Related topics: solar cells

A new method for quantifying crystal semiconductor efficiency

Japanese scientists have found a new way to detect the efficiency of crystal semiconductors. For the first time ever, the team used a specific kind of photoluminescence spectroscopy, a way to detect light, to characterize ...

Researchers demonstrate low voltage LEDs

When atomically thin semiconductors are combined together in a Lego style, they emit light at a lower voltage potentially leading to low energy consumption devices.

Ultrathin transistors for faster computer chips

For decades, the transistors on our microchips have become smaller, faster and cheaper. Approximately every two years the number of transistors on commercial chips has doubled—this phenomenon became known as "Moore's Law." ...

Search for new semiconductors heats up with gallium oxide

University of Illinois electrical engineers have cleared another hurdle in high-power semiconductor fabrication by adding the field's hottest material—beta-gallium oxide—to their arsenal. Beta-gallium oxide is readily ...

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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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