How are holes charge carriers?

In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of P-Type doped semiconductor materials and the role of Group III elements such as Boron in creating free holes for covalent bonding. It is mentioned that when an electric field is applied, electrons from other bonds can jump and recombine with the free hole, leaving the Boron atom as an immobile negative ion. The question is raised as to why holes are considered the majority charge carriers in P-type materials, when electrons are also involved in the process. The response is that treating the hole as a positively charged particle is a convenient way to simplify the mathematical calculations.
  • #1
CoolDude420
201
9
Homework Statement:: Hi,

It's been a while since I have reviewed my basic semiconductor physics and I have some doubts.

In a P-Type doped semidoncutor material, I understand that Group III elements such as Boron are added to a Group IV element such as Silicon and thus the Boron atom has one free hole available for the creation of a covalent bond.

If an electric field is applied, electrons from other covalent bonds may have enough energy to jump and recombine Boron's free hole and thus create a covalent bond with another Silicon atom. The Boron atom now becomes an immobile negative ion. This will now leave a Silicon atom with a hole available for recombination with an electron and so the hole essentially moves from atom to atom.

My question is why do they say that holes are the majority charge carriers in P-type doped materials? Surely, for every hole that is being moved, it was created due to an electron moving too? Why isn't just the electron the carrier?
Relevant Equations:: N/A

See Above.
 
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  • #2
It's just a convenient way of describing things. Obviously the electrons are what are moving, it's just that treating the hole as a positively charged particle makes much of the math easier.
 
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Related to How are holes charge carriers?

1. What are holes in terms of charge carriers?

Holes are a type of charge carrier in a material that behaves as a positively charged particle. They are essentially the absence of an electron in an atom's valence band, which creates a positively charged region.

2. How do holes contribute to the flow of electricity?

Holes can move through a material in a similar way to electrons, creating a flow of electricity. When an electron moves from one atom to another, it leaves behind a hole in its original atom, which can then be filled by another electron. This process continues, creating a chain reaction and allowing electricity to flow.

3. Are holes present in all materials?

Yes, holes are present in all materials to some extent. However, some materials, such as semiconductors, have a larger number of holes compared to others. This is because the energy required to create a hole is lower in these materials, making it easier for electrons to move and leave behind holes.

4. How do holes differ from electrons as charge carriers?

Holes and electrons have opposite charges and behave differently in a material. While electrons have a negative charge and move from areas of high concentration to low concentration, holes have a positive charge and move from areas of low concentration to high concentration.

5. Can holes be manipulated or controlled in a material?

Yes, holes can be manipulated and controlled in a material through various methods, such as doping. Doping involves adding impurities to a material to alter its electrical properties, including the number and mobility of holes. This is a key process in the production of electronic devices such as transistors and diodes.

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