2016 Fundamentals of Power Devices

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Hatano Mutsuko 
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Course description and aims

Students will investigate the role of power electronics and power devices for global scale energy problems. The efficiency of converting and controlling electrical energy contributes significantly to making progress with green innovation. Power devices are key devices in the infrastructure of a society such as railroads, power transmission, renewable energy, automobiles, home electronics, and information devices. Compared to the human body, CPU and memory correspond to the brain, and power electronics to the heart. Students first learn about device physics which determine the performance of power devices from this course. They then gain an understanding of the structure and operating principle of various devices such as power diodes, thyristors, power MOSFET, and insulated gate bipolar transistors, as well as the characteristics of wide-gap semiconductor devices, in addition to learning the fundamentals for applying them to power electronics.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Express the physics and characteristics of semiconductor power devices
2) Explain the issues and key technologies for the power device applications and energy problem


Power devices, Smart, Power Converters, Smart grid, IGBT, Wide-gap semiconductors

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

At the beginning of each class, solutions to exercise problems that were assigned during the previous class are reviewed. Towards the end of class, students are given exercise problems related to the lecture given that day to solve. To prepare for class, students should read the course schedule section and check what topics will be covered. Required learning should be completed outside of the classroom for preparation and review purposes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Global energy issues and Power electronics, devices Understand and solve the exercises of energy problem and power semiconductor devices
Class 2 Power devices: physics, device structures, characteristics Understand and solve the exercises of power semiconductor devices and device physics
Class 3 pin Diodes Understand and solve the exercises of power semiconductor devices -Diode
Class 4 Thyristors Understand and solve the exercises of power semiconductor devices -Thyristors
Class 5 Power MOS transistors Understand and solve the exercises of power semiconductor devices -Power MOS transistors
Class 6 Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) Understand and solve the exercises of power semiconductor devices - Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT)
Class 7 Wide-gap semiconductor power devices Understand and solve the exercises of Wide-gap power semiconductor devices
Class 8 Applications to power electronics, Exercise problems to assess the students' level of understanding on what has been taught so far, and explain how to solve the problem. Applications to power electronics, Exercise problems


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

All materials used in class can be found on OCW-i.
Josef Lutz “Semiconductor Power Devices: Physics, Characteristics, Reliability“ Springer

Assessment criteria and methods

Students will be assessed on their understanding of the power devices (physics, device structure, characteristics, applications, and important roles in the society ). Students' course scores are based on final exams (80%) and exercise problems during each class (20%).

Related courses

  • EEE.D351 : Electron Devices I
  • EEE.P311 : Power Electronics
  • EEE.D352 : Electron Devices II

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites are necessary, but enrollment in the related courses (Electron devices) is desirable.

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