Semiconductor physics is the branch of solid state physics that focuses on specific properties of semiconductors. It studies dynamics of different perturbations (mainly electrons and holes) in the semiconductor crystal and the ways to affect it.

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Band gaps: are they at the centre or at the edge of the Brillouin zone?

Reading about electronic band structures, I came across the following: Band gaps open at the edges of the Brillouin zone (BZ), since that is where the Bragg scattering occurs. I am slightly ...
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181 views

How depletion region is developed in a Schottky diode?

In a P-N junction depletion region is developed when electrons from N-region diffuse to P-region and hole from P-region diffuse to N-region. Here diffusion thereby development of depletion is caused ...
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Conductivity of a crystalline solid

In a crystalline solid each atomic level 'splits' into n levels (n = number of atoms in the system). When the number of atoms is large each level becomes replaced by a band of closely spaced levels. ...
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Light intensity (affected by semiconductor's absorption)

An experiment recently was done in order to measure the band gap of certain semiconductor. In order to gather the transmission coefficient for a spectrum of light, a light intensity of the system ...
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967 views

Difference between steady state and equilibrium?

In semiconductor physics, what is the difference between steady state and equilibrium. How analysis of devices varies in these processes?
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How does band narrowing (heavily doping the emitter) affect the alpha F and alpha R in the Ebers-Moll model of a BJT?

I think that when the emitter is heavily doped, the bandgap is reduced which increases the reference forward current(current flowing through the E-B junction ) but the alphas themselves do not change. ...
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118 views

Derivation of existence of energy band gap in semiconductor (solid State)

I am looking for both a mathematical and a physical reason for energy band gap in metals. For Physical reason, I was told that at each reciprocal lattice, you could have Bragg scattering, that would ...
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60 views

Basic concepts in quantum theory to start learning semiconductor physics [closed]

What basic concepts in quantum theory one must known to start learning semiconductor physics?
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40 views

Types of semiconductor relaxation

Ok, so you've basically got tensile and compression strain in a lattice mismatched material right? So as you're epitaxially layering the material, the strained material is deforming more and more ...
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30 views

What do I get when measuring on top of metal/insulator/metal by kelvin probe?

I am using a macroscopic Kelvin Probe for work function measurement. There's one confusing condition. If I measure a trilayer thin film stack with a structure of ITO(bottom)/PMMA(100-200nm)/Al(top), ...
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76 views

What are the differences between supperlattices and Multiple Quantum Wells Semiconductor Structures?

Semiconductor Optoelectronics: What are the differences between multiple Quantum Wells and supperlattices.
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104 views

What is the derivation of the formula for the probability of transmission through a barrier?

This site has a formula for the transmission probability over a barrier (in transistors): $$ T \propto \exp [-2(2m^*/\hbar ^2)^{1/2}(q\phi)^{1/2} d ]. $$ Where $T$ is the transmission probability ...
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31 views

Vacancy Generation / Annihilation Time (Relaxation Time)

Vacancy Generation/Annihilation Time, Recombination Time and Relaxation Time ($\tau$) are all synonymously used in atomic physics literatures. They're defined as the time that it takes for vacancies ...
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116 views

Effective mass of a particle

I was reading about concept of effective mass on Wikipedia and came across the line that effective mass of a particle can be negative and even zero. How is this possible?
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65 views

What is the speed of electrons in a transistor?

What is the average speed of an electron in a MOSFET transistor, and how can you calculate this? I've heard people throw terms such as "drift velocity" and "Fermi velocity" around, but I've never ...
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71 views

Rms value of rectified output from a half wave rectifier

The rms value of an alternating quantity which is the input to a half wave rectifier is $\frac{I_{max}}{\sqrt2}$. Then the rms value of output should be $\frac{I_{max}}{2} \sqrt 2$. But it is given ...
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66 views

Can zinc nitride be used as light emitting material?

I cannot manage to find any journal papers about the applicability of zinc nitride as active layer of an light emitting diode (LED). But certain papers got mention that zinc nitride with a direct ...
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29 views

P-type MOSFET performance

I was reading somewhere that the (110) plane has the highest atomic density and is best for p-channel MOSFET performance. How high atomic density influence the performance of P-channel crystal?
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203 views

Why absence of electron is called hole?

I am having hard time in understanding the concept of holes: If there is no electron than how can it be a hole? For a moment lets assume absence of electron is termed as hole but how can this absent ...
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438 views

Silicon atom: How is it replaced by a Phosphorous (or Boron) atom?

My book says: A pure semiconductor at room temperature possesses free electrons and holes but their number is so small that conductivity offered by the pure semiconductor cannot be made of ...
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420 views

The Gunn diode and the two valley theory

In today lecture of microwave and radar my teacher explained about the Gunn diode. He said it is made up of only one type of matrial e.g. $GaAS$ as shown in (a) part of the image. He said that there ...
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48 views

Confusion in biasing a NPN transistor in CE config

In CE configuration of NPN transistor, collector emitter junction is reverse biased. But how is a N-N junction reverse biased?
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53 views

Diodes (Forward biased)

Why does the width of the depletion region decrease,when the diode is forward biased?Is it because the ions have moved to p-junction,or n-junction? Please clarify.
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111 views

Why doesn't current flows in reverse biased diode?

Consider this reverse biased diode : I read that no or very small current flows in reverse biased diode as depletion layers get widened and huge resistance is offered so no electrons can cross it. ...
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87 views

Charge density in depletion layer for pn-junction

I just came across this Wikipedia article on pn-junctions: pn junction What I don't get is why the negative charge density is narrower/smaller than the positive one in Figure A. I'm guessing the ...
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44 views

How does a liquid crystal on Silicon affect the phase of incident light?

