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The University of Southampton

ELEC6256 Nanoelectronic Devices (MSc)

Module Overview

The module will discuss all important issues related to scaling down the transistor size into the nanometer regime, such as high-k dielectrics and FINFETs. The teaching will be complemented with a finite element simulation of the MOS scaling which will bring into practice many of the above improvements. Silvaco TCAD tools are used: industry-standard software to simulate semiconductor processing and device operation (Technology Computer-Aided Design). This module is taught together with ELEC3207 Nanoelectronic Devices. ELEC6256 has higher requirements on the desired learning outcomes, which will be assessed by a different examination. This module is taught together with ELEC3207 Nanoelectronic Devices. The two modules are mutually exclusive and you may not take both modules.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The electronic structure of materials
  • The fundamental device physics of semiconductors
  • The operation principle of CMOS transistors
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Construct the process flows to fabricate CMOS transistors
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Simulate the performance of CMOS transistors


Review of semiconductor physics - Atoms and energy levels - Band structures - MOS capacitor Nanoelectronics - Technology roadmap of nano-electronics (Moore's law) - Scaling of devices and technology jump - Energy band structure in Silicon Metal Oxide Semicoductor Field Effect Transistors (MOSFET) - Basic MOSFET Operation - Threshold Voltage and Subthreshold Slope - Current/voltage characteristics - Finite Element Modelling of MOS Advanced CMOS transistors scaling - Challenge of the CMOS technologies - High-k dielectrics and Gate stack - Future interconnect - FINFET and architecture - Design for Variability - Mobility enhancement Recent research case studies - Front-end CMOS - Quantum Technologies - Si Photonics - Nano-Photonics, Bio-Sensors, Plasmonics

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be taught using a combination of lectures and labs.

Completion of assessment task22
Wider reading or practice58
Supervised time in studio/workshop12
Follow-up work12
Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Yuan Taur and Tak H. Ning. Fundamentals of Modern VLSI Devices. 

B.G. Streetman and S. Banerjee. Solid State Electronic Devices. 


Assessment Strategy

Students can get good experiences by simulating the MOSFET characteristics after learning the fundamental principles in the lectures. Simulations and lecturing are complementary each other, and students can get more insights in understanding the MOSFETs. The learning outcomes include the capabilities to simulate unknown new device performance for their future jobs in CMOS or even beyond-CMOS industries.


MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 30%
Final Assessment  70%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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