360.248 Semiconductor Sensors
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2022W, VU, 3.0h, 4.0EC

Course evaluation


  • Semester hours: 3.0
  • Credits: 4.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Hybrid

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to...

  • Understand how ambient-dependent material properties of semiconductor films can be applied for sensor devices.
  • Describe the working principles of several key semiconductor-based sensors, such as temperature sensors, chemical and gas sensors, and optoelectronic sensors.
  • Simulate the operation of semiconductor sensors using available simulation tools.
  • Describe and partially implement key methods for the simulation of semiconductor sensors based on variations in temperature, current, potential, etc.
  • Apply their knowledge in the design of simulation tools in the area of technology computer-aided design (TCAD) tools for semiconductor sensors.
  • Apply advanced numerical methods (e.g., time domain finite difference – TDFD).

Subject of course

The lecture will give an overview of the manipulation of the conductivity of a semiconducting material in order to create sensor devices and their modeling and simulation. Furthermore, the course will build on existing semiconductor knowledge in order to introduce the beneficial uses of semiconductors beyond transistors for digital and analog circuitry. The course will discuss, but is not limited to, the following devices:

  • Diode temperature sensor: Students will study the P-N junction from a different angle. They will look into how this unique structure is being used as a temperature sensor and how to model it.
  • BioFET: The transducer element in BioFETs is an Ion-sensitive field-effect transistor (ISFET), which is commonly used to measure ion concentrations in a solution (such as pH). How a MOSFET can be modified to create an ISFET and BIOFET will be discussed as well as how these devices can be simulated.
  • Gas sensor: Chemical reaction taking place at the surface of a semiconductor metal oxide gas sensor will be described. In addition to electro-thermal-mechanical simulations of the complex MEMS structure required for these devices will be described.
  • CMOS image sensor: An understanding of the operation of a CMOS image sensor, its benefit against the alternatives, and techniques for its modeling will be described.
  • Optoelectronic sensors: Devices such as nondispersive infrared (NDIR) and single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) sensors will be described. This will include a hands-on component working in a time domain finite difference (TDFD) environment to solve optoelectronic problems.

Teaching methods

The teaching methods used in the course will include a combination of four learning styles: visual, verbal, logical, and solitary. The visual methods will include showing experimental and simulation results related to the different semiconductor sensors, while the verbal will primarily be used during the course of the teaching in the lectures. Logical and solitary learning will be applied during the exercises, where the students will have to critically analyze a problem and devise a solution on their own.

Mode of examination




Course dates

Thu13:00 - 15:0006.10.2022 - 26.01.2023Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture
Semiconductor Sensors - Single appointments
Thu06.10.202213:00 - 15:00Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture
Thu20.10.202213:00 - 15:00Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture
Thu27.10.202213:00 - 15:00Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture
Thu03.11.202213:00 - 15:00Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture
Thu10.11.202213:00 - 15:00Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture
Thu17.11.202213:00 - 15:00Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture
Thu24.11.202213:00 - 15:00Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture
Thu01.12.202213:00 - 15:00Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture
Thu15.12.202213:00 - 15:00Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture
Thu22.12.202213:00 - 15:00Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture
Thu12.01.202313:00 - 15:00Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture
Thu19.01.202313:00 - 15:00Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture
Thu26.01.202313:00 - 15:00Seminarraum CD0520 Lecture

Examination modalities

There will be three graded exercises, each carrying 20% of the overall course grade.
A final oral exam will carry 40% of the overall grade.
The students must not fail more than one practical exercise and must pass (>50%) the final exam.

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
02.07.2022 12:00 09.10.2022 23:59 30.10.2022 00:59


Study CodeSemesterPrecon.Info
066 646 Computational Science and Engineering


No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

Basic knowledge in programming in C / C++ or Python is desired.

Successful completion of the course: 360.241 Introduction to Semiconductor Physics and Devices or similar is essential. Alternatively, a background or knowledge of semiconductor devices and their simulation techniques is required.