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MSE 410/ECE 340

– MSE 410 (formerly 310)/ECE 340 – Electrical Properties of Materials –

Prof. Bill Knowlton, Boise State University

Blackboard Access or ITC                             Course Syllabus & Objectives *

Electronic Course EvaluationOld & New
Academic Calendar (e.g., Last day to add/drop, other deadlines)

Text Book: Principles of Electronic Materials and Devices, S.O. Kasap, 3rd Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2005) 0-07-310464-7 Website:
Course Time/Days/Place: 10:30 – 11:45 am; T-Th; MEC 307
Office Hours for Fall 2016: Mon: 1:30-2:30 pm; Tues: noon-1 pm (my office – ERB 3125); will cancel one of them if low attendance; or by appointment, send e-mail (please do not call during office hours)
Discussion Section: Monday: 3-4 pm (ERB 1127 except Oct. 3 = MEC 307); Wed: 1:30-2:30 pm (MEC 103)
Final Exam: Date: Thursday, December 15; Time: 10 – noon; Room: MEC 307

Web-based Textbooks Related to the Course:

Available Computer Labs & Software In College of Engineering 
Mathematica Help:  “Hands-on Start to Mathematica” is an online training screen casts & videos: ; Learning Center:;
Mathematica Workshops:  A.

Problem Sets and Solutions:

1st Assignment:  Due by Thursday 1st week of classes

I. Send me an email to using your preferred email address stating: 1) whether or not you would be willing to share your email address with other class members so that: a) I can send out class wide emails for problem set clarifications & other course information; and b) you and your classmates can email each other for questions or clarifications on lectures, class notes, problem sets or course subject matter. 2) Let me know if want pdf versions of Mathematica Ch. 0 & 1. (Due Thurs 1st week of classes)

II: Below, under the headings “Course Review Notes” &  “Course Lecture Notes”, print out all the notes, place in a binder, and bring to class Thursday (& each class there after). If you prefer to load them onto your laptop or tablet computer and access them during class, that is fine. (Due Thurs  1st week of classes)

III: Problem Set 0 (See below-Due Thurs  1st week of classes)*

Note: Part I and II are worth 2 pts toward Problem Set 0 if they are done by the due date.

Problem Set 0 (Due Thurs 1st week of classes)*  Mathematica Plotting Example*;  Band Diagram Program; Zipped Al-Ta2O5-Al.bds file or the File is in my folder on the W-drive. Tutorial – Band Diagram Program Problem Set 0 Solutions*
Problem Set 1 – Part 1: *Watch Review Lectures 1-9 of the “Course Videos” which you can find on this website further below (Due: Tues 8/30) – Note: there will be a quiz on this material on Tues 8/30. Part 2: Assignment (Due: Thurs 9/1) Problem Set 1 Solutions*
Problem Set 2 (Due: Thurs)*  Note: Data Analysis, Fitting Data and Error Analysis of Data Fitting –
[1] H. Motulsky & A. Christopoulos, “Fitting Models to Biological Data using Linear and Nonlinear Regression -A practical Guide to Curve Fitting, Version 4 (GraphPad Prism; 2003) p. 1-351. [2]  Interpreting Regression Results – from OriginLabs.
Problem Set 2 Solutions*
Problem Set 3 (Due: Thurs)*
XPS csv data – zip file or XPS xlsx Excel data – zip file; Note: Two Extra credit Mathematica modules can help you with the ABET problem. 1: Extra Credit 6 and  Extra Credit 4. Note: Data Analysis, Fitting Data and Error Analysis of Data Fitting – [1] H. Motulsky & A. Christopoulos, “Fitting Models to Biological Data using Linear and Nonlinear Regression -A practical Guide to Curve Fitting, Version 4 (GraphPad Prism; 2003) p. 1-351. [2]  Interpreting Regression Results – from OriginLabs.
Problem Set 3 Solutions*
Problem Set 4 (Due: Thurs )* Problem Set 4 Solutions*
Problem Set 5 (Due: Thurs )* Problem Set 5 Solutions*
Problem Set 6 (Due: Thurs )* Problem Set 6 Solutions*
Problem Set 7 (Due: Thurs 10/20/16)* Problem Set 7 Solutions*
Problem Set 8  (Due: Thurs)* Problem Set 8 Solutions*
Problem Set 9 (Due: Thurs )* Problem Set 9 Solutions*
Problem Set 10 (Due Thurs )* Problem Set 10 Solutions*
Problem Set 11 (Due Thurs)* – Data Set (.cvs)

Journal Articles by S. Nakamura (Physics Nobel Laureate for Blue LED & LD) to aid in answering the LED questions: APL 1993; APL 1994

NOTE: For those that will be using Mathematica to fit or to extract a peak maximum, the following Mathematica Modules may be of help.

