Final Project Assignment

The end-of-the-term assignment in 6.772/SMA5111 is to write an 8-10 page paper and to prepare a 10-15 minute class presentation on a topic of current interest in the academic and industrial research communities that involves compound semiconductors and the devices and concepts discussed in class. Your topic can relate to your own research but if it does it should be peripheral to your primary thesis thrust and deal with some aspect you would not otherwise explore in depth. It might, for example, deal with an alternative approach you are not pursuing.

The first part of the assignment is to submit in Recitation 9 (1) a preliminary title, (2) a draft outline, and (3) an initial set of references for your end-of-the-term assignment. The idea of this exercise is to get you started. It will also help me schedule the presentations at the end of the term. It is alright if what you submit for your end-ofthe-term assignment looks different when finished from what you submit in Recitation 9 (Lecture 21).

Your paper and presentation should provide the readers with a good intuitive understanding of the topic and provide them with the information they need to assess developments in the field and put them in context amongst the various alternatives. Indicate what problem is being solved, how it is being addressed, and whether the approach has merit.

Several students have asked for more guidance on the paper. Here is some:

General Comments (in addition to the original announcement)

Your paper can take many forms, but two of the most common are the following:

  1. Critique of a Specific Paper: Find an article that looks interesting to you and that describes a particular approach to solving a problem, and review that paper, giving background on the problem and issues involved with it, including what the state of the field was prior to this paper, and then describe and evaluate the contribution of the paper. Simply put, say what they claim to have done, explain why anyone should care, and argue whether or not you think they have made a significant contribution and really solved a problem.


  2. Review of the Present Status of a Given Area: Find a recent review article and a couple of more new research articles on the same topic. Present an overview of the area outlining the goal and the reason it is of interest, what the challenges are in reaching the goal, which challenges have been solved and where challenges remain and/or where the present solutions need further improvement.

Examples of Past Project/Presentation Titles

Mode Control in VCSELs
Quantum Cascade Lasers
Sunlight-blind UV Detectors
GaN Power Devices
Analysis of an MSM Photodetector
GaN Blue Laser Diodes
Antimonides and their Application to Optical Devices
1.55 µm Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers
SiGe HBT Technology for RF Applications
Light Confinement and Guiding in Photonic Crystals
Monolithic Integration of GaAs and Si Devices

Suggestions on Where to Look for Ideas

The tables of contents of the following letters journals are a good place to get an idea of what topics people are working on. When you find something that interests you, start a more intensive search using the background references in the article you find and on the web.

Applied Physics Letters
IEEE Photonics Technology Letters
Electronics Letters
IEEE Electron Device Letters

Sample Student Presentations

Note: Some of the illustrative figures within these presentations are absent due to copyright restrictions.

Conducting Polymeric Materials as they Pertain to Supercapacitors, by David A. New (PDF)

Compound Semiconductor Based Micro-Thermophotovoltaic Power Generation Technologies, by Francis M. O'Sullivan (PDF) Courtesy of Francis O'Sullivan.

Auger Recombination in AIIIBV Compound Semiconductors: Non-radiative Losses in Quantum Wells and Superlattices, by Georgii Samsonidze (PDF) Courtesy of Georgii Samsonidze.

Recent Developments in HEMT Cryogenic Low-noise Amplifiers, by Janice C. Lee (PDF) Courtesy of Janice Lee.

Energy Flow in Semiconductor Devices and its Applications for Semiconductor Laser Diodes, by Ronggui Yang (PDF) Courtesy of Ronggui Yang.

The Use of Strain in Silicon Germanium Heterostructure MOSFET Technology, by Stuart Laval (PDF) Courtesy of Stuart Laval.