ will involve watching pre-recorded lecture material or screen-casts, engaging in learning activities such as online worked examples or remote/virtual laboratory work, etc. Students will be expected to fully engage with all of these activities. The time commitment for independent online learning, and also the frequency and duration of Online Learning Workshops, are approximate and intended as a guide only. Further details will be confirmed when the module commences.


Following on directly from Physical Electronics I (ELEC1900), this module provides a foundation of physical knowledge in the band theory of solids, how this leads to differences in conduction processes, and in the diodes which result from simple linear combinations of doped semiconductors and metals.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Explain the differences in the conducting properties of insulators, semiconductors and metals in terms of electron energy bands.
2. Explain how the conductivity in semiconductors is affected by light and temperature, and how it can be engineered by adding controlled amounts of impurities.
3. Describe the materials structure and physical operating principles of basic diodes.
4. Interpret the mathematical representation of a travelling wave.
5. Appreciate the basic concept of an electromagnetic wave in free space.
6. Appreciate the need to account for electromagnetic phenomena in high frequency circuit design.


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Comparison of conducting properties of metals, insulators and semiconductors
Conduction and valence band. Band gap. Electrons and holes. Carrier density & conductivity. Doping of semiconductors
Temperature dependence of semiconductors (compared to metals)
Optical response of semiconductors
Metal/semiconductor junction & Schottky diode. pn junctions (simple treatment)
Revision of wave propagation. Electromagnetic plane waves in free space. Wave polarisation. Relation between component size and EM wavelength
Qualitative introduction to antennas
Circuit interference effects at high frequencies. Skin effect
Requirement for “signal carriers” designed for high frequency operation

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning42.008.00
Independent online learning hours32.00
Private study hours60.00
Total Contact hours8.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Students are expected to use private study time to consolidate the material covered in lectures, to undertake preparatory work for examples classes and to prepare for summative assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Feedback will be mainly provided through the examples classes.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Online AssessmentOnline Assignment/Test 125.00
Online AssessmentOnline Assignment/Test 225.00
Online AssessmentOnline Assignment/Test 325.00
Online AssessmentOnline Assignment/Test 425.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

.Resits for ELEC and XJEL modules are subject to the School's Resit Policy and the Code of Practice on Assessment (CoPA), which are available on Minerva. Students should be aware that, for some modules, a resit may only be conducted on an internal basis (with tuition) in the next academic session.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 12/01/2021 13:11:12


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