“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers…

An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers……….
An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

The Knowledge Library

what is semiconductor?

A semiconductor is a material that has electrical conductivity between that of a conductor (such as copper) and an insulator (such as glass). This intermediate conductivity can be manipulated under different conditions, making semiconductors essential in modern electronics.

Key Properties of Semiconductors:

  1. Conductivity: Semiconductors have a variable electrical conductivity that can be altered by the introduction of impurities (doping), temperature changes, and the application of electric fields or light.
  2. Band Gap: Semiconductors have an energy band gap between the valence band (where electrons are present) and the conduction band (where electrons can move freely and conduct electricity). This band gap is smaller than that of insulators but larger than that of conductors.
  3. Doping: The process of adding impurities to a semiconductor to change its electrical properties. There are two main types of doping:
    • n-type: Adding elements with more electrons than the semiconductor (e.g., phosphorus in silicon), resulting in more free electrons.
    • p-type: Adding elements with fewer electrons than the semiconductor (e.g., boron in silicon), resulting in more “holes” (positive charge carriers).

Common Semiconductor Materials:

  • Silicon (Si): The most widely used semiconductor material, especially in the manufacturing of integrated circuits and solar cells.
  • Germanium (Ge): Used in some high-speed and optical applications.
  • Gallium Arsenide (GaAs): Used in microwave and high-frequency applications.

Applications of Semiconductors:

  1. Transistors: The building blocks of modern electronic devices, used in amplifiers, switches, and signal modulation.
  2. Diodes: Components that allow current to flow in one direction, used in rectification, signal demodulation, and more.
  3. Integrated Circuits (ICs): Complex assemblies of transistors and other components on a single chip, forming the basis of microprocessors, memory devices, and other digital logic circuits.
  4. Photovoltaic Cells: Devices that convert light into electricity, commonly used in solar panels.
  5. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs): Semiconductor devices that emit light when an electric current passes through them.

Importance of Semiconductors:

Semiconductors are crucial for the functioning of a wide range of electronic devices, from smartphones and computers to medical equipment and renewable energy systems. Their ability to be precisely controlled makes them foundational to advancements in technology and electronics.

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