Related topics: solar cells

Liquid metals come to the rescue of semiconductors

Moore's law is an empirical suggestion stating that the number of transistors doubles every few years in integrated circuits (ICs). However, Moore's law has started to fail as transistors are now so small that current silicon-based ...

Resonant tunneling diode oscillators for terahertz-wave detection

A semiconductor device that is promising for both generating and detecting terahertz radiation has been demonstrated by physicists at RIKEN. This may aid the development of high-performance integrated solutions for terahertz ...

Collaboration yields promising material for quantum computing

Researchers at the Microsoft Quantum Materials Lab and the University of Copenhagen, working closely together, have succeeded in realizing an important and promising material for use in a future quantum computer. For this ...

Peel-apart surfaces drive transistors to the ledge

Semiconductor manufacturers are paying more attention to two-dimensional materials, such as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), following the discovery, at KAUST, of an epitaxial growth process of single-crystal TMDs ...

An electrical switch for magnetism

NUS physicists have demonstrated the control of magnetism in a magnetic semiconductor via electrical means, paving the way for novel spintronic devices.

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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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