Physics for Electronics

This minor offers the students a wide range of courses leading to a number of potential directions for integrated projects, enabling them to acquire valuable insights and tools (knowledge, skills) in the field of Electrical Engineering and/or to apply Electrical Engineering to the student’s own (major) discipline. The latter goal can be emphasised by executing a suitable project. Since Electrical Engineering is nowadays so widespread in all branches of technology, understanding the foundations of EE as offered in this minor will be of great use to engineers and scientists in most fields.

The aim of this minor is to make the link between the physical world and electronics to understand the workings of electronics and how they interact with the environment.

Intended for

The target students are from the Electrical Engineering (EE), Aerospace Engineering (AE), Mechanical Engineering (ME) and Applied Physics (AP) BSc programmes. EE students will discover or deepen the link between electronics and physics.  For the non-EE students the minor will serve two functions: it will either equip them to facilitate(*) their progress to the various electrical engineering master’s programmes, or will help them to continue their studies in AE, ME or AP with a better understanding of electronics and instrumentation.

(*) This minor is not a switching minor!

Learning objectives

  • The students will understand how physics grounds and affects electronics and also how electronics can be used in the physics domain.
  • The students will be able to use this knowledge to enhance their understanding of a wide range of master’s programmes.
  • Build-up knowledge and skills in the elementary disciplines of EE.
  • Develop capabilities to identify the physics in electronics in the major field of education.
  • Evaluate the potential use of physical effects to find solutions in the major field of education.

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More information

Courses in the minor

Introduction to Physics of Electronics (EE3345TU)

An entry point training for harmonising the background of all participating students.

Linear Circuits (EE3355TU – Non-EE track course)

This course will assist you in understanding and predicting the behaviour of linear electric circuits, with the goal of enabling you to make use in your major of the functionality offered by (relatively simple) linear circuits. The course will present the relevant theory, the accent being on self-study and problem solving.

Transmission Lines (EE3360TU)

This course will introduce you to one of the passive building blocks of high frequency circuits. These components will be analysed by deriving their intrinsic properties and examining their performance in various possible implementations (i.e., co-planar, micro-strip and stripline). During this course you will design and simulate various passive components using transmission lines and will test basic topologies in the lab.

Basics of Microfabrication (EE3365TU – EE track course)

This course will introduce you to the basic concepts related to the microfabrication of different semiconductor devices, ranging from integrated electronic components, like resistors and transistors, to micro-electromechanical systems used for sensors and actuators. To this end, the fundamental fabrication steps required to realise such devices will be discussed. Finally, an introduction to the packaging of electronic devices will be given, this being a crucial aspect in ensuring environmental resilience and/or interoperability.

Electronics for Imaging (EE3370TU)

Imaging techniques are used in an extremely wide set of applications, both in the visible and non-visible range. This course describes the principles of basic imaging systems for electro-magnetic radiation detection: how the use of a mirror or lens of a certain size allows to make an image with a certain resolution, and how this image can be transferred into the digital domain. You will learn about the principles of both radio receivers and power detectors. The course will further extend into the imaging of mechanical waves, such as ultrasound.

Solid-state physics for electric devices (EE3375TU)

This course will introduce you to the relationship between the material properties of semiconductors and the operation of two foremost electronic devices: p-n junctions (which form the basis for many devices, like for instance solar cells, light-emitting diodes, and photodiodes) and MOS devices (which dominate the design of many electrical circuits).

Introduction to Radio Astronomy (EE3350TU)

Radio astronomy studies the universe using electromagnetic waves of frequencies from below 30 MHz up to 1 THz. Scientific targets are very broad, including the origin and fate of the Universe, galaxies, black holes, neutron stars, lifecycle of stars and planets, evolution of galaxies and galaxy clusters.

Transduction Effects (EE3380TU)

This course focuses on the interaction between different signal domains. These include effects such as thermo-electric effects, batteries and many more. For each domain, the physics behind the interaction will be discussed. The course will also include a practical to illustrate these interactions.

Project 5G and AutoRadar (EE3385TU)

The minor will demonstrate its practical applicability in a challenging project aiming at the design of a phase steering system for a 5G or automotive radar application. The project will be pursued in groups of 4-5 students.

More information about the courses can be found in this year’s online study guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is EE-Mi-218 a selection minor?

No, it is not. We set a limit at 50 students that accounts for some logistic restrictions dictated, primarily, by the project – based on our experience of the previous year this number offered us a very generous margin. Should the 50 students mark be exceeded, we shall examine if, and how we can accommodate the supplementary students.

Due to its non-selection type, registration for this minor in Osiris will start on the 3rd of May.

I am a student from any of the EE, AP, AE or 3M BSc programmes. Is there any special procedure for accessing this minor?

No, in principle you should be able to enrol via Osiris. In some cases you may experience some difficulties due to some administration issues in Osiris → in those cases, please contact the EE programme’s coordinator at programmesupport-eemcs@tudelft.nl and not the EE-Mi-218 coordinator (the EE-Mi-218 coordinator cannot help you with enrolment procedures).

I am a student from a TU Delft BSc programme other than EE, AP, AE or 3M. Can I participate in this minor?

In principle yes, but your preknowledge will have to be assessed and your admittance must be approved via a special procedure.

How difficult is this minor?

Basic training provided in any of the EE, AP, AE or 3M BSc programmes sufficiently prepare you for the minor.

I am a student from any of the EE, AP, AE or 3M BSc programmes and I am interest in microfabrication. Can I attend EE3365TU “Basics of Microfabrication”?

Absolutely, but it will count for supplementary ECTS. In any case, you must attend EE3355TU “Linear Circuits” that is mandatory for you.

I should like to use some of the minor courses as part of a free minor. Is it possible?

Yes, of course.

I am interested in the minor but I should firstly like to refresh my background material. Where can I find some supporting material?

There is quite substantial material available on the minor’s Brightspace platform. Since the Brightspace platform for 2021-2022 will only become available shortly before the start of the academic year, please contact the EE-Mi-218 coordinator at i.e.lager@tudelft.nl for enrolling you in this year’s platform.

How will the minor be given?

At this moment, this is not yet clear → our expectation is that it may still contain a sizeable online component?

Will the project be effectuated onsite or online?

Again, it is too soon to give a definite answer. We should very much like to offer you an onsite project. Should that not be possible, we already developed some tools allowing you to remotely interact with the laboratory measurement equipment.

Is there a list of books you need to buy?

The vast majority of the bibliographic resources are available online, via Brightspace. Should some courses require specific textbooks, those are provided by the ETV.

How much room do I have in the project for incorporating tasks that I am personally interested in (from coding to designing or implementation)?

The project, in its present implementation, offers a framework and a number of tools (e.g., for remotely operating the measurement equipment in the lab). Its concrete realisation is strongly depending on the level of pandemic-related restrictions that will be in place at the moment when the project will be effectuated. Your suggestions are extremely relevant → please forward your suggestions to the project responsible instructor, Marco Spirito (m.spirito@tudelft.nl).

I am a student from one of the eligible BSc programmes but my background is more in mechanical engineering; how can I use the knowledge of this minor in my future career as a mechanical engineer?

Most advanced mechanical engineering systems, with robots or aerospace vehicles as typical examples, involve cutting edge electronic components. A deep knowledge on the capabilities and the operation of these devices will significantly help you in your mechanical engineering work.