Why semiconductors are so important to computer technology?
Because semiconductors have a unique atomic structure that allows their conductivity to be controlled by stimulation with electric currents, electromagnetic fields, or even light. In a process called doping, phosphorus or arsenic atoms are mixed into the silicon.
Materials Science and Engineering: Semiconductors. Silicon, a semiconductor, is used to fabricate computer chips. Dozens or even hundreds of chips are produced at once on a silicon wafer like the one above. The chips are then cut apart and installed in computers and other electronic devices.
- It becomes useful when it is doped and used to create a p-n junction. Doping alters the conductivity of the semiconductors in a controlled fashion and the junctions make it possible to use them for various purposes such as rectification and amplification.
- Semiconductor material is used in the manufacturing of electrical components and used in electronic devices such as transistors and diodes. They can be classified into mainly two categories known as intrinsic semiconductors and extrinsic semiconductors.
- Coefficients approaching zero can be obtained by alloying certain metals. A negative coefficient for a material means that its resistance decreases with an increase in temperature. Semiconductor materials (carbon, silicon, germanium) typically have negative temperature coefficients of resistance.
A: The device designed to detect a difference in current between circuit wires (the inward and outward paths) called Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).
- The SI unit for measuring an electric current is the ampere, which is the flow of electric charge across a surface at the rate of one coulomb per second. Electric current is measured using a device called an ammeter.
- The three basic principles for this tutorial can be explained using electrons, or more specifically, the charge they create: Voltage is the difference in charge between two points. Current is the rate at which charge is flowing. Resistance is a material's tendency to resist the flow of charge (current).
- Voltage is the measure of specific potential energy (potential energy per unit charge) between two locations. Sometimes it is called a voltage “drop.” When a voltage source is connected to a circuit, the voltage will cause a uniform flow of electrons through that circuit called a current.
The semiconductor materials are either elementary such as silicon and germanium or compound such as gallium arsenide. Silicon is the most used semiconductor for discrete devices and integrated circuits.
- Semiconductor materials are nominally small band gap insulators. The defining property of a semiconductor material is that it can be doped with impurities that alter its electronic properties in a controllable way. Thus, in comparison with silicon, compound semiconductors have both advantages and disadvantages.
- Semiconductors are materials which have a conductivity between conductors (generally metals) and nonconductors or insulators (such as most ceramics). Semiconductors can be pure elements, such as silicon or germanium, or compounds such as gallium arsenide or cadmium selenide.
- In insulators the electrons in the valence band are separated by a large gap from the conduction band, in conductors like metals the valence band overlaps the conduction band, and in semiconductors there is a small enough gap between the valence and conduction bands that thermal or other excitations can bridge the gap.
Updated: 26th November 2019