28 Scopus citations


In this review article we give an overview of the basic techniques used in the field of computational electronics related to the simulation of state-of-the art devices fabricated in a variety of device technologies. We begin with a review of the electronic band structure and the associated dynamics of the carriers under external fields, followed by a discussion of the basic equations governing transport in semiconductors, and leading to the description of the Monte Carlo method for the solution of the Boltzmann transport equation and the simplified hydrodynamic and drift-diffusion models. We also give an overview of field solvers for both high-frequency and low-frequency application, followed by a description of particle-based simulation tools for both low and high-frequency applications. The need of more sophisticated simulation tools that go beyond the Boltzmann transport picture is also addressed, and is followed with the description of the two approaches that allow successful and rather inexpensive (in terms of needed CPU time) incorporation of quantum-mechanical space-quantization effects into existing semi-classical device simulators: the effective-potential approach and the quantum hydrodynamic model. Examples derived from our own research are given throughout the text to illustrate the usefulness and the limitations of the computational techniques discussed in this review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-236
Number of pages56
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: R: Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 15 2002


  • Band structure
  • Boltzmann transport equation
  • Device simulation
  • Effective potential
  • Hydrodynamic model
  • Maxwell's equations
  • Monte Carlo method
  • Particle-based simulations
  • Poisson equation solvers
  • Quantum hydrodynamic model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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