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Posted: Oct 16, 2012

A five-week webinar on the essential physics of nanoscale transistors (w/video)

(Nanowerk News) This web-based course was developed by Professor Mark Lundstrom to update a short course on nanotransistors presented in the 2008 NCN Summer School. This short course covers the most important transistor fundamentals presented in a semester-long course that has attracted 10,000+ viewers since it was posted on nanoHUB.org, a nanoscience and nanotechnology resource created by the Network for Computational Nanotechnology.
Nanoscale Transistors is a five-week online course that develops a unified framework for understanding essential physics of nanoscale transistors, their important applications, and trends and directions. The course is taught at the level of a Purdue graduate course for first year students, but there are no admission requirements and no need to travel to Purdue. The online course can be taken from anywhere in the world from October through November 2012. Each week contains six 20-minute video lectures covering essential transistor physics, practical considerations, models for circuit simulation, and fundamental limits.
A scientific overview video featuring the professor
Course Objectives
The transistor is the key enabler of modern electronics. Progress in transistor scaling has pushed channel lengths to the nanometer regime where traditional approaches to device physics are less and less suitable. This short course describes a way of understanding MOSFETs that is much more suitable than traditional approaches when the channel lengths are of nanoscale dimensions. Surprisingly, the final result looks much like the traditional, textbook, MOSFET model, but the parameters in the equations have simple, clear interpretations at the nanoscale. My objective for this course is to provide students with an understanding of the essential physics of nanoscale transistors as well as some of the practical technological considerations and fundamental limits. The goal is to do this in a way that is broadly accessible to students with only a very basic knowledge of semiconductor physics and electronic circuits.
Who Should Take the Course
Anyone seeking a sound, physical, but simple understanding of how nanoscale transistors operate. The transistor is the enabler for modern electronics, so a basic understanding of its operating principles is essential for anyone working in the field of electronic materials, device or circuits and systems. Modern transistors have critical dimensions that are measured in nanometers – making them the first and most successful nanoelectronic device. The course should be useful for advanced undergraduates, beginning graduate students as well are researchers and practicing engineers and scientists. The goal is to provide a simple, assessable, but sound introduction to the fundamentals of nanoscale transistors.
Prerequisites
This course is intended to be broadly accessible to those with a background in the physical sciences or engineering. No familiarity with electronics or transistors is assumed, but those with such a background will gain an understanding of how nanoscale transistors differ from their micrometer scale cousins. A basic familiarity with topics usually covered in a two-semester college course in introductory physics is assumed. Selected topics from upper-division undergraduate courses in electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics will be reviewed when required. A working knowledge of both integral and differential calculus is assumed. A basic understanding of electronic circuit concepts such as Ohm’s Law, Kirchoff’s Law, etc. will be helpful. An introductory level understanding of basic semiconductor physics will also be helpful. This topic will be briefly reviewed at the beginning of the course, and pointers to web-based lectures that cover background topics will be provided.
Course Outline
Nanoscale Transistors (October 29-November 30, 2012)

Week 1: The transistor: controlling current by modulating a barrier

Week 2: MOS electrostatics

Week 3: The ballistic nanotransistor

Week 4: The quasi-ballistic nanotransistor

Week 5: The ultimate MOSFET and beyond

Source: Purdue University
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