Physics 450: Advanced Physics Laboratory

Description, Outline and Schedule

2 Credits 4 hrs/week

This course consists of 5 laboratory Modules covering the use of common physics laboratory

apparatus and investigation methods in the following areas (more details given below):

1.    Experiments with Sonoluminescence

2.    Micro-electronic device characterization (2 modules)

3.    Phonon Spectrum Studies

4.    Astrophysics Module- to be announced (Prof. Wang)

Mode of Operation


Laboratory Modules and Times

1. Experiments with Sonoluminescence

Prof. T. A. Tyson

Jan. 18th to Feb. 8th


2. Electrical Characterization of Metal-Oxide-Silicon Wafers

Prof. K. Farmer

Feb. 9th to Mar. 1st.


3. Phonon Spectra of Materials

Prof. J. Federici

March 2nd  to March 31st

Spring Break March 15th  to March 21st


4.    Astrophysics Module- to be announced

Prof. H. Wang

April 3rd to April 25th


Laboratory Reports

I. Abstract

II. Introduction

III. Description of Experiment with Figures

IV. Results and Observations

V. Conclusions

VI. References



Module Descriptions

Electrical Characterization of Metal-Oxide-Silicon Capacitors --- Prof. Farmer

The metal-oxide-silicon (MOS) capacitor is the fundamental building block the modern computer logic and memory structures. The capacitor consists of a metal plate and a silicon substrate separated by a thin silicon oxide dielectric. Simple in concept, this device is perhaps the most heavily studied system in the history of electronics, revealing a wealth of information about the nature of the materials being used and their impact on the performance on the systems constructed from them. To this day, even as the dielectric thickness is approaching atomic dimensions in the latest generation of microprocessors, the capacitor remains the most important characterization tool.

In this lab module, the fundamentals of MOS characterization will be introduced, including measurements of current and frequency dependent capacitance vs. voltage to determine the silicon doping concentration, oxide thickness, fixed and interface oxide charge and dielectric strength.

Phonon Spectra of Materials --- Prof. Federici

A Micro-Raman Spectrometer will be used to study the phonon spectrum of materials such as silicon, silicon clusters, diamond and NaCl. Students will prepare samples, setup the spectrometer and the laser system. Existing computer interface software will be used to acquire and analyze data.

Theoretical calculations will be made to compare with experimental results.

Experiments with Sonoluminescence
--- Prof. Tyson

Air bubbles in a flask are caused to collapse by driving water in a flask at the flask's resonant frequency. The emitted light while visible has a spectrum with intensity peaked in the ultraviolet

region indicating bubble temperatures of over 10,000o C. The main concepts to be covered in experiments on this unexplained phenomenon are:

1. How to conduct a comprehensive electronic and standard literature search.

2. Fundamentals of acoustic pressure.

3. Construction and testing of resonant RLC circuits using function generators and oscilloscopes.

4. Use of piezoelectric crystals as sound sources and microphones.

See Reports by Dustin Mulvaney and Jeremy P. Carlo


Astrophysics Module- to be announced