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Online Course

Fundamentals of Current Flow

Purdue University via edX

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Overview

Very different from what is taught in standard courses, "Fundamentals of Current Flow" provides a unified conceptual framework for ballistic and diffusive transport of both electrons and phonons - essential information for understanding nanoelectronic devices.

The traditional description of electronic motion through a solid is based on diffusive transport, which means that the electron takes a random walk from the source to the drain of a transistor, for example. However, modern nanoelectronic devices often have channel lengths comparable to a mean free path so that electrons travel ballistically, or “like a bullet.” 

This course is part of a Purdue initiative that aims to complement the expertise that students develop with the breadth at the edges needed to work effectively in today's multidisciplinary environment. These serious short courses require few prerequisites and provide a general framework that can be filled in with self-study when needed.

Students taking this course will be required to complete two (2) proctored exams using the edX online Proctortrack software.
Completed exams will be scanned and sent using Gradescope for grading by Professor Datta.

Syllabus

Week 1: The New Perspective

     1.1 Introduction
     1.2 Two Key Concepts
     1.3 Why Electrons Flow
     1.4 Conductance Formula
     1.5 Ballistic (B) Conductance
     

Week 2: The New Perspective (continued)

     1.6 Diffusive (D) Conductance
     1.7 Connecting B to D
     1.8 Angular Averaging
     1.9 Drude Formula
     1.10 Summing Up     

Week 3: Energy Band Model

     2.1. Introduction
     2.2. E(p) or E(k) Relation
     2.3. Counting States
     2.4. Density of States
     2.5. Number of Modes
  
Week 4: Energy Band Model (Continued)

     2.6. Electron Density (n)
     2.7. Conductivity vs. n
     * 2.8 - 2.9 Bonus Lectures; NOT covered on exams
     2.10 Summing Up
     3.1 Introduction
     3.2 A New Boundary
     3.3 Quasi-Germi Levels (QFL's)
     

Week 5: Energy Band Model (continued)

     3.4 Current from QFL’s
     3.5 Landauer formulas
     3.6 What a probe measures
     * 3.7 - 3.10 Bonus Lectures; NOT covered on exams

Epilog: Looking Forward-From Semiclassical to Quantum 

Text: S. Datta, “Lessons from Nanoelectronics”, Part A: Basic Concepts,
World Scientific, Second Edition 2017


The manuscript will be available for download at the course's website.

Taught by

Supriyo Datta and Shuvro Chowdhury

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