ECE 5204 Power Semiconductor Devices | ECE | Virginia Tech


Course Information


Characteristics, fabrication, and application of power semiconductor devices, which may include p-i-n and Schottky diodes, insulated gate bipolar transistors, field effect transistors, and thyristors. Effect of semiconductor material, device structure, and current injection levels on device performance. Device drive requirements and power circuit interaction. Implementation of power devices using wide band gap semiconductors such as silicon carbide and gallium nitride.

Why take this course?

Power semiconductor devices are the heart of power electronic circuits. Engineers working in the area of power electronic circuit design need to have a basic understanding of device capabilities and limitations and of the critical device-circuit interactions. Changes in the syllabus are a result of the significant advancements in semiconductor materials and device structures since the last course revision.



Students will apply their knowledge of semiconductor materials, gained from the graduate course on semiconductor material and carrier transport, ECE 5200, to identify the properties needed for use in high electric fields and high currents and to understand why certain materials are used when fabricating power semiconductor devices.

Major Measurable Learning Objectives

  • select and apply the fundamental physical models underlying the operation of high voltage/high current semiconductor devices
  • calculate the impact on device performance of changes in material composition and/or structure qualitatively and/or quantitatively
  • identify appropriate device structures for a specified power circuit after determining the operation of two or more devices under the current densities and voltage levels experienced in the circuits

Course Topics


Percentage of Course

1. Circuit Requirements for Power Diode Recitifiers 5%
2. Structure & Performance of Schottky and PIN Power Diodes 15%
3. Parasitic Circuit Elements in Power Diode Recitifiers 5%
4. Circuit Requirements for Power Transistor Switches 5%
5. Structure & Performance of Power Transistors: a. MOSFETs; b. BJTs and IGBTs 15%
6. Parasitic Circuit Elements in Power Transistor Switches 5%
7. Circuit Requirements for PNPN Thyristors 5%
8. Structure & Performance of PNPN Thyristors 5%
9. Parasitic Circuit Elements in PNPN Thyristors 5%
10. Implementation of Power Electronic Devices using SiC & GaN 20%