SI Wafer | Difference Between N-Type and P-Type Semiconductors


June 13, 2018

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As its name implies, a semiconductor is a material that conducts current. Semiconductors are used extensively in the electronics industry and in electronic circuits. When it comes to semiconductors, silicon is the most common material used. There are two different types of semiconductors that go into an SI wafer. Let’s take a look at the difference between an N-type and P-type semiconductor.

N-Type Semiconductor

An N-type semiconductor is created when the dopant is an element that has five electrons in its valence layer. Phosphorus is commonly used for this purpose. The phosphorous atoms bond with four adjacent silicon atoms just like a silicon atom would. However, since the phosphorous atom has five electrons, the fifth is left hanging out with nothing to bond to. Because this type of semiconductor has extra electrons, it’s called an N-type semiconductor.

P-Type Semiconductor

A P-type semiconductor is created when the dopant has only three electrons in the valence shell. Since it only has three electrons, when it bonds with the four silicon atoms a hole is created. The hole behaves like a positive charge, so semiconductors doped in this way are called P-type semiconductors. In a P-type semiconductor, holes are constantly moving around within the crystal as electrons constantly try to fill them up.

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Whether it’s an N-type semiconductor or a P-type, Wafer World has the wafers you need for your next project. Contact us today to learn more about our wafers and to place the order for your next project.

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