Fan, Hsu Y. Formerly, Department of Physics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
- Conduction in Semiconductors
- Electron distribution
- Mobility of carriers
- Intrinsic semiconductors
- Extrinsic semiconductors
- Hall effect
- Materials and Their Preparation
- Elemental semiconductors
- Semiconducting compounds
- Preparation of materials
- Rectification in Semiconductors
- Barrier layer
- Surface barrier
- Contact barrier
- Single-carrier theory
- Two-carrier theory
- Surface electronics
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A solid crystalline material whose electrical conductivity is intermediate between that of a metal and an insulator. Semiconductors exhibit conduction properties that may be temperature-dependent, permitting their use as thermistors (temperature-dependent resistors), or voltage-dependent, as in varistors. By making suitable contacts to a semiconductor or by making the material suitably inhomogeneous, electrical rectification and amplification can be obtained. Semiconductor devices, rectifiers, and transistors have replaced vacuum tubes almost completely in low-power electronics, making it possible to save volume and power consumption by orders of magnitude. In the form of integrated circuits, they are vital for complicated systems. The optical properties of a semiconductor are important for the understanding and the application of the material. Photodiodes, photoconductive detectors of radiation, injection lasers, light-emitting diodes, solar-energy conversion cells, and so forth are examples of the wide variety of optoelectronic devices. See also: Integrated circuits; Laser; Light-emitting diode; Photodiode; Photoelectric devices; Semiconductor diode; Semiconductor rectifier; Thermistor; Transistor; Varistor
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