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Module 12: Semiconductors

To get started, download the complete, detailed faculty outline of Module 12 (PDF | Word). Additional links and downloadable resources for teaching the class are listed below.

Introduction

Semiconductors have forever changed human-human and human-material interactions because they are the foundation of the computing revolution and form the basis of increasingly ubiquitous digital devices. This module looks at how our use of semiconductor-based devices impacts individual human relationships, and draws lessons learned for designing needs-based applications for new 2D materials. As semiconducting materials become more invisibly embedded in our everyday lives, and even in our own persons, only intentional design will ensure that they serve us, versus us serving them.

Module Objectives

Students will:

  • identify the properties of semiconductors
  • identify the properties of graphene and 2D materials
  • discover the uses and applications of semiconductors
  • examine how materials mediate human relationships
  • relate the relationship of industrial to information revolutions

Lecture Development Resources
Day 1

Material science professor presents background on silicon. Semiconductors possess unique electrical properties that can be manipulated in order to drive the digital revolution. This lecture covers the basics of semiconductor physics including why silicon has a bandgap and what it means in terms of electrical conduction. The goal is to give the student an appreciation for why semiconductors are such a powerful driver in today’s society.

  1. Excerpt (pp.265-276) from Sass, Stephen L. (1998/2011) The Substance of Civilization. New York: Arcade Publishing.
  2. Lecture: Silicon (PPT)
  3. Sample Lecture Video: Silicon (16:40) (Transcript)
  4. Demo Video: Silicon Wafer to Chip Demonstration (2:13)

Day 2

Guest English/philosophy professor presents Semiconductors and Cyborgs: Human-Materials Relationships in the Digital Age, a lecture that explores the close relationships humans develop with portable information and communication technologies. The lecture introduces the concept of “delegation” as a way to understand how.  We rely upon digital devices to do more and more for us in our daily lives (we delegate tasks to them).  But, we may find ourselves developing quite curious relationships with these devices, as well as with each other.

  1. e-Textbook Chapter: Semiconductors and Cyborgs: Human-Material Relations in the Networked Society by Sophia Acord (in progress)
  2. Lecture: Semiconductors and Cyborgs (PPT) by Sophia Acord
  3. Book: Turkle, Sherry. (2011) Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. “Always On” (pgs 151-170) and “The Nostalgia of the Young” (pgs 265-277)
  4. Article: Kuang, Cliff (2013) "Why a New Golden Age for UI Design is around the Corner." Wired Magazine, September: 142-147.
  5. Assignment: Individual Homework Assignment (Word)
  6. Video: 2-D Materials (13:49) (Transcript)

Day 3

As we know very well from personal experience, semiconductor-based technologies affect how we interact with each other on a daily basis. We argued that this is because we "delegate" human actions to semiconductors. If semiconductors are going to affect our lives on such a personal basis, we should be intentional in how we design and use them. In this flipped classroom activity, we will conduct and mine personal interviews for information on what people would like to be able to do with 2-D materials, and brainstorm ways to let our human needs drive our design of future materials innovations rather than the other way around.

  1. In-Class Activity: Semiconductors (Word)
  2. Assignment: Impact Paradigm Individual Homework Assignment (Word)

Additional Resources

Online Course Module

  • View the online module in PDF or Word format.
  • Available soon: The full online course to upload to your Learning Management System. Contact Kevin Jones at kjones@eng.ufl.edu or Pamela Hupp at hupp@mrs.org for more information.
Articles and Books
  • Kuang, Cliff (2013) "Why a New Golden Age for UI Design is around the Corner." Wired Magazine, September: 142-147.
  • Turkle, Sherry. “Always On” Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. Basic Books (2011) 151-170. Print.
  • Turkle, Sherry. “The Nostalgia of the Young” Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. Basic Books (2011) 265-277. Print.

Videos