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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Semiconductor Devices (UL)
Module Code PS478L
School School of Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Eilish McLoughlin
Semester 2: Eilish McLoughlin
Autumn: Eilish McLoughlin
Module TeachersEilish McLoughlin
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

To introduce the student to the physics of solid state electronic devices and to their application. To introduce the student to semiconductor devices, electronic logic and digital devices

Learning Outcomes

1. measure and encode information in various digital formats.
2. Explain basic and combinational logic components, design, analysis and implementation of combinational logic circuits.
3. Explain the principles of sequential logic, memory elements and simple sequential circuits.
4. design circuits for instrumentation and measurement.
5. Derive relevant equations from basic laws and principles.
6. Solve numerical problems, from information provided, on the topics covered
7. Discuss the importance of microelectronic revolution based on the development of semiconductor devices.
8. Discuss the impact of these devices in industrial and academic contexts.
9. Discuss the basis of logic and its implementation using electornic devices.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture242 hours of asychronous lectures per week accessed as pre-recorded videos
Online activity242 hours of scheduled synchronous online activities per week.
Tutorial24Student learning support facilitated through small-group tutorials with flexible provision.
Independent Study53Student self directed learning
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Conduction in solids
elementary band theory of conductors, semiconductors and insulators, doping; donor and acceptor impurities, intrinsic and extrinsic conduction, majority and minority charge carriers.

The PN junction
junction diode and applications, Zener diode, the bipolar transistor; transistor action, applications, the emitter amplifier, early effect; the field effect transistor, JFET, MOSFET, characteristics and application in simple circuits.

Combinational Logic
Binary Logic, Logic functions; AND, OR, NOT; Truth table; Boolean Algebra; Boole Boolean postulates and theorems, De Morgan; Logic gates - complete set; NAND and NOR implementations of logic functions; Multiple-input gates.

Sequential Logic
Memory, feedback, synchronous/asynchronous, Flip-flops, Latches; basic SR latch, gated SR Latch, D-type, Master-slave latch, JK Latch; Shift Registers, Counters, UART (block diagram).

Operational and Instrumentation amplifiers:
desirable characteristics, comparators, voltage reference, virtual earth, voltage follower, Nyquist Shannon sampling theorem.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Completion of online activitySolve physics problem based on mathematical/quantitative aspects of module concepts.50%As required
In Class TestSolve physics problem based on mathematical/quantitative aspects of module concepts.50%Once per semester
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Tocci, Widmer & Moss (: 2004, Digital Systems, 9th ed,, Pearson Education,
  • Katz, Randy H: 1993, Contemporary Logic Design, Addison Wesley,
  • Young and Freedman: 2020, University Physics with Modern Physics,, 15 Ed.,,, https://www.pearson.com/us/higher-education/program/Young-Modified-Mastering-Physics-with-Pearson-e-Text-Standalone- Access-Card-for-University-Physics-with-,
  • Eugenia Etkina, Gorazd Planinsic and Alan Van Heuvelen: 2019, College Physics: Explore and Apply,, 2nd Ed. [ISBN: 978- 01346018],
Other Resources

55294, Simulations, 0, Phet simulations, https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations /,
Programme or List of Programmes
PDITPProfessional Diploma in Teaching Physics

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