Prof. José M. Albella, Senior Scientist
Institute of Materials Science (ICMM-CSIC)
The second edition of the book of Prof’s R. Martín-Palma and J.M. Martínez-Duart occupies a prominent position in the rather scarce bibliography of academic texts devoted to the description of the non-ending list of novel low-dimensional semiconductor structures. This edition contains new sections to keep up with the latest developments in this rapidly evolving field, including new topics, such as quantization of plasma oscillations (i.e. plasmonics, spintronic, photonic crystals, and several nanostructured materials such as graphene, silicene, carbon nanotubes and sensors). Though these materials are well consolidated in the current technology, there are few textbooks that make a detailed reference to them.
As illustrated in the book, when the dimensions of solids are reduced to the size of the characteristic lengths of electrons in the material (De Broglie wavelength, coherence length, localization length, etc.), new physical properties, owing to quantum effects, become apparent. These properties give rise to a long chain of technological devices and inventions that outperform the existing ones. The advantages of these new materials and devices are well recognised: depending on their application they are generally smaller in size, with higher speed response, high frequency of operation and lower dissipation power and cost.
Understanding all these effects require a strong basis of semiconductor physics, among them the dynamics of electrons in their energy bands, electron diffusion and transport, excitation, resonant processes, etc., all these phenomena under the umbrella of quantum physics. The long experience of the authors in teaching university courses has led them to make easy what is conceptually complex in a comprehensive manner, giving in every chapter an introductory view of the main concepts, emphasizing the implications of the novel structures in the technology. Moreover, due to the large variety of phenomena and structures, they make a continuous cross reference in the text to other chapters to facilitate reading.
The book is mainly addressed to final-year undergraduates as well as beginners graduate students in physics, materials science and engineering (electrical, materials, etc.). Alternatively, the book can also be very helpful to scientists and professors as a consulting treaty on the fundamental aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Actually, most of the chapters include a box for colloquial comments on other marginal concepts, such as the device fabrication techniques (vacuum, plasmas, film deposition, etc.), and more particularly on the main milestones (theories and experiments) that have led to the wide variety of electronic and photonic devices described in the book. Most notably, this new edition includes a large number of problems of which more than a half are accompanied by their full solutions, while in others hints are provided.