What is Semiconductor devices: Definition and 30 Discussions

A semiconductor device is an electronic component that relies on the electronic properties of a semiconductor material (primarily silicon, germanium, and gallium arsenide, as well as organic semiconductors) for its function. Semiconductor devices have replaced vacuum tubes in most applications. They use electrical conduction in the solid state rather than the gaseous state or thermionic emission in a vacuum.
Semiconductor devices are manufactured both as single discrete devices and as integrated circuit (IC) chips, which consist of two or more devices—which can number from the hundreds to the billions—manufactured and interconnected on a single semiconductor wafer (also called a substrate).
Semiconductor materials are useful because their behavior can be easily manipulated by the deliberate addition of impurities, known as doping. Semiconductor conductivity can be controlled by the introduction of an electric or magnetic field, by exposure to light or heat, or by the mechanical deformation of a doped monocrystalline silicon grid; thus, semiconductors can make excellent sensors. Current conduction in a semiconductor occurs due to mobile or "free" electrons and electron holes, collectively known as charge carriers. Doping a semiconductor with a small proportion of an atomic impurity, such as phosphorus or boron, greatly increases the number of free electrons or holes within the semiconductor. When a doped semiconductor contains excess holes, it is called a p-type semiconductor (p for positive electric charge); when it contains excess free electrons, it is called an n-type semiconductor (n for negative electric charge). A majority of mobile charge carriers have negative charge. The manufacture of semiconductors controls precisely the location and concentration of p- and n-type dopants. The connection of n-type and p-type semiconductors form p–n junctions.
The most common semiconductor device in the world is the MOSFET (metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor), also called the MOS transistor. As of 2013, billions of MOS transistors are manufactured every day. Semiconductor devices made per year have been growing by 9.1% on average since 1978, and shipments in 2018 are predicted for the first time to exceed 1 trillion, meaning that well over 7 trillion have been made to date.

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  1. bonkgeek

    What is the best forum for discussing semiconductor devices?

    Hello everyone, let me introduce myself, I'm new here. I have a few questions about semiconductor devices and was looking for a physics forum and found this site. I hope to find answers to my questions and help others if I can. I hope to find answers to my questions and help others if I can.
  2. lelouch_v1

    Donor and Acceptor Concentrations in a Si speciment

    At the left side we have the n-side of the junction, whereas at the right we have the p-side. I am a little confused over $N_D$ and $N_A$ at the n-side. Do the Ga atoms interact with the As ones, so we have $N_D = 2*10^{16} \text{cm}^{-3}$, or not, ans thus we have $N_A=2*10^{16} \text{cm}^{-3}$...
  3. M

    Potential solution:Uses of Transparent Semiconductors: FTO and ITO explained

    Summary:: What is the advantage of transparent semiconductors such as Fluorine doped tin oxide over main semiconductors? What is the advantage of transparent semiconductors such as Fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) and Indium tin oxide (ITO) over main semiconductors? Please explain the uses of...
  4. F

    Textbook to Precede Physics of Semiconductor Devices (Sze)

    I was recommended to read Physics of Semiconductor Devices by Sze which I was told was the standard textbook for the subject. My background is Electronic Engineering and not physics. After reading the first few pages of the first chapter I am completely overwelmed. I can't make sense of the...
  5. W

    I Pinch-Off region of MOS-FET in punch-through?

    Summary: I am trying to understand the pinch-off-region of an NMOS qualitatively as NPN-structure in punch-through I was always having trouble understanding what is going on in the pinch-off region of a MOS (say NMOS) Transistor. Now I recently figured out, that this could be described (at...
  6. E

    Why is the band gap in alloys such as GaAs less?

    In pure crystals,such as,in silicon and germanium,the band gap is more than that in compound semiconductors,such as,GaAs.Why is that so.
  7. Matthew Strasiotto

    Doping semiconductors compounded from various element groups

    Hi all - This is pulled from a past paper - Homework Statement I'm only going to state the components that I find challenging of this problem - The rest will be attached in my solution set. Essentially - given an intrinsic semiconductor comprised of group II-VI elements. Upon doping with group...
  8. Peter Alexander

    Engineering Computing resistance in given circuit with BJT

    Hi, before you proceed with reading this question, I would like you to know what I do not expect anyone to solve this task for me. I have a problem with a single step in the solution and I'm only asking you to help me with this one step. 1. Homework Statement Compute ##R_B## so that Q-point of...
  9. D

    Programs Change of Major from Mechanical Engineering to Material Science

    Hello guys, I received an admit to grad school for Mechanical Engineering, where my focus was initially Thermo-Fluids . I've also enquired about the Material Science department at the University(in the USA), and they are willing to let me transfer to the Material Science department provided I...
  10. D

    Solar Cell Problem(semiconductor)

    Homework Statement Homework Equations Voc=kt/q x ln(tpXGlXNd/(ni)2) Isc=A x q x Lp x Gl Lp=√(Dp×tp) FF=Pma/(Isc*Voc) The Attempt at a Solution I got Voc=.298 V and Isc=3.04 mA I]However, I am confused as to how to find the fill factor. I know it is the maximum voltage and current the load...
  11. A

    I What is the main role of doping in a solar cell?

