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Durham University

Department of Physics

PHYS4151 Advanced Condensed Matter Physics (2012/13)

Details of the module's prerequisites, learning outcomes, assessment and contact hours are given in the official module description in the Faculty Handbook - follow the link above.  A detailed description of the module's content is given below, together with book lists and a link to the current library catalogue entries.  For an explanation of the library's categorisation system see


Materials and Analysis

Dr B.G. Mendis

12 lectures in Michaelmas Term


Additional: Phase Transformations in Metals and Alloys (CRC)
Additional: Introduction to Dislocations, D Hull and DJ Bacon (Butterworth Heinemann)
Additional: Introduction to Surface Physics, M Prutton (OUP)
Additional: Transmission Electron Microscopy, DB Williams and CB Carter (Springer)

Syllabus: Materials thermodynamics and binary phase diagrams, kinetics of phase transformations, scanning electron microscopy characterisation of microstructures, crystal structures and their identification using X-ray diffraction, crystal defects including dislocations and grain boundaries, transmission electron microscopy characterisation of crystal defects, thin-film structures: their growth and deposition methods, surface techniques to characterise thin-films including LEED, STM and XPS, case study on materials science of LED and solar cell devices.

Semiconductor Devices

Dr G.H. Cross

12 lectures in Michaelmas and Epiphany Terms


Additional: Semiconductor Devices, M. Zambuto (McGraw-Hill)
Additional: Semiconductor Devices: Physics and Technology, S.M. Sze (Wiley)
Additional: Semiconductor Devices, J.J. Sparkes (Chapman and Hall, 2nd Ed.)
Additional: Optoelectronics: An Introduction, J. Wilson and J.F.B. Hawkes (Prentice Hall)

Syllabus: Review of semiconductors and doping p-n Junction : drift and diffusion currents at equilibrium, charge distribution, abrupt junction depletion width, current-voltage characteristics and depletion capacitance. Bipolar Transistor: transistor action, current gain, static characteristics. Field Effect Transistor: JFET principles of operation, current-voltage characteristics and channel conductance. MOS Devices: MOS diode, MOSFET basic characteristics, threshold voltage, device scaling and miniaturisation, integrated circuits and charge-coupled devices. Photonics: Optical properties of semiconductors: Free carrier effect on complex refractive index; compositional effects on refractive index. Optical confinement and slab waveguides. Semiconductor photonic devices: Electro-absorption modulator; photodiode.

Low Dimensional Solids

Dr M.R.C. Hunt

12 lectures in Epiphany Term


Additional: The Physics of Low Dimensional Semiconductors, J.H. Davies (CUP)
Additional: Introduction to Solid State Physics, C. Kittel (Wiley, 8th edition)
Additional: Physics and Chemistry of Solids, S.R. Elliott (Wiley)

Syllabus: Length scales for quantum confinement. Elementary model of low dimensional solids. Two, one and zero dimensional confinement. Sub-bands, density of states. Breakdown of Fermi-liquid theory in 1D. Peierls distortion. Finite depth quantum well. Anderson's Rule. Graphene and carbon nanotubes. Transport in low dimensional solids. Landauer formula, Coulomb blockade. Magneto-transport in two-dimensions: Landau levels, integer quantum Hall effect. Optical properties.



3 lectures in Easter Term, one by each lecturer.

Teaching methods

Lectures: 2 one-hour lectures per week

Problem exercises: See