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 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 17 Orientation and Introduction Prerequisite Quiz, Room: room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP, study guide
F Jan 19 Solymar: 1, 2;
Kasap: 2.1;
Classical Conductivity: Drude model
M Jan 22 Solymar: 2, 3;
Kasap: 2.5, 3.1;
Hall effect
W Jan 24 Solymar: 3, 6.9, 7.3;
Kasap: 3.1;
Bragg's Law, Photoelectric Effect
F Jan 26 Solymar: 3;
Kasap: 3.3, 3.4, 3.5;
Particle-wave duality, de Broglie wave length
M Jan 29 Solymar: 3;
Kasap: 3.5, 3.6, 3.7;
Basics of Quantum Mechanics HW0
W Jan 31 Solymar: 3;
Kasap: 3.6, 3.7;
Schrödinger Equation, Operators, Free electrons
F Feb 2 Solymar: 2, 3;
Kasap: 3.3, 3.4, 3.6;
Infinite potential well
M Feb 5 Solymar: 3.6, 4;
Kasap: 3.5, 3.7, 3.8;
Uncertainty principle, Tunneling I HW1
W Feb 7 Solymar: 4;
Kasap: 3.8;
Tunneling II Quiz 1, Room: room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP, study guide
F Feb 9 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 4.1;
Hydrogen Atom I
M Feb 12 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 4.1;
Hydrogen Atom II HW2
W Feb 14 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 4.1;
Optical transitions, Selection rules, Spin
F Feb 16 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 4.1;
Beyond hydrogen, X-rays
M Feb 19 XPS, Auger X-ray emission HW3
W Feb 21 Link, More Auger X-ray absorption Quiz 2, Room: room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP, study guide
F Feb 23 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 1.3;
XPS, Auger
M Feb 26 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 1.3;
Synchrotrons, Bonding in molecules
W Feb 28 Solymar: 1;
Kasap: 1.3;
Bonding in molecules
F Mar 2 Solymar: 6, 7;
Kasap: 4.2, 4.5;
Potential-energy surface
M Mar 5 Bulk modulus, Madelung constant (video) HW4 (Online), HW4 (Offline, submit here), solutions
W Mar 7 Solymar: 6, 7;
Kasap: 4.5, 4.6, 4.7;
Free-electron gas, Density of states (video) Quiz 3, Room: room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP, study guide
M Mar 12 Solymar: 6, 7;
Kasap: 4.11;
Density of states, Fermi distribution HW5
W Mar 14 Solymar: 6, 7;
Kasap: 4.11;
Direct lattice and reciprocal lattice
F Mar 16 Ovito: Lattice structure and planes fcc, bcc
M Mar 19 Spring Break
W Mar 21 Spring Break
F Mar 23 Spring Break
M Mar 26 Solymar: 8;
Kasap: 5.11;
Reciprocal lattice HW6 (Online), HW6 (Offline, submit here), solutions
W Mar 28 Solymar: 8;
Kasap: 5.2, 5.3;
Empty-Lattice Approximation: Bands in Solids
F Mar 30 Nearly Free Electrons: Bands in Solids
M Apr 2 Nearly free electrons; Semiconductors
W Apr 4 Solymar: 8, 9;
Kasap: 6.1, 6.2;
Electrons, holes in semiconductors Quiz 4, Room: room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP, study guide
F Apr 6 Solymar: 8, 9;
Kasap: 5.4, 5.5;
Mass action law, Fermi level
M Apr 9 Solymar: 9;
Kasap: 5.9, 6.2, 6.5;
Extrinsic semiconductors, n and p doping HW7 (Offline, submit here); optional QE GUI
W Apr 11 Solymar: 9;
Kasap: 6.6, 6.8;
Compensation doping, Charge carrier concentrations in Si (iPython, PDF)
F Apr 13 Solymar: 9;
Kasap: 6.9;
pn junction
M Apr 16 Solymar: 13;
Kasap: 6.9;
Diffusion current HW8
W Apr 18 Solymar: 13;
Kasap: 6.10;
pn junction: Forward bias Quiz 4 - Retake, Room: room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP, study guide
F Apr 20 Solymar: 13;
Kasap: 6.10;
pn Reverse bias, Diode
M Apr 23 Carrier lifetimes, Schottky junctions HW9
W Apr 25 LEDs Quiz 5, Room: room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP, study guide
F Apr 27 Heterojunction LEDs, Worksheet
M Apr 30 Solar cells
W May 2 Transistors, Phonons HW10 (Online), Comp. Report 2 (Offline, submit here)
FINAL: comprehensive final exam room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP, 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 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
Computational Report 1 and 26 each
In-lecture i>clicker8
Prerequisite Quiz4
Quiz 1‐510 each

The optional final exam will replace the lowest quiz grade 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