 Problem Set 11 Solutions*
Problem Set 12 (Due Thurs)*

It might be helpful to review the Band Diagram Tutorial you watched for Problem Set 0. See:  Tutorial – Band Diagram Program;

Video Answering Problem 6

Ryan Thompson email address:

 Problem Set 12 Solutions*
Problem Set 13 (Due Thurs)*  Problem Set 13*

*: need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open

Extra Credit Assignments & Mathematica Modules: (note: You can turn the assignments in early)

Note: If you are a Boise State student, staff or faculty, you can get a home license for Mathematica. See email below. Basically, go to the website below and create a Wolfram User Portal account and see what happens:

If you run into problems, I’m not the one to contact :^). Its probably best to contact Wolfram support and ask them
COEN Virtual Lab – twenty computers available for student use configured with various engineering software packages.  These computers do not reside in a physical lab space, but are accessible anywhere (on or off campus) by using remote connection software. During engineering complex building hours, from 6:00am to 10:00pm, there are twenty VLab computers. After hours (from 10:00 pm through 6:00am), there are up to fifty available VLab machines.

Note: These Mathematica Extra Credit Assignments are only for those students not familiar with Mathematica. If you know how to use Mathematica, refer to the Syllabus for Extra Credit.

Extra Credit 1(Due: same as PS 1) – Tutorial (see below extra credits) and Review (stop by my office for handout) Extra Credit for Advanced Mathematica Users (e.g., if you’ve used Mathematica in another class or have done the EC’s below in another class) (Due: same time as Prob. Sets)

Extra Credit 2 (Due: same as PS 2) – Mathematica as a Word Processor

Extra Credit 3 (Due: same as PS 3) – Lists, Rules, NSolve & Word processing (Rules & Sys of Eqns Example)

Extra Credit 4 (Due: same as PS 4) –  Plotting Multiple Variables & Suppressing Plots – Table, Range, Evaluate

Extra Credit 5 (Due: same as PS 5) – Operators & Complex Conjugates (Example: pdf file)

Extra Credit 6 (Due: same as PS 6) – Fitting data and extracting values

Problem with Importing, so do the EC below:

EC6b-Using the “Fitting Data Example” or “Linear & NonLinear Fitting Data & R2″, create your own data sets (two data sets) and provide a description of how to fit the data sets and use their resulting fitting equation in an example. You can use your previous homeworks where you needed to fit data as examples. If you do so, please change the example a bit.

Extra Credit 7 (Due: same as PS 7) – Matrix & Linear Algebra

Extra Credit 8 (Due: same as PS 8) – Solving Differential Equations Using DSolve & NDSolve

Extra Credit 9 (Due: same as PS 9) – Arrows, Text and Legends (use of Epilog[ ]) Another version (see EC 4)

Extra Credit 10 (Due: same as PS 10) – Solving Linear equations and plotting the answers

Extra Credit 11 (Due: same as PS 11) – Special Functions

Extra Credit for Advanced Mathematica Users (if you’ve done the EC’s above) (Due: same time as Prob. Sets)


Math Program Links & Examples


  • Hands-on Start to Mathematica” is an online 8-part series of free training tutorials/videos that introduce key features of Mathematica”: Part 1 (Notebooks); Part 2 (Methods to get Started), Part 3 (Basic Calculations); Part 4 (Basic Graphics); Part 5 (Making Interactive Models), Part 6 (Utilizing Data); Part 7 (Presentations); Part 8 (Complete Example);
  • In A Student’s Introduction to Mathematica screencast, you’ll get an introduction to Mathematica and learn how it can help you tackle any type of problem—numeric or symbolic, theoretical or experimental, large-scale or small.

Useful Mathematica Help Tools:

  • Mathematica’s “How To’s” describes how to perform particular tasks using Mathematica, providing step-by-step instructions for typical cases.
  • Wolfram Community – a forum to ask questions and receive feedback for using Mathematica.

Bill’s Mathematica Help Page for Beginners (provides links similar to below)

Compares Mathematica, Maple, Matlab: Brief Description; Compare Commands; Syntax Differences

Mathematica: Information Center; Math Groups & Forums; Student Forum

Mathematica Q.M. Examples

Quizzes & Midterms: (Note: If you want a Quiz Learning Objective posted, please let me know by Fri before 5pm)

Quiz 1 Learning Objectives  Midterm Practice Exam
Quiz 2 Learning Objectives  Final Practice Exam
Quiz 3 Learning Objectives
Quiz 4 Learning Objectives
Quiz 5 Learning Objectives
Quiz 6 learning Objectives
 Quiz 7 Learning Objectives Final Exam: Thursday, December 15; Time: 10 – noon; Room: MEC 307
Quiz 8 Learning Objectives
Quiz 9 Learning Objectives
Quiz 10 Learning Objectives
Quiz 11 Learning Objectives Test your knowledge (no name quiz)


Optoelectronics: pdf version & MSWord version

(Due:  First Monday in December by 5pm)

-Worth 100 points; Treat as two problem sets for grading purposes

-Grade sheet

Information on Writing Journal Articles:
Presentation: Anatomy of a Journal Article
Guidelines: Template of a Journal Article
Presentation: Anatomy of a Paragraph
IEEE Transactions Style sheet in Word Files
Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students

-LED Articles (for educational purposes only): onetwo  , three & four

All articles provide LED information. The 1st two are some of the 1st reports of blue LEDs. The second two provide nice examples – both the organization and syntax – in which to write the lab report.

