Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has a basic knowledge of : the physics of the main electronic devices based on semiconductors and their applications, the implementation of circuits with discrete and integrated components in the framework of analogue and digital electronics, the related methods of measurement and analysis of experimental data. In particular the student will be able to: implement electronic circuits and measure their functional characteristics, estimate the errors, including the systematic ones, on the laboratory measurements, analyze with a computer the experimental data taken in the Physics laboratory by writing C++ programs and by using statistical and graphical tools and compare the results with theory.

Course contents

Basic principles of semiconductor device physics. The junction diode : characteristics and applications. The bipolar transistor (BJT): characteristics in the three configurations (CB, CE, CC) and applications. The field-effect transistors (JFET, MOSFET, MESFET) : characteristics and applications. The basics of Boolean algebra. Logical functions and digital circuits. Fundamental logic families (TTL, ECL, MOS, CMOS). Basic combinational digital circuits : adders, subtractors, ALU, multipliers, comparators, parity generators and checkers, decoders, demultiplexers, multiplexers, encoders, ROM-PROM, EPROM-EEPROM, PAL, PLA. Basic sequential digital circuits : flip-flops (S-R, J-K, D, T), shift registers, counters. Classification of the integrated circuits : from the standard products to the custom logic. Classification of the PLDs : from the SPLD to the CPLD (FPGA).

The arguments of the practical experiences are:

1) First experience: measurement of the I-V characteristics for two semiconductors diodes (Si, Ge) with the best fit method to calculate the inverse saturation current and the ideality factor.

2) Second experience: measurement of the output characteristics of a BJT in the common emitter configuration for two values of the base current; use of the best fit method in the active region to calculate the current gain and the output conductance.

3) Third experience: analogic and digital applications of the semiconductor diodes; implementation of a two-level clipping circuit with two diodes (Si, Ge).

4) Fourth experience: I part - implementation of a Full Adder circuit with integrated circuits TTL-SSI standard and in the open collector configuration with an external pull-up circuit. II part: implementation of a logic OR gate and AND gate with two Si diodes.

5) Fifth experience: implementation of a Multiplexer for logic functions using integrated circuits TTL-SSI standard.

6) Sixth experience: I part: implementation of a circuit to decode and display a 4-bit code using TTL-IC (Decoder/Driver, 7-Segment LED display, 4-bit Ripple Counter); II part: implementation of a frequency divider with 4 D-Type Flip-Flop connected to be used as T-type Flip-Flop.


J. Millman, A. Grabel, P. Terreni, "Elettronica di Millman", Ed. McGraw-Hill, 4a edizione, 2008.

J.R. Taylor, "Introduzione all'analisi degli errori", Ed. Zanichelli, Bologna.

Written notes of the lectures are available on IOL.

Teaching methods

  • Class lectures
  • Exercises (Module 2).
  • Six mandatory practical experiences in the electronics laboratory with writter reports.

Assessment methods

After each practical experience students must present a detailed written report on the aim of the experiment, the used instrumentation, the scheme of the electronic circuits, the measurement procedures and all the measurement results (with the associated errors, including the systematic ones). A graphic presentation of results is also required for some experiences. The lab-report has to be presented when the student attend the next experiment. Moreover the report is evaluated from 1 to 5 points. If the report is presented with a delay, the maximum rating becomes 3 (instead of 5).

The final exam is based on a 2-hour written paper (no books, notes or electronic supports are allowed) and an oral exam. The written paper is about solving exercises aiming to assess the skill in solving problems as learned especially during the class exercises. Admission to the oral exam is allowed for a minimum mark of 18 over 30 on the written paper. The time validity of the written paper is limited to each exam session ("appello"). The oral exam has to be given in the same exam session of the writing one. The oral examination is about the course's contents and laboratory experiences.

The final mark is the average of the marks obtained both in the written paper and the oral examination and on the lab-reports evaluation. It is mandatory to pass the exam of Laboratorio di Elettromagnetismo e Ottica (Laboratorio di Fisica 2) before taking the exam of Laboratorio di Elettronica (Laboratorio di Fisica 3).

Teaching tools

Laptop. Blackboard. Laboratory with 18 working tables for electronic circuits assembly and measurement equipment.

Office hours

See the website of Gilda Scioli

See the website of Andrea Alici