When a polarized light beam is directed to a phase-only LCoS system how is the phase modulated ? What is the physical effect behind ? Does voltage modulation has an impact on birefringence ?
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Why is more intrinsic carriers bad for high temperature semiconductors?

I'm taking a solid state course, and is currently on the subject of dielectrics. In one of the sections, concerning "Impurities in Dielectrics" the books says: "Impurities can also be used to make ...
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71 views

Fermi Energy and the Electric Potential

In an extrinsic semiconductor the electric potential is: $$\phi = \frac{1}{q}(E_{\mathrm{F}} - E_{\mathrm{Fi}})$$ where $E_{\mathrm{F}}$ is the Fermi energy, $E_{\mathrm{Fi}}$ is the intrinsic Fermi ...
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Dielectric Constant or Permittivity of Metals

I'm wondering what the dielectric constant or permittivity of metals is --particularly copper. Do metals have an infinite permittivity?
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119 views

Why is an exciton only observed when we excite to the conduction band and not to other electronic level inside the bandgap?

Excitons can be observed when we excite electrons to the conduction band. I don't know about excitons being observed when we excite the electrons to an electronic level that would eventually be in ...
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444 views

What is the reason behind band gap narrowing in semiconductors

I want to know why some semiconductors band gap decreases after doping with elements. Burstein-Moss band-filling effect can be useful to explain band gap widing in a semiconductor materials but i was ...
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70 views

Conductive glue

I would like to use some conductive glue to contact a silicon chip's back gate. Any suggestions on what to use? Can I use thermal silver paste? I would be operating at cryogenic temperatures below 4K. ...
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Nature of electron states in a semiconductor

Usually one is led to think of an electron moving from the valence band to the conduction band as an electron leaving the atom it is bound to in the lattice, and becoming free to move, while leaving ...
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368 views

Understanding Wikipedia's “Semiconductor Band Structure” diagram where the bandgap appears to increase with increasing density of states

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding the semiconductor band gap diagram on Wikipedia: (from Band gap article). Why is the size of the band gap increasing with the Density of States (DOS) in the ...
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Why does a window layer is on top of the absorber layer in solar cells and not below it?

In solar cells there is a p-n junction. P-type semiconductor (for example CdTe) is often absorber layer because of its carrier lifetime and mobilities. In case of CdS/CdTe, CdS is n-type window layer ...
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282 views

How to understand exciton?

I know that exciton is an electron and hole orbiting around each other(at least that is what I have heard). So if the hole is a hypothetical particle with a plus sign, mining that it is a lack of an ...
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216 views

Why does the conductivity $\sigma$ decrease with the temperature $T$ in a semi-conductor?

We performed an undergrad experiment where we looked at the resistance $\rho$ and Hall constant $R_\text H$ of a doped InAs semiconductor with the van der Pauw method. Then we cooled it down to around ...
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Is there a difference in binding energy between a regular material and a doped one?

Say Silicon and boron doped silicon. Would the doping affect the binding energy? Could I see this in an XPS spectra?
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121 views

Space charge limited current with and without traps

Main Question Would someone please qualitatively describe how space-charge limited conduction in oxide works, both with and without traps? I am interested in this in the context of conduction through ...
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102 views

Semiconductors: why the mass action law is not valid for very low temperatures?

I thought that it was valid for very low temperatures since for it to be valid I think that it is necessary to be in the non-degeneracy condition, which requires $E_G >> k_B T$ (with $E_G$ being ...
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106 views

More physical explanation of impurity energy levels in a doped semiconductor?

I'm reading about doped semiconductors in Ashcroft and Mermin. They tell you that when donor impurities are added to a semiconductor, their energy level $E_d$ is just slightly below the conduction ...
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Change in the width of depletion layer with doping

As previously learnt that increasing the doping will decrease the width of the depletion layer and vice-versa. However, I am unable to understand this. Does it have some relation with force of ...
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50 views

What's the typical material used as a low-k ILD in semiconductors?

Semiconductor companies (namely IBM, Intel, TSMC and etc.) may use different low-k materials as inter-layer dielectric (ILD) in their fabrication process. I'm wondering what is the most typical one. ...
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99 views

In an avalanche breakdown, where are the electrons that break free from?

In an avalanche breakdown, are the electrons that break free under the influence of the applied electric field from the depletion region or outside it? Also, under reverse bias, how exactly is the ...
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Pn junction voltage drop?

This image from wikipedia, explains that there occurs a potential drop across a pn semiconductor junction, and an electric field confined to the depletion region. I already know the reason for the ...
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Hall effect with similar positive and negative carriers?

The Hall effect includes the transverse (to the flow of current) electric field set up by the charges which accumulate on the edges, to counter the magnetic component of the Lorentz force acting on ...
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796 views

Valence band and conduction band, trying to get a clear picture!

I am trying to get a clear picture of the valence band, conduction band, and the band gap. Now I've been researching it for a little while now and understand most of what's going on. I'm still a ...
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635 views

Zener diodes - how do they work?

I was going through some of the theory behind Zener diodes. I know what they're used to work at constant voltage, but I don't know how they work. Actually, I kind of get that too, I know that voltage ...
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141 views

Holes in a P-type semiconductor under external force E

Basically in almost every semiconductor texts, there will be all these concepts concerning electrons, holes, dopants, fermi-levels. However, I have been always confused about the picture of hole ...
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How are the finite speed of light and the atomic nature of mater related to the end of Moore's law?

In this article from 2007, Moore talks about the end of his Law. Can someone throw more light as to how the finite speed of light and the atomic nature of mater are related to the end of Moore's law?