What Are Semiconductors?
In this article, we are going to discuss about semiconductors in detail. Let us start with the definition of semiconductors.
A semiconductor material possesses an electrical conductivity which ranges between the electrical conductivity that of a insulator and conductor. Now, you must be wondering what are insulators and conductors. Well, presented below is the detailed explanation of semiconductors that will also let you know more info regarding insulators and conductors.
Basically, natural materials or substances are classified into three types of categories which are, conductors, insulators and semi conductors. The substances like wood and glass etc. do not allow electricity to pass through them and they are known as insulators. Whereas, the materials which allow electricity to pass through them like copper wires, water are called as conductors.
The semiconductors are neither of the two however can act as insulators or conductors as well depending upon the given conditions. The main semiconductor materials are silicon (Si) and germanium (Ge).
These days the semiconductor materials are used in making various kinds of devices on a very large scale. The devices which are being manufactured using semiconductor materials serve as the basis of modern electronics. The major use of semiconductors is in computers, radio, phones and various other devices.
Other important semiconductors info to know about is that mainly the semiconductor materials are in the form of crystalline solids. However, they also exist in amorphous and liquid form too as mixtures of arsenic, selenium and tellurium in various proportion acts as semiconductors.
The most used semiconductors material for manufacturing commercial products is known as silicon. There are various other substances which are also used to make semiconductor devices commercially such as germanium, silicon carbide and gallium arsenide.
Any of the semiconductor substances in its purest form is known as intrinsic semiconductor. Since, the conductivity of various semiconductor substances can be altered with the addition of impurities to it and this process of changing the conductivity of semiconductor devices is known as doping.