About Semiconductors

A semiconductor has electrical conductivity intermediate in magnitude between that of a conductor and an insulator. This means a conductivity roughly in the range of 10 to 10 siemens per centimeter (S_cm). Semiconductors are the foundation of modern electronics, including radio, computers, and telephones. Semiconductor-based electronic components include transistors, solar cells, many kinds of diodes including the light-emitting diode (LED), the silicon controlled rectifier, photo-diodes, and digital and analog integrated circuits. Semiconductor solar photovoltaic panels directly convert light energy into electricity. In a metallic conductor, current is carried by the flow of electrons. Common semiconducting materials are crystalline solids_chips, but amorphous and liquid semiconductors are also known. These include hydrogenated amorphous silicon and mixtures of arsenic, selenium and tellurium in a variety of proportions.

Contributions by Rmalloy, Snafflekid, and The Photon.

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