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 18 Orientation and Introduction
F Jan 20 Solymar: 1, 2;
Kasap: 2.1;
Classical Conductivity: Drude model
M Jan 23 Solymar: 2, 3;
Kasap: 2.5, 3.1;
Hall effect, Photoelectric effect I
W Jan 25 Solymar: 3, 6.9, 7.3;
Kasap: 3.1;
Photoelectric Effect II, Bragg reflection Prerequisite Quiz, Room: room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP, study guide
F Jan 27
M Jan 30 Solymar: 3;
Kasap: 3.3, 3.4, 3.5;
Particle-wave duality, de Broglie wave length, Basics of Quantum Mechanics HW0
W Feb 1 Solymar: 3;
Kasap: 3.6, 3.7;
Schrödinger Equation, Operators, Free electrons
F Feb 3 Solymar: 2, 3;
Kasap: 3.3, 3.4, 3.6;
Infinite potential well
M Feb 6 Solymar: 3.6, 4;
Kasap: 3.5, 3.7;
Uncertainty principle, Tunneling HW1
W Feb 8 Solymar: 4;
Kasap: 3.8;
Tunneling Quiz 1, Room: room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP, study guide
F Feb 10 Solymar: 4;
Kasap: 3.8;
Hydrogen Atom I
M Feb 13 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 4.1;
Optical transitions, Selection rules, Spin HW2
W Feb 15 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 4.1;
Beyond hydrogen
F Feb 17 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 4.1;
X-ray spectroscopy
M Feb 20 XPS, Auger X-ray spectroscopy questions HW3
W Feb 22 Link, More Auger Auger, Synchrotrons, and H2+ molecules Quiz 2, Room: room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP
F Feb 24 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 1.3;
Bonding in molecules
M Feb 27 Solving example problems
W Mar 1 Solymar: 5;
Kasap: 1.3;
Bonding and potential-energy surface
F Mar 3 Solymar: 1;
Kasap: 1.3;
Potential-energy surface, Bulk modulus
M Mar 6 Solymar: 6, 7;
Kasap: 4.2, 4.5;
Madelung constant, Free electron gas HW4 (Online), HW4 (Offline, submit here), solutions
W Mar 8 Solymar: 6, 7;
Kasap: 4.5, 4.6, 4.7;
Free-electron gas, Density of states Quiz 3, Room: room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP, study guide
M Mar 13 Solymar: 6, 7;
Kasap: 4.11;
Density of states, Fermi distribution HW5
W Mar 15 Solymar: 6, 7;
Kasap: 4.11;
Direct lattice and reciprocal lattice
F Mar 17 Solymar: 8;
Kasap: 4.3, 5.1;
Recap: Density of States, Fermi, Lattices
M Mar 20 Spring Break
W Mar 22 Spring Break
F Mar 24 Spring Break
M Mar 27 Solymar: 8;
Kasap: 5.11;
Empty-Lattice Approximation: Bands in Solids HW6 (Online), HW6 (Offline, submit here), solutions
W Mar 29 Solymar: 8;
Kasap: 5.2, 5.3;
Nearly Free Electrons: Bands in Solids
F Mar 31 Semiconductors Recorded HW solutions
M Apr 3 Electrons and holes in semiconductors HW7 (Offline, submit here); optional QE GUI
W Apr 5 Solymar: 8, 9;
Kasap: 6.1, 6.2;
Electrons, holes, Fermi level Quiz 4, Room: room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP, study guide
F Apr 7 Solymar: 8, 9;
Kasap: 5.4, 5.5;
Extrinsic semiconductors
M Apr 10 Solymar: 9;
Kasap: 5.9, 6.2, 6.5;
n and p doping, pn junction
W Apr 12 Solymar: 9;
Kasap: 6.6, 6.8;
pn junctions, Charge carrier concentrations in Si (iPython, PDF)
F Apr 14 Solymar: 9;
Kasap: 6.9;
pn junction, Drift current
M Apr 17 Solymar: 13;
Kasap: 6.9;
pn junction: Forward bias HW8
W Apr 19 Solymar: 13;
Kasap: 6.10;
pn junction: Reverse bias, Diode Quiz 5, Room: room 57 Grainger, SIGN UP, study guide
F Apr 21 Solymar: 13;
Kasap: 6.10;
Carrier lifetimes
M Apr 24 Schottky junctions HW9
W Apr 26 LEDs
F Apr 28 Heterojunction LEDs, Solar Cells
M May 1 Transistors, Phonons
W May 3 Phonons HW10 (Online), Comp. Report 2 (Offline)
FINAL: comprehensive final exam room 57 Grainger, 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
Computational Report 1 and 25 each
In-lecture i>clicker8
Prerequisite Quiz6
Quiz 1‐512 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