MSE304 :: MatSE Illinois :: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



We will be using i>clickers in every lecture. You can use either the older v1 or the newer v2 i>clickers. If you have not already done so, please register your clicker by visiting the MSE304 page in Compass. The navigation bar on the left should have an item "Register my i>Clicker". The proven, educational benefit of using i>clickers depends on your active participation. Having another student answer questions using your clicker is considered cheating.

Excused Absences

Excused absences may be requested by filling out the Excused Absences form. For more information, please read the course syllabus.

Pre-lecture (survey) questions

(Optional) pre-lecture questions on the reading material will be assigned in ByteShelf 36 hours before class and answers are due at 9 pm the day before each lecture.

Online discussion forum

This class uses Piazza for announcements, updates, and all communication between the instructor, TAs, and students. Please visit this page to register.


All recordings will be posted under this link.

Date Reading Description Assignment due
W Jan 21 Orientation and Introduction
F Jan 23 3.1, 3.2 Motivation for Quantum Mechanics (no audio version: here)
M Jan 26 Prerequisite Exam, Room: 190 ESB, Study guide
W Jan 28 3.2, 3.3 Basics of Quantum Mechanics
F Jan 30 3.3 Solving the Schrödinger Equation HW0
M Feb 2 3.4, 3.5 Tunneling and Uncertainty Relation
W Feb 4 3.6, 3.7 Tunneling and Hydrogen Atom I
F Feb 6 3.7 Hydrogen Atom II HW1
M Feb 9 3.7 Hydrogen Atom III
W Feb 11 3.8 Hydrogen Atom IV and Beyond Hydrogen
F Feb 13 Link Beyond Hydrogen and Spectroscopy I: XPS HW2, HW2 solutions
M Feb 16 Link Spectroscopy II: XPS and Auger
W Feb 18 Link XPS, Auger spectroscopy, Synchrotrons I, More Auger
F Feb 20 4.1 Synchrotrons II and H2+ HW3
M Feb 23 4.1 H2+ and molecules
W Feb 25 Bonding in molecules
F Feb 27 Review HW4, HW4 solutions
M Mar 2 Exam 1: Quantum Mechanics, Room: 149 NSBRC; Study guide
W Mar 4 1.3 Bonding in Solids I
F Mar 6 1.3 Bonding in Solids II
M Mar 9 2.1, 2.5 Drude model and Hall effect
W Mar 11 4.2, 4.5 Bands in Solids and Density of States
F Mar 13 4.5, 4.6, 4.7 Statistics and Free Electron Gas HW5 (due 3/15, 11.59 pm)
M Mar 16 4.11 Free Electron Gas and Energy Bands
W Mar 18 4.11 Fermi Statistics and Towards Real Solids
F Mar 20 4.11 Nearly Free Electrons: Bands in Solids
M Mar 23 Spring Break
W Mar 25 Spring Break
F Mar 27 Spring Break HW6 (due 3/29, 11.59 pm), HW6 solutions
M Mar 30 4.3, 5.1 Intrinsic Semiconductors: Bands, Electrons and Holes
W Apr 1 5.11 Direct and Indirect Semiconductors
F Apr 3 5.2, 5.3 Extrinsic Semiconductors HW7a (due 4/5, 11.59 pm), HW7a solutions
M Apr 6 Review
W Apr 8 Exam 2: Solid-State Physics, Room: 149 NSBRC; Study guide
F Apr 10 6.1, 6.2 Doping and p-n junctions I HW7b (due 4/12, 11.59 pm), HW7b solutions
M Apr 13 6.1, 6.2 p-n junctions II
W Apr 15 5.4, 5.5 Drift and Diffusion, Life times (Recording on ByteShelf)
F Apr 17 5.9, 6.2, 6.5 Diodes and Schottky Barriers HW8 (due 4/19, 11.59 pm)
M Apr 20 6.6, 6.8 Diodes, Schottky Junction, and Transistors
W Apr 22 6.9 Transistor and MOSFET
F Apr 24 6.9 LED HW9 (due 4/26, 11.59 pm)
M Apr 27 6.10 Solar Cells I
W Apr 29 6.10 Solar Cells II
F May 1 Growth Techniques and Computation HW10 (due 5/3, 11.59 pm), HW10 solutions
M May 4 Review
W May 6 Exam 3: Semiconductor Devices, Room: 149 NSBRC; Study guide
T May 12 FINAL: 8:00 am – 11:00 am, comprehensive final exam, Room: 149 NSBRC; Study guide

Course Description


Fundamentals of quantum mechanics; atoms and small molecules; tunneling and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle; angular momentum; spectroscopy techniques; solids, in particular metals and semiconductors; Students should obtain a fundamental understanding of quantum mechanics and how it governs electronic properties of materials.


Students will be able to understand the theoretical description of various semiconductor devices and how that traces back to the materials they are made of. Students will obtain a grasp of the equations of quantum mechanics and their (analytical) solution for model systems. Moreover, students will obtain insight into modern computational techniques to describe electronic properties of solids as well as semiconductor devices.

Course Grading


Your final grade for MSE304 will be based upon your total score on all the components of the course. Please consult the course syllabus for details on particular components.

Course Component Percentage of total
In-lecture i>clicker5
Prerequisite Exam6
Exam 123
Exam 223
Exam 323

The optional final exam will replace the lowest exam grade (exam 1, 2, or 3) if it is higher than that grade.

Final Grade

The following cutoff table will be used to calculate final scores.

Final Grade Minimum Points
A+ 97
A 93
A– 90
B+ 87
B 83
B– 80
C+ 77
C 73
C– 70
D+ 67
D 63
D– 60
F <60