Course detail

Solid State Physics

FEKT-MPA-FPFAcad. year: 2022/2023

Basic concepts of quantum and atomic physics. Structure of solids. Crystal lattice. Band theory of solids. Electric charge transport. Electrons and holes in non-equilibrium state. Selected semiconductor structures, sources and detectors of radiation.

Language of instruction


Number of ECTS credits


Mode of study

Not applicable.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The student is able to:
- explain the behavior of an electron in a potential well and a potential barrier,
- describe the basic nanostructures and their applications (quantum wells, wires, dots, a single light emitting diode, a single photon detector),
- describe the basic properties of atoms,
- describe the crystal structure of solids and explain the formation of energy bands,
- describe the drift and diffusion in solids,
- compute the mobility of charge carriers from the experimental data,
- compute the lifetime of minority carriers and the diffusion length of minority carriers from the experimental data,
- apply the continuity equation and Poisson's equation,
- describe the basic types of generation and recombination processes in semiconductors,
- describe the formation and properties of a PN junction,
- describe a LED and a solar cell.


The student who enrols in the course should be able to use the Cartesian coordinate system, should operate to solve simple cases of uniform motion and uniformly accelerated motion, Newton's laws and the laws of conservation of energy and momentum. He should be able to describe the basic structure of matter at the atomic level, further to explain the term of the electric charge, the electric current. He should be able to use the basic quantities describing the electric and magnetic fields and to assess the impact of these fields on the movement of electric charge. He should be able to describe the oscillating mechanical harmonic motion and to explain the mechanical progressive wave. He should be able to apply the basic laws of geometrical optics (the laws of reflection and refraction) for solving rays of light propagation. Students should be familiar with the mathematical apparatus at the level of basic work with vectors, differentiation and integration of scalar and vector functions of a scalar argument.
Generally, the knowledge on the technical university bachelor degree level is required.


Not applicable.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Techning methods include lectures and practical laboratories. Course is taking advantage of e-learning (Moodle) system. Students have to write five homeworks during the course.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Students can obtain up to:
- 25 points from the semester project (solving of given problems or elaboration of a given topic)
- 20 points from laboratories (6 reports),
- 55 points from the exam (a written part of 35 points and a verbal part of 20 points).
Students must obtain at least 10 points in the written part to proceed to the verbal part.
Students must obtain at least 5 points in the verbal part to pass the exam.
The exam is focused on the verification of basic knowledge in the field of electrical and optical properties of solids, including solving of selected problems.

Course curriculum

1) Basic concepts of quantum and atomic physics. Particles and waves, photoelectric effect, Compton effect, de Broglie waves.
2) Schrödinger equation, Heisenberg uncertainty principle, potential wells and barriers, energy quantization, electron traps.
3) Atoms. Hydrogen atom, Bohr theory of hydrogen atom, quantum numbers, some properties of atoms, Pauli exclusion principle, periodic table of elements.
4) Structure of solids. Electrical properties of solids, crystalline solids, crystalline bonds, crystal lattice, crystal systems, Miller indexes.
5) Crystal lattice defects, lattice vibrations, fonons.
6) Band theory of solids. Free electron, quantum mechanical theory of solids, formation of energy bands, effective mass.
7) Distribution function, density of states, charge carrier concentration, Fermi level, insulators, metals, semiconductors, intrinsic and doped semiconductors.
8) Transport phenomena in semiconductors. Thermal and drift movement, Boltzmann transport equation, electrical conductivity, Ohm's law in differential and integral form, mobility, relaxation time, scattering mechanisms.
9) Hall effect, thermoelectric effect, Peltier effect, influence of external fields on electrical conductivity, diffusion.
10) Semiconductor in non-equilibrium state. Minority carrier lifetime, continuity equation, ambipolar mobility, diffusion length, Poisson's equation.
11) Generation and recombination of carriers, recombination centers, traps, photoelectric properties.
12) Inhomogeneous semiconductor systems. Homogeneous and heterogeneous PN junctions, capacity, VA characteristic, PN junction breakdowns.
13) Semiconductor sources and detectors of radiation. Radiative and nonradiative recombination, mechanisms of radiation excitation, LED, solar cell.

Work placements

Not applicable.


The objective is to provide students with knowledge of selected electrical and optical properties of solids, including examples of a wide range of interesting applications. Practical knowledge will be verified in the laboratory exercises.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Laboratory exercises are compulsory, properly excused missed labs can be compensate after consultation with the teacher.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Prerequisites and corequisites

Not applicable.

Basic literature

Kittel, CH.: Introduction to Solid State Physics. 8th ed. Wiley, 2004, ISBN: 978-0471415268 (EN)
Seeger, K.: Semiconductor Physics. Springer Verlag, 1982, ISBN: 978-3540114215 (EN)

Recommended reading

Davies, J., H.: The Physics of Low-dimensional Semiconductors. Cambridge University Press, 1997, ISBN: 978-0521484916 (EN)
Kelly, M., J.: Low-dimensional Semiconductors. Clarendon Press, 1996, ISBN: 978-0198517801 (EN)

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme MPA-CAN Master's, any year of study, summer semester, elective
  • Programme MPAD-CAN Master's, any year of study, summer semester, elective
  • Programme MPC-EVM Master's, any year of study, summer semester, elective
  • Programme MPC-MEL Master's, any year of study, summer semester, elective
  • Programme MPA-SAP Master's, any year of study, summer semester, elective
  • Programme MPA-MEL Master's, 1. year of study, summer semester, compulsory-optional
  • Programme MPAD-MEL Master's, 1. year of study, summer semester, compulsory-optional

Type of course unit



39 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer

Laboratory exercise

13 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer