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Semiconductors in the Information Age

1. Dawn of the Information Age

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In this mini-lecture, we discuss the ages of human advancement up until the current Information Age. In particular, we consider: (i) the age of transforming materials, such as stone, bronze, and iron tools; (ii) the age of transforming energy, such as water, steam, electric, and combustion power; (iii) the age of transforming information, such as computing information and global information companies and networks; (iv) the beginning of the Information Age, marked by the first computer processor, Intel 4004; (v) the first computers in the late 1940s that used vacuum tubes and which were made more efficient with the use of transistors in the 50s and 60s; and (vi) computers from the 70s onwards that use microprocessors with increased efficiency and reliability.


In this course Professor Oleg Makarovskiy (University of Nottingham) explores semiconductors and their relevance in the current Information Age. In the first mini-lecture, we introduce the ages of human advancement, from the Stone Age up until the current Information Age, and consider the advancements in computers and information made in the 20th century. In the second mini-lecture, we discuss what a semiconductor is and how you can make one using electrons and ‘holes.’ In the third mini-lecture, we consider how semiconductors can be used to create light of various colours (LEDs) and transform light into electrical energy (solar cells). In the fourth mini-lecture, we explore how we can control semiconductor colour and how we can make low-dimensional semiconductors, such as quantum dots. In the fifth mini-lecture, we focus on understanding diodes and transistors and how these can be used to create microchips used in computers. Finally, in the sixth mini-lecture, we consider the next advancement in our Information Age, quantum information technology, and the role semiconductors play in this new Quantum Information Age.


Oleg Makarovskiy is an Associate Professor in the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Nottingham. His research focuses on experimental semiconductor physics, quantum phenomena in semiconductor nanostructures, and their applications in functional electronic and optoelectronic devices.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Makarovskiy, O. (2022, January 25). Semiconductors in the Information Age - Dawn of the Information Age [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Makarovskiy, O. "Semiconductors in the Information Age – Dawn of the Information Age." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 25 Jan 2022,

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