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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ELEC1901 Physical Electronics 2

10 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Professor John Cunningham

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The teaching and assessment methods shown below will be kept under review during 2021-22. 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) any online activities/sessions. Where learning activities are scheduled to take place on campus, it may be possible and/or necessary for some students to join these sessions remotely. Some of the listed contact hours may also be optional surgeries. Students will be provided with full information about the arrangements for all of these activities by the module staff at the beginning of the teaching semester.‘Independent online learning’ may involve watching pre-recorded lecture material or screen-casts, engaging in learning activities such as online worked examples or mini-projects, 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 sessions are approximate and intended as a guide only. Further details will be confirmed when the module commences.Where assessments are shown as Online Time-Limited Assessments, the durations shown are indicative only. The actual time permitted for individual assessments will be confirmed prior to the assessments taking place.


Following on directly from Physical Electronics 1 (ELEC1900), this module provides a further foundation of physical knowledge in the band theory of solids, and how this leads to differences in conduction processes, and in the electronic devices which can be formed by 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. Explain the basic concept of an electromagnetic wave in free space.
6. Explain 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

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning91.009.00
Independent online learning hours22.00
Private study hours69.00
Total Contact hours9.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Students are expected to use private study time to consolidate their understanding of course materials, to undertake preparatory work for seminars, workshops, tutorials, examples classes and practical classes, and also to prepare for in-course and summative assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students studying ELEC modules will receive formative feedback in a variety of ways, including the use of self-test quizzes on Minerva, practice questions/worked examples and (where appropriate) through verbal interaction with teaching staff and/or post-graduate demonstrators.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins30.00
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins30.00
Online Time-Limited assessment3 hr 00 mins40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 29/06/2021 16:47:29


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