Related topics: solar cells · light · transistors

Cooking up a conductive alternative to copper with aluminum

In the world of electricity, copper is king—for now. That could change with new research from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) that is serving up a recipe to increase the conductivity of aluminum, making it ...

Making dark semiconductors shine

Whether or not a solid can emit light, for instance as a light-emitting diode (LED), depends on the energy levels of the electrons in its crystalline lattice. An international team of researchers led by University of Oldenburg ...

Sharp X-ray images despite imperfect lenses

X-rays make it possible to explore inside human bodies or peer inside objects. The technology used to illuminate the detail in microscopically small structures is the same as that used in familiar situations—such as medical ...

Tunable quantum traps for excitons

Researchers at ETH Zurich have succeeded for the first time in trapping excitons—quasiparticles consisting of negatively charged electrons and positively charged holes—in a semiconductor material using controllable electric ...

Electronic self-passivation of single vacancy in black phosphorus

NUS scientists discovered that a two-dimensional (2D) semiconducting material, known as black phosphorus (BP), exhibits an electronic self-passivation phenomenon by re-arranging its vacancy defects. This may potentially enhance ...

Synthesis of two-dimensional holey graphyne

Diamond and graphite are two naturally occurring carbon allotropes that we have known about for thousands of years. They are elemental carbons that are arranged in a manner so that they consist of sp3 and sp2 hybridized carbon ...

Light-emitting electrochemical cells for recyclable lighting

A low-cost and easy-to-manufacture lighting technology can be made with light-emitting electrochemical cells. Such cells are thin-film electronic and ionic devices that generate light after a low voltage is applied. Researchers ...

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Semiconductor

A semiconductor is a material that has a resistivity value between that of a conductor and an insulator. The conductivity of a semiconductor material can be varied under an external electrical field. Devices made from semiconductor materials are the foundation of modern electronics, including radio, computers, telephones, and many other devices. Semiconductor devices include the transistor, solar cells, many kinds of diodes including the light-emitting diode, the silicon controlled rectifier, and digital and analog integrated circuits. Solar photovoltaic panels are large semiconductor devices that directly convert light energy into electrical energy. In a metallic conductor, current is carried by the flow of electrons. In semiconductors, current can be carried either by the flow of electrons or by the flow of positively-charged "holes" in the electron structure of the material.

Silicon is used to create most semiconductors commercially. Dozens of other materials are used, including germanium, gallium arsenide, and silicon carbide. A pure semiconductor is often called an “intrinsic” semiconductor. The conductivity, or ability to conduct, of semiconductor material can be drastically changed by adding other elements, called “impurities” to the melted intrinsic material and then allowing the melt to solidify into a new and different crystal. This process is called "doping".

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