Note: The following ABET Program Outcome will be assessed for your report, so please make sure you are demonstrating the outcomes in your report:
j. A knowledge of contemporary issues.

Optoelectronics–Photonics Lab Schedule (ET 104 – Prof. Wan Kuang’s Photonics Lab) – Note: need to knock on door to be allowed in since it is a laser lab.

 Total Students:

Labs will consist of ~3 Groups of ~3-4 Students per Group

1. Monday, November 11; 9-10:30am 2. Tuesday, November 12; 4-5:30pm 3. Friday, November 15; 4-5:30pm 
1. 1. 1.
2. 2. 2.
3. 3. 3.
4. 4. 4.
5. 5. 5.
6. 6. 6.
4. Thursday, November  5. Friday, November  6. Friday, November 
1. 1.  1.
2. 2.  2.
3. 3.  3.
4. 4.  4.
5. 5.
6. 6.


Formula Sheet* (updated 10/21/14)

Slides for Final Exam

Bill’s Mathematica Help Page for Beginners


Course Videos:


DFT Module:
DFT Video – Intro to Computational Modeling
DFT Video 2 – Input Parameters for SIESTA Simulation
Class Lecture Slides
Ch.4 Electronic Structure Methods – DFT (by Lesar)*
DFT Must-Remember Notes*

Course Review Notes:
Outline of Review Notes*
Atomic Structure Notes*
Bonding Notes*
Crystallography Review Notes*
Thermodynamics Notes*
Diffusion Notes*
Thermally Activated Processes – Kinetics Notes*
Point Defect Lecture Notes*
Line Defect Lecture Notes*
Planar & Bulk Defect Lecture Notes*


Chapter 3 Course Notes:
Dynamical Variables in QM*
Integrals Common to QM: (1) Bill’s Examples; (These integrals were taken from the following: (a) Bill’s Examples; (b) From McKelvey-Solid State Physics**)
Chapter 4 Course Notes:
Band Theory: Kronig-Penney, E-k and Others*
Shockley’s View of Band Theory and Fee Electrons & Holes*
LCAO Notes*
Chapter 5 – Course Notes:
Intrinsic Semiconductors: Density of States, Fermi Distribution & n & p*
Workfunctions of some Metals*
Effective Mass Theory (Hydrogenic Model)*
Dopant Energy Levels (Ge, Si, & GaAs)*
Extrinsic Semiconductors Notes – Part I – Free Carrier Statistics*
Extrinsic Semiconductors Notes (from your book) – Part 2 – Phonon & Impurity Scattering*
Chapter 6 – Course Device Notes:
Part 1: Metal-Metal & Metal-S/C Contacts/Junctions*
Part 2: p-n & p-n-p or n-p-n Junctions*
Part 3: III-V & II-VI Heterostructure Junctions*
Part 3(cont.): III-V & II-VI Heterostructure Junctions*
Part 4: MOS Heterostructure Junctions*
Part 5: Quantum Effects in MOS Devices*
Part 6: High Dielectric Constant (k) Materials for MOS Devices*
Part 7: Molecular Electronics At the Nanoscale*
Boise State Energy Band Diagram Simulation Tool for Multilayer MOS and MIM Devices & Tutorial Video

MRS Bulletin Paper on Diffusion – H. Bracht*
Formation & Migration Energies of Vacancies (Paper 1)*
Formation & Migration Energies of Vacancies (Paper 2)*
Elementary QM*

Heterojunctions – Three 2001 Nobel Prize Papers & 1 1967:
1st paper – Alferov – Double Heterostructures*
2nd paper – Kroemer – Band Offsets in Heterostructures*
3rd paper – Nevill Mott – Amorphous S/Cs & Nonconductors* 1977
4th paper – Heeger – S/C Polymers*
Days I will be Traveling: (we will make up these days)

      1. Make-up Lectures


Band Diagram Program (Paper– for teaching purposes only); Quantum Mechanics & Wave-Particle Duality video 1; Quantum Mechanics & Wave-Particle Duality video 2; Quantum Universe & Entanglement Video;  Visual Quantum Mechanics by Bernd Thaller Visual Quantum Mechanics at Kansas State University Semiconductor Statistics Applets Device Simulation Programs – Nanohub HyperPhysics Website at Georgia State University More AppletsMaterials & Devices Group Velocity Crystallography Interactive Website“The Dance of the Solids” by John Updike; 13 New Landolt Bornstein Volumes in 2013; Springer Data Base (Albertson’s Library)Semiconductor Properties – Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute; Schubert; XRD Diffraction Peak Types & Shapes;

*: need Acrobat Reader to read the file