351: Introductory Physics of Materials

Quantum mechanics; applications to materials and engineering. Band structures and cohesive energy; thermal behavior; electrical conduction; semiconductors; amorphous semiconductors; magnetic behavior of materials; liquid crystals. Lectures, laboratory, problem solving. Prerequisites: GEN ENG 205 4 or equivalent; PHYSICS 135 2,3.
At the conclusion of 351-2 students will be able to:
  1. Given basic information about a semiconductor including bandgap and doping level, calculate the magnitudes of currents that result from the application of electric fields and optical excitation, distinguishing between drift and diffusion transport mechanisms.
  2. Explain how dopant gradients, dopant homojunctions, semiconductor-semiconductor hetero junctions, and semiconductor-metal junctions perturb the carrier concentrations in adjacent materials or regions, identify the charge transport processes at the interfaces, and describe how the application of an electric field affects the band profiles and carrier concentrations.
  3. Represent the microscopic response of dielectrics to electric fields with simple physical models and use the models to predict the macroscopic polarization and the resulting frequency dependence of the real and imaginary components of the permittivity.
  4. Given the permittivity, calculate the index of refraction, and describe how macroscopic phenomena of propagation, absorption, reflection and transmission of plane waves are affected by the real and imaginary components of the index of refraction.
  5. Identify the microscopic interactions that lead to magnetic order in materials, describe the classes of magnetism that result from these interactions, and describe the temperature and field dependence of the macroscopic magnetization of bulk crystalline diamagnets, paramagnets, and ferromagnets.
  6. Specify a material and microstructure that will produce desired magnetic properties illustrated in hysteresis loops including coercivity, remnant magnetization, and saturation magnetization.
  7. Describe the output characteristics of p-n and Schottky junctions in the dark and under illumination and describe their utility in transistors, light emitting diodes, and solar cells.
  8. For technologies such as cell phones and hybrid electric vehicles, identify key electronic materials and devices used in the technologies, specify basic performance metrics, and relate these metrics to fundamental materials properties.