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October 2018 Issue, Volume 86, No. 10October 2018 AJP Cover


Capacitance-voltage profiling of MOS capacitors: A case study of hands- on semiconductor testing for an undergraduate laboratory

Catering to a large undergraduate laboratory class requires the experiments to be robust, low maintenance, and easy to set up with low cost test equipment at the disposal of most university laboratories. Most introductory undergraduate semiconductor device laboratory courses utilize packaged semiconductor integrated circuit chips to illustrate the functioning and applications of fundamental semiconductor devices such as diodes and transistors. While such methods do justice to the illustration of device concepts, the packages abstract the device physics and manufacturing and promote a “black-box” mentality towards device engineering. We have proposed and implemented a novel undergraduate device laboratory experiment, where metal oxide semiconductor capacitor (MOSCAP) devices were designed and fabricated at our university cleanroom and provided to students to perform basic capacitance-voltage profile measurements. To allow over a hundred students to simultaneously perform the experiments, we fabricated miniature test jigs that served as probe stations with spring-loaded pogo pins to make electrical contact with the devices. Using a simple op-amp based circuit that is easy for second year undergraduates to analyze, students are able to successfully extract device parameters such as substrate doping density and flat-band voltage using this experiment, and visualize the different modes of operation of a MOSCAP.


Guest Editorial

Education and public outreach as an integral part of a scientist's career, by Or Graur. DOI: 10.1119/1.5052428


Radiation of the electromagnetic field beyond the dipole approximation by Andrij Rovenchak, and Yuri Krynytskyi. DOI: 10.1119/1.5052427

Water bottle flipping physics by P. J. Dekker, L. A. G. Eek, M. M. Flapper, H. J. C. Horstink, A. R. Meulenkamp, J. van der Meulen, E. S. Kooij, J. H. Snoeijer, and A. Marin. DOI: 10.1119/1.5052441

Introduction to semiconductor processing: Fabrication and characterization of p-n junction silicon solar cells by Ryan P. Smith, Angela An-Chi Hwang, Tobias Beetz, and Erik Helgren. DOI: 10.1119/1.5046424

“Relativistic” particle dynamics without relativity by Allan Walstad. DOI: 10.1119/1.5049812

Airy wavepackets are Perelomov coherent states by Vivek M. Vyas. DOI: 10.1119/1.5051181

An acoustical analogue of a galactic-scale gravitational-wave detector by Michael T. Lam, Joseph D. Romano, Joey S. Key, Marc Normandin, and Jeffrey S. Hazboun. DOI: 10.1119/1.5050190

Newton's graphical method for central force orbits by Michael Nauenberg. DOI: 10.1119/1.5050620

Computational Physics

Random sequential adsorption and its long-time limit by G. Zhang. DOI: 10.1119/1.5049954

Physics Education Research

Facilitating understanding of image formation through the luminous ray model mediated by virtual simulation by Hong-Syuan Wang, Sufen Chen, and Miao-Hsuan Yen. DOI: 10.1119/1.5052447

Notes and Discussions

Erratum: “The thermodynamic efficiency of heat engines with friction” [Am. J. Phys. 80, 298–305 (2012)] by João P. S. Bizarro. DOI: 10.1119/1.5049354

Erratum: Perturbation approximation for orbits in axially symmetric funnels [Am. J. Phys. 82, 1047 (2014)] by Michael Nauenberg. DOI: 10.1119/1.5053111

Apparatus and Demonstration Notes

Capacitance-voltage profiling of MOS capacitors: A case study of hands-on semiconductor testing for an undergraduate laboratory by J. Joy, M. P. Date, B. M. Arora, K. L. Narasimhan, and S. Tallur. DOI: 10.1119/1.5052360

Book Reviews

Einstein's Mass-Energy Equation, Volume I: Early History and Philosophical Foundations by Eugene Hecht. DOI: 10.1119/1.5052425

Books Received

American Journal of Physics 86, 800 (2018); https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5052353


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