Whats the difference between a vacancy and a hole in semiconductor physics?

In summary, a vacancy and a hole are not the same thing in semiconductor physics. A hole is a charge carrier in the band structure, while a vacancy is a defect in the crystal structure. They have similar properties, but a vacancy is a more significant defect and has an inverted energy compared to the hole. The hole also has an opposite wave vector to the vacancy.
  • #1
lavster
217
0
hi, I am reading my notes on semiconductor physics and this is a concept that is puzzling me - i always thought a vacancy and a hole were the same thing.

in my notes it says that

a hole has the same properties as a full band with one vacancy and so for consistency the hole must have...

(1) opposite k to the vacancy (where k is the wavevector) ie kh = -kv
(2) inverted energy (cf the vacancys energy) which occur wrt the chemical potential

etc

so is it different ways in describing the same thing? if so what's the difference on the two descriptions. Or are the completely different things? again if so, in what way?

thanks :)
 
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  • #2
A vacancy is a "defect" in the crystal structure. A "hole" is a charge carrier stated in the band structure.

Zz.
 
  • #3
so why is the wave vector etc opposite?
 
  • #4
They're similar concepts, but a vacancy is when an entire atom is missing, rather than just an electron.
 

1. What is a vacancy in semiconductor physics?

A vacancy in semiconductor physics refers to a missing atom or ion in the crystal lattice of a semiconductor material. This missing atom creates an empty space where an electron could potentially occupy, resulting in a decrease in the material's conductivity.

2. What is a hole in semiconductor physics?

A hole in semiconductor physics refers to an absence of an electron in the valence band of a material. This absence creates a positively charged "particle" that behaves like a positively charged electron, allowing it to move through the material and contribute to its conductivity.

3. How are vacancies and holes related in semiconductor physics?

Vacancies and holes are closely related in semiconductor physics. When an atom is missing from the crystal lattice, it creates a vacancy. This vacancy can act as a positively charged hole, attracting nearby electrons and allowing them to move through the material.

4. What is the main difference between a vacancy and a hole in semiconductor physics?

The main difference between a vacancy and a hole in semiconductor physics is their charge. A vacancy has a neutral charge, while a hole has a positive charge. Additionally, a vacancy is a physical absence of an atom, while a hole is a conceptual absence of an electron in the valence band.

5. How do vacancies and holes affect the conductivity of a semiconductor material?

Vacancies and holes both affect the conductivity of a semiconductor material by creating "defects" in the crystal lattice that can conduct electricity. Vacancies decrease the material's conductivity by creating an empty space, while holes increase the material's conductivity by allowing electrons to move through the material more easily.

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