    Is doping only to form an electric field in depletion region? Somehow I'm confused as far as I'm reading right now, the doping-generated carrier never discussed its role in the solar cell (other than leaving the ion and causing an electric field). Is not the number of carriers generated by...
  12. E

    I Concentration of R-G centers in a PN junction

    Hey guys, Currently taking a semiconductor device fundamentals course and we are learning about R-G currents in the depletion region of a PN junction. Usually we just consider R-G centers as impurities to be avoided in the operation of a standard rectifying diode. However, I was curious as to...
  13. U

    I-V characteristics of a diode

    I was doing an experiment to plot the IV characteristics of a diode. I connected a resistor, diode and milli ammeter in series. I connected a voltmeter across the diode. I measured the diode voltage and diode current. When i changed the resistor, I got a different set of diode voltage readings...
  14. Y

    I How to get plot (optical gain of GaAs)?

    How can i calculate this plot (photon energy dependence of the optical gain (or loss = negative gain) of GaAs with the injected carrier density as a parameter? Show calculated plot based on this equation Given parameter: mc=0.067 me; (effective mass of electrons in conduction band) mv=0.48...
  15. EngrHdr

    Need Help to Calibrate Semiconductor Parameter Anlyzer 4156B

    Hi, I have been using Semiconductor Parameter Analyzer Agilent 4156B for 1 year. Since a month it is malfuntioning. I am not getting the required IV for my Resistive Random Access Memory (RRAM) devices. To confirm, I checked my devices using some other lab's analyzer which proved that there is...
  16. Corwin_S

    Maximum Built-In Voltage of a PN junction

    Hi, I'm familiar with the expression for calculating the built-in voltage of a p-n junction. How can I find the maximum built-in voltage before the semiconductor becomes degenerate (i.e., a bad metal) if I only know the material and the intrinsic carrier concentration at a given temperature...
  17. K

    Understanding KVL Loop in BJT Biasing and Calculating Ve: A Guide

    Please help how Ve is calculated what i think is that it should be: -Ve=-Vee+IeRe; How Ve is taken positive please someone draw equivalent circuit for same
  18. Matt atkinson

    Semiconductor Sub-band Occupancy

    Homework Statement a) A quantum well contains electrons at a sheet carrier density of n_s =2 \times 10^{16}m^{-2}. The electron effective mass is 0.1m_e^*. Calculate the Fermi energy of the carrier distribution in the well. You may assume the spacings between sub-bands in the quantum well is...
  19. M

    Silicon NPN Transistor: Calculating Fermi-Level & Equilibrium Concentrations

    Homework Statement we look at a silicum n++ p+ n transistor. given: NE= 1,0×1018 cm–3; NB= 2,0×1016 cm–3; NC = 2,0×1015 cm–3; here E stands for the emitter, B for the basis and C for the collectorHomework Equations a. calculate the distance in eV from the fermi-level to EFi for the emitter...
  20. M

    Engineering Semiconductor Process Engineer Interview Questions that I may get asked

    What are the commonly asked questions for the semiconductor process engineer position ? I am assuming cleanroom equipment working principles.. what else? Thanks in advance for your responses.
  21. A

    Engineering Solid State Physics vs Electronics Engineering

    Forgive me for asking this question if the answer is obvious. The truth is I have a BENG in electrical engineering and want to know the differences between the two. From an engineer's perspective its about knowing what you can do with the devices in a useful way and design, analyze and build the...
  22. H

    Bipolar and unipolar voltages and their significance

    Hello all! I'd like to clarify on the the differences of bipolar and unipolar voltages. I do understand that they both are used to trigger a number of semiconductor devices. Please and thank you!
  23. H

    Semiconductor Devices for a beginner/non-physics major

    I have joined a research lab on semiconductor nano devices and have been recommended to study the Robert F. Pierret book "Fundamentals of Semiconductor Devices" but unfortunately I could not understand most of the concepts after reading first three chapters. I am a computer science graduate with...
  24. ShreyasR

    Naming of semiconductor devices

    In my college, we used this transistor named SL100 and another one named CL100 for various experiments. But why are they named that way? I browsed the net for an answer for almost an hour but couldn't find a proper answer to this? What does S and L mean? what does 100 mean? From the Datasheets...
  25. S

    Basic queries of semiconductor devices

    I have few queries regarding the below Qs. 1. How does the fermi level vary with distance under both equilibrium and non-equilibrium conditions? Is it constant or varying under equilibrium and non-equilibrium conditions? My query>> Fermi level vary with temp. But I am not getting how to...
  26. H

    Need Solution manual for Semiconductor Devices Physics and Design

    Hi Guys, I'm not sure that this is the right place to ask for it, and the thread may be moved to another section, but do anyone have the solution manual of : Semiconductor Devices Physics and Design not Physics and Technology I am despratley trying to solve a homework that questions...
  27. N

    Ideas or research topics in semiconductor devices and device physics

    hi I am doing my Electronics and Communication Engineering..I need a topic for paper presentation.Im more interested in semiconductor devices and device physics..It's like,i would like to address any physical limitation in the existing technology in reducing chip size.(this is the only topic i...
  28. F

    Semiconductor Devices: Homework Solution

    Homework Statement For a forward biased P plus N abrupt junction diode, Lp = 1 micrometer, and at x = xn (x' = 0), the ratio of the hole current to the electron current, Ip/In, is 100 in the steady state. Determine Ip/In at x' = 1 micrometer. Homework Equations Jn = In/A Jp = Ip/A...
  29. WolfOfTheSteps

    Examples of Cutting Edge Semiconductor Devices?

    Can anyone give me some examples of some of the most cutting-edge/futuristic/"we're not there yet" applications for semiconductors? You know... the "exciting" stuff. :biggrin: I'm doing an informal presentation for my solid state class, and wanted to get some ideas of what I should research...
  30. R

    High speed semiconductor devices

    can anyone explain about high speed semiconductors . how do ge and gaAs can achive those speeds