BI2SD16-Sensors and Devices

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr John Bowen


Summary module description:

The module aims to introduce the basic concepts underpinning the operation of semiconductor devices, and to describe sensors and transducers for a range of application areas, their characteristics and principles of operation.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module the students should be able to choose appropriate transistors, amplifiers and transducers for a given application, understand the principles of their operation and be able to calculate their amplification and responsivities respectively. They should also be able to describe the physical operation of semiconductor devices and predict their behaviour.

Additional outcomes:
Sensors and transducers: Designing to meet specifications.
Basic semiconductor device models.

Outline content:
Semiconductor devices (7): Atomic structure and electrons. Insulators, conductors and semiconductors. Intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors. Majority and minority carriers. p-n junction diodes. Rectification. Zener diodes. Light emitting diodes. Bipolar junction Transistors (the Common Emitter and Common Collector amplifiers, the Differential Amplifier, Operational Amplifiers and configurations), Field Effect Transistors.
Sensors and transducers (3): Classification of Sensors and transducers, examples. Transducer parameters. Transducer bridges. Displacement transducers (resistive and capacitive). Temperature transducers.
Phototransducers (10). Fibre optic sensors. Measurement methods and instrumentation.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module comprises 2 lectures per week, associated laboratory practicals, and some revision tutorials. Laboratory practicals are used to reinforce the relevant lectures.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 2
Practicals classes and workshops 9
Guided independent study 65 4
Total hours by term 94.00 6.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Set exercise 30

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One 2-hour examination paper in May/June.

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Examination only.
    One 2-hour examination paper in August/September.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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