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 PrairieLearn 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.


Electrical Properties of Materials, Laszlo Solymar, Donald Walsh, Eighth Edition (Oxford University Press, 2009).

Alternative Textbook

Principles of Electronic Materials and Devices, Safa O. Kasap, Third Edition (McGrawHill, 2006).


All recordings will be posted under this link.

Date Reading Description Assignment due
W Jan 20 Orientation and Introduction
F Jan 22 Prerequisite Exam Q & A
M Jan 25 Solymar: 1, 2;
Kasap: 3.1, 3.2;
Classical Conductivity: Drude model
W Jan 27 Solymar: 2, 3;
Kasap: 3.2, 3.3;
Hall effect, Photoelectric effect I Prerequisite Exam, Room: L416 DCL, SIGN UP; study guide
F Jan 29 Solymar: 3, 6.9, 7.3;
Kasap: 3.1;
Photoelectric Effect II, Bragg reflection
M Feb 1 Solymar: 3;
Kasap: 3.3, 3.4, 3.5;
Particle-wave duality, de Broglie wave length, Basics of Quantum Mechanics HW0
W Feb 3 Solymar: 3;
Kasap: 3.6, 3.7;
Schrödinger Equation, Operators, Free electrons
F Feb 5 Solymar: 2, 3;
Kasap: 3.3, 3.4, 3.6;
Infinite potential well
M Feb 8 Solymar: 3.6, 4;
Kasap: 3.5, 3.7;
Uncertainty principle, Tunneling HW1
W Feb 10 Solymar: 4;
Kasap: 3.8;
Hydrogen Atom I
F Feb 12 Solymar: 4;
Kasap: 3.8;
Hydrogen Atom II
M Feb 15 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 4.1;
Optical transitions, Selection rules, Spin HW2
W Feb 17 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 4.1;
Beyond hydrogen
F Feb 19 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 4.1;
X-ray emission
M Feb 22 XPS, Auger X-ray spectroscopy, Auger electrons HW3
W Feb 24 Link, More Auger Auger, Synchrotrons, and H2+ molecules
F Feb 26 Review: Quantum Mechanics
M Feb 29 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 1.3;
Bonding in molecules
W Mar 2 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 1.3;
Bonding in molecules 2 Exam 1: Quantum Mechanics, Room: L416 DCL, SIGN UP; study guide
F Mar 4 Solymar: 1;
Kasap: 2.1, 2.5;
Potential-energy surface
M Mar 7 Solymar: 6, 7;
Kasap: 4.2, 4.5;
Bulk modulus, Madelung constant HW4 (Online), HW4 (Offline, submit here), solutions
W Mar 9 Solymar: 6, 7;
Kasap: 4.5, 4.6, 4.7;
van-der-Waals, Free-electron gas
F Mar 11 Solymar: 6, 7;
Kasap: 4.11;
Conduction of electricity, Density of states
M Mar 14 Solymar: 6, 7;
Kasap: 4.11;
Fermi Statistics, Lattice structure HW5
W Mar 16 Solymar: 6, 7;
Kasap: 4.11;
Direct lattice and reciprocal lattice
F Mar 18 Solymar: 8;
Kasap: 4.3, 5.1;
Lattices and Empty-Lattice Approximation
M Mar 21 Spring Break
W Mar 23 Spring Break
F Mar 25 Spring Break
M Mar 28 Solymar: 8;
Kasap: 5.11;
Nearly Free Electrons: Bands in Solids HW6 (Offline, submit here), solutions
W Mar 30 Solymar: 8;
Kasap: 5.2, 5.3;
Nearly Free Electrons
F Apr 1 Semiconductors
M Apr 4 Review: Solid-state physics HW7 (Offline, submit here); optional QE GUI
W Apr 6 Solymar: 8, 9;
Kasap: 6.1, 6.2;
Electrons and Holes in Semiconductors Exam 2: Solid-State Physics, Room: L416 DCL, SIGN UP, study guide
F Apr 8 Solymar: 8, 9;
Kasap: 5.4, 5.5;
Extrinsic semiconductors
M Apr 11 Solymar: 9;
Kasap: 5.9, 6.2, 6.5;
n and p doping
W Apr 13 Solymar: 9;
Kasap: 6.6, 6.8;
pn junctions I, Charge carrier concentrations in Si (iPython, PDF)
F Apr 15 Solymar: 9;
Kasap: 6.9;
pn junctions II
M Apr 18 Solymar: 13;
Kasap: 6.9;
pn junction and bias HW8
W Apr 20 Solymar: 13;
Kasap: 6.10;
Diodes, Schottky Junction
F Apr 22 Solymar: 13;
Kasap: 6.10;
Schottky junctions, Carrier lifetimes
M Apr 25 Lifetimes, Schottky junctions, LED HW9
W Apr 27 Review
F Apr 29 Heterojunction LEDs Exam 3: Semiconductor Devices, Room: L416 DCL, SIGN UP, study guide
M May 2 Solar Cells
W May 4 Phonons HW10 (Online), HW10 (Offline, submit here)
CBTF: 5/5 - 5/12 FINAL: comprehensive final exam study guide L416 DCL, SIGN UP

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 and devices.


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>clicker8
Prerequisite Exam6
Exam 122
Exam 222
Exam 322

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