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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ELEC1201 Physics of Electronic Devices

20 creditsClass Size: 160

Module manager: Professor Edmund Linfield

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Module replaces

ELEC1900 and ELEC1901

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module covers the fundamental physical concepts that underpin the design and operation of electronic devices


This module covers the basic physical principles involved in the function of key electronic devices and electrical systems.

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

1. Explain the relationship between electric fields, charges and currents, potential difference and work done on a charge and solve well-defined problems involving these quantities.
2. Describe the basic properties of materials which govern electronic and magnetic phenomena.
3. Explain the concept of electromagnetic induction and the relationship between current, magnetic field and motion, and solve well-defined problems involving these quantities.
4. Explain the differences in the conducting properties of insulators, semiconductors and metals in terms of electron energy bands.
5. Explain how the conductivity in semiconductors is affected by light and temperature, and how it can be engineered by adding controlled amounts of impurities.
6. Describe the materials structure and physical operating principles of basic diodes.
7. Interpret the mathematical representation of a travelling wave.
8. Explain the basic concept of an electromagnetic wave in free space.
9. Explain the need to account for electromagnetic phenomena in high-frequency circuit design.


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Electronic properties of materials: resistivity & conductivity; capacitance & permittivity. Potential & electric field; charges in electric fields; field lines in a parallel plate capacitor
Introduction to magnetic fields & flux density; inductance of coils. The ideal transformer. Magnetic permeability
Electromagnetic induction & relationship between current, magnetic field & motion. Basic concept of the electric motor and electric generator.
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
Examples Class201.0020.00
Independent online learning hours20.00
Private study hours138.00
Total Contact hours42.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Going through lecture material, completing example sheets, test and exam revision.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will get feedback during the weekly interactive examples classes.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentExample Class Sheets30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) 2 hr 00 mins30.00
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) 2 hr 00 mins40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

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

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 03/05/2022 14:36:20


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