Matthew McCluskey and Eugene Haller
CRC Press
2012 | 390pp | £63.99 (HB)
ISBN 9781439831526

Until now there has been a rather thin patch in the provision of graduate level primers focused on properties and characterisation methods for semiconductor point defects. This book fills it neatly. It falls into three parts: chapters 1–3 introduce the basics of semiconductors, defects, growth and doping; chapters 4–7 cover the electronic, vibrational, optical and thermal properties of defects in some depth; finally, chapters 8–11 introduce and explain a wide range of experimental defect characterisation methods.

The great majority of the book is well written, with clear, lucid explanations. Each section starts with the basic principles of a new concept or method, with the mathematics where appropriate, followed by extensive examples, drawn directly from research literature. So although the focus is on general properties and methods, rather than surveying specific materials, a good patchwork understanding of defects in many key semiconductors is also provided.

The main weakness of this book lies in the first one and a half chapters, which summarise the basics of crystalline materials, semiconductors and defect classifications. Sadly, they go rather too fast, introducing and using too many terms and concepts with insufficient explanation or definition. The result is a mediocre revision aid, which can be frustrating and may put some readers off. That would be unfortunate, as the quality of the explanations and descriptions improves considerably from around the middle of chapter two, and the remaining chapters maintain a very high standard.

Aside from the first chapter or so, this book may be appropriate for advanced undergraduate courses within, say, electronic engineering. I would also happily recommend it to new physics, chemistry or engineering graduate students, to researchers entering the field (provided they first read alternative introductions to solid state and to semiconductors) and as an excellent reference book for more experienced researchers.

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