Carrier Concentration in a Semiconductor

In summary, in order to measure the electron concentration in the conduction band of an n-doped semiconductor as a function of temperature, one can measure the Hall coefficient and use the approximation RH=-1/ne if the electron concentration is significantly higher than the hole concentration. However, this approximation may not be valid if the temperature is high or if there are low band gap materials present, as holes may also contribute to the Hall coefficient. In these cases, the hole concentration must be calculated and taken into account.
  • #1
fayled
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Suppose I have an n-doped semiconductor and want to measure the electron concentration in the conduction band as a function of temperature.

How would I go about doing this by measuring the Hall coefficient as a function of temperature, given that I don't know the electron and hole mobilities and thus cannot (unless I am wrong here?) assume that the electrons provide the dominant contribution to the Hall coefficient.

If I could assume electrons were the dominant carriers it would be simple since then the Hall coefficient RH=-1/ne.
 
  • #3
If the electron concentration (n) is significantly higher than the hole concentration (p) (say 100 times higher) then you can use the approximation RH=-1/(ne).
To determine whether this approximation is ok to use you must calculate the hole concentration p=ni^2/n. Where ni is the intrinsic carrier concentration. ni is temperature dependant (increases with temperature). It is different for all materials. ni is often tabulated in the scientific literature.
Caution: If you are working with low band gap materials and / or the temperature is high electrons will be excited from the valence band into the conduction band. This also creates holes. In these cases the hole concentration can become comparable to the electron concentration and the above approximations are no longer valid and you must take into account the holes as well.
 

Related to Carrier Concentration in a Semiconductor

1. What is carrier concentration in a semiconductor?

Carrier concentration in a semiconductor refers to the number of charge carriers (either electrons or holes) present in a semiconductor material. It is typically measured in units of per cubic centimeter (cm^-3) and is a crucial parameter in determining the electrical properties of a semiconductor.

2. How is carrier concentration calculated?

The carrier concentration in a semiconductor can be calculated using the equation: n=p=ni^2, where ni is the intrinsic carrier concentration and n and p are the concentrations of electrons and holes, respectively. This equation takes into account the doping levels and temperature of the semiconductor material.

3. What factors affect carrier concentration in a semiconductor?

The carrier concentration in a semiconductor can be affected by factors such as doping levels, temperature, and the type of semiconductor material. Doping introduces impurities into the material, which can increase the carrier concentration. Higher temperatures also increase the carrier concentration by providing more thermal energy for the carriers to move around.

4. Why is carrier concentration important in semiconductor devices?

Carrier concentration is important in semiconductor devices because it determines the electrical conductivity and performance of the device. A higher carrier concentration can lead to better conductivity and faster device operation, while a lower concentration can result in poorer performance.

5. How is carrier concentration controlled in semiconductor devices?

Carrier concentration in semiconductor devices can be controlled through the process of doping, where impurities are intentionally added to the material to alter the concentration of charge carriers. This can be done during the manufacturing process of the device to achieve the desired carrier concentration and optimize its performance.

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