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A Solid State Materials And Devices Course For Sophomore Electrical Engineering Students

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

ECE Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.120.1 - 11.120.9



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Paper Authors


Lihong (Heidi) Jiao Grand Valley State University

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Lihong (Heidi) Jiao, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing at Grand Valley State University. She received her B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. from Nankai University, China and Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Her interests include semiconductor device fabrication, nanotechnologies and fiber optics.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An electronic materials and devices course for sophomore electrical engineering students Abstract

This paper describes a new engineering course on electronic materials and devices offered to second-year electrical engineering students. The course covers the basic concepts of quantum mechanics, electrons, atoms, solid-state materials and related devices. The emphasis is placed on the properties of semiconductors and optoelectronic devices such as photodiodes, solar cells and thin film transistors. In most universities, this type of course is offered to third-year or higher students. We believe that there are great advantages to offering this course to second-year students. The students are introduced to a set of key knowledge in modern engineering and the course promotes a greater level of interest in electrical engineering before the students are officially admitted to the School of Engineering. The main challenge in offering this course to sophomore students is to achieve a balance between mathematical theory and experiential learning. Real-life examples and laboratory activities were designed to provide the students with hands-on experiences and to enforce the understanding of theoretical materials. The paper describes in detail how the course concepts were organized and instructed, examples of the lab activities developed, and evaluation data on two pilot offerings of the course.


Up to winter 2004, the course EGR 255 Materials for the Electrical Sciences in School of Engineering at GVSU was offered to sophomore students in electrical engineering major. The course covered crystal structure, mechanical behavior of metals, phase diagrams, ceramic properties, polymer properties, electrical/thermal/magnetic/optical properties. There was not much time spent on solid state materials and devices. However, with the fast progress of modern electronics, it is essential that electrical engineering students be exposed to solid state materials and devices. In the preface of their text book1, Murarka and Peckerar wrote “Electrical Engineers usually have little specialized knowledge of chemical reactions or solid state mechanics. And yet, our ability to fabricate semiconductor devices depends critically on our understanding of these items.” To fulfill the needs of industry, in winter 2005, EGR 255 course was revised to Introduction to Electronic Materials and Devices to provide students with a sound understanding of existing electronic materials and devices so that their studies of electronic circuits and systems are meaningful and to develop the basic tools with which they can learn about newly developed materials, devices and applications. In traditional solid state materials and devices course2, the contents of atomic theory, quantum mechanics, conductors, insulators, and magnetic properties are often neglected. However, it is clear that engineers and scientists who work on electronics will continually learn about new materials and devices in the future, which often require that knowledge. With this in mind, the revised EGR 255 combined traditional materials course3 and solid state materials and devices course with emphasis on solid state materials and devices.

Course description

The revised EGR 255 course covers the basic quantum mechanics theory, properties of conductors/ insulators/ semiconductors with emphasis on electrical/optical/magnetic properties

Jiao, L. H. (2006, June), A Solid State Materials And Devices Course For Sophomore Electrical Engineering Students Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--535

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