Related topics: solar cells · light · transistors

New method for the molecular functionalization of surfaces

One vision that is currently driving material scientists is to combine organic molecules (and their diverse functionalities) with the technological possibilities offered by extremely sophisticated semiconductor electronics. ...

How quantum dots can 'talk' to each other

So-called quantum dots are a new class of materials with many applications. Quantum dots are realized by tiny semiconductor crystals with dimensions in the nanometre range. The optical and electrical properties can be controlled ...

Making the shift from blue to red for better LEDs

A new micro-light-emitting diode (micro-LED) developed at KAUST can efficiently emit pure red light and may help in the quest to develop full-color displays based on just a single semiconductor.

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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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