A semiconductor is a component that is situated between a conductor and an insulator. It can transport electricity more easily than an insulator, but not as quickly as a conductor. Semiconductors can be made from various elements, like silicon, germanium and gallium arsenide. If you’re looking for silicon wafers, GaAs wafers, or germanium wafers for your next semiconductor project, then it’s important to find a manufacturer who produces high-quality wafers at affordable silicon prices. To help you get acquainted with semiconductors, here’s everything you need to know about it.
Semiconductors can be made of silicon, germanium, and GaAs. At high temperatures, intrinsic or pure semiconductors become very conductive, while at extremely low temperatures semiconductors behave like insulators. Valence or outer electrons are the transmitters of electrical current, which means that the addition of impurities, light, or an increase in temperature boosts a semiconductor’s conductivity.
The valence electrons of an atom in an intrinsic semiconductor, like silicon, are dichotomized and shared, which results in covalent bonds that fasten the crystal together. Under such condition, these valence electrons are restricted to move around as electrical current. But changes in temperature or light stimulates the valence electrons out of these bonds, which frees them to conduct current. The uninhabited positions left behind by the freed electrons, called holes, can circumnavigate, which contributes to the flow of electricity. To stimulate the holes and the electron an energy gap is needed.
Doping is a necessary process to increase a semiconductor's ability to conduct electricity. This process involves the addition of impurities to an intrinsic semiconductor. There are two types of the semiconductor region, the n-type (negative) and the p-type (positive). When a p-type semiconductor region is located next to an n-type region, a diode is formed, and the region of contact is now called a p-n junction.