Vai al contenuto principale
Coronavirus: aggiornamenti per la comunità universitaria / Coronavirus: updates for UniTo Community

Solid state physics: opto-electrical properties, microfabrication and devices


Solid state physics: opto-electrical properties, microfabrication and devices


Academic year 2021/2022

Course ID
Prof. Jacopo Forneris (Lecturer)
Prof. Paolo Olivero (Lecturer)
Degree course
Materials Science
1st year
Teaching period
Second semester
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
FIS/03 - fisica della materia
Class Lecture
Type of examination
The student should be familiar with the following topics: quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, crystal structure, reciprocal lattice, phonons, electronic states (free electron gas, energy bands)

Sommario del corso


Course objectives

The course aims at providing key enabling concepts in advanced solid state physics, with a specific focus on the optical, dielectric and electrical properties of crystals, and on their applications in electronic and opto-electronic devices based on semiconductors. The range of covered devices will include photo-voltaic devices, transistors, light-emitting and laser diodes, and photo-detectors. The course will also cover both well established and advanced techniques for materials characterization based on their interaction with electromagnetic radiation, as well as the characteristic features of low dimensionality systems in nanotechnologies (quantum wells, quantum wires and quantum dots, 2D materials, optically active point defects in crystals). A specific focus will be devoted on both state of the art and more advanced lithographic techniques for the fabrication of integrated opto-electronic devices in solid-state platforms.

 SANITARY EMERGENCY: The objectives of the course are unchanged.


Results of learning outcomes

After the successful completion of the course, students will have enabling knowledge in the following fields:

  • fundamental dielectric and optical properties of crystals (optical reflectance, optical transitions, excitons, …);
  • main techniques for materials characterization based on their interaction with electromagnetic radiation (Raman spectroscopy, Photoluminescence and cathodoluminescence spectroscopy, …);
  • physics and material-related issues of the most important classes of opto-electronic devices;
  • key features of low-dimensionality systems: quantum wells, quantum wires, quantum dots;
  • state-of-the-art and advanced microfabrication and lithographic techniques for integrated devices fabrication.

 SANITARY EMERGENCY: The learning outcomes of the course are unchanged.



The program of the course is structured as follows:

  • Energy bands in direct and indirect band-gap crystals and semiconductors, tight binding model, charge carriers and effective mass
  • Dielectric properties of crystals and dielectric function of an electron gas
  • Optical properties of crystals, reflectance, optical transitions and excitons
  • Optical characterization techniques of materials (Luminescence, Raman, etc...) and technological applications
  • Generation and recombination processes in indirect-bandgap semiconductors: the Shockley-Read & Hall theory
  • Ideal and real pn junction (ideality factor, tunnelling effects, etc.)
  • Semiconductor-based photovoltaic devices
  • Advanced concepts in photovoltaics (tandem cells, thin-film cells, etc.)
  • Bipolar junction transistor
  • Junction-based field-effect transistor
  • MOS-based field-effect transistor
  • Light-emitting and laser diodes
  • Lithography and micro/nano-fabrication techniques
  • Nanostructures and low-dimensionality systems
  • Laser-based optical characterization techniques and applications (Raman effect for solid state materials, Ellipsometry, Photoluminescence and single-photon microscopy)

Course delivery

The course is given in English language by two teachers (Prof. J. Forneris and Prof. P. Olivero), who will cover respectively the topics on optical/dielectric properties of crystals, and electrical properties of semiconductors.

SANITARY EMERGENCY: In case of a perduration of the sanitary emergency, lectures will be given online in synchronous mode, i.e. by following the planned timetable of the lectures during the teaching period. The recordings will be downloadable from the e-learning/moodle webpage of the course.


Learning assessment methods

The assessment will be based on a joint oral exam with the two teachers, in which the topics presented in the frontal lectures will discussed. Part of the discussion will be based on the presentation and defense of a research article related to the contents of the course. The final mark will be determined by the joint evaluation of the teachers.

 SANITARY EMERGENCY: In case of a perduration of the sanitary emergency, online exams will be organized by adopting the Webex tele-conference platform. In particular, each evaluation commission will be composed by both teachers, and at least one student will participate as witness.

Suggested readings and bibliography


  • S. M. Sze, "Semiconductor Devices - Physics and Technology", John Wiley & Sons
  • J. I. Pankove, "Optical Processes in Semiconductors", Dover
  • Kittel, Introduction To Solid State Physics, Wiley 2004
  • Grundmann (2016) Optical Properties. In: The Physics of Semiconductors. Graduate Texts in Physics. Springer.

 SANITARY EMERGENCY: In concurrence with the sanitary emergency, all necessary measures will be adopted to facilitate the remote access to the support teaching material.


Class scheduleV

Lessons: dal 14/03/2022 to 10/06/2022

  • Open
    Last update: 02/02/2022 14:29
    Non cliccare qui!