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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What's so special about the invention of Blue LED that a Nobel was awarded to its invention? [duplicate]

Why was this years Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, Shuji Nakamura for inventing the Blue LED? I know that if a Nobel Prize is awarded for an invention, it must be ...
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Why in PN junctions the octet rule is dominating electrostatic repulsion?

The depletion region in PN junctions is created by charges from the N part diffusing into the P part, thus completing an octet of covalent bonds in the P part. This shift however leaves positive ions ...
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Why do we have Indirect bandgap semiconductor?

If the energy of an electron is proportional to square of the momentum k, how come we have a Indirect Bandgap material in which the minimum of the energy in conduction band is not at k not zero. P.S. ...
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229 views

Why the minority carrier lifetime is different for electrons and holes?

The lifetime of minority carriers ($\tau_n$ for electrons, $\tau_p$ for holes) represents the average time before recombination. But since an electrons must have a hole for recombination to take ...
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Has the Nobel committee mixed up this years prizes for Physics and Chemistry? [closed]

The title of the question is tongue-in-cheek but the question remains: How does the Nobel committee delineate the fields when awarding work which is of such an inter-disciplinary nature. The chemistry ...
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Nobel prize for (dangerous) LED lamps? [closed]

There are many scientific articles about the danger of LED lamps (see below from the LED magazine, from scientific american, from a governmental journal and from Harvard health newsletter): Light ...
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87 views

Why does Fermi level has a probability density of 1/2 while it may lie in the forbidden region?

I dont understand how there is a continuous probability density function in semiconductors, when there are several regions which are restricted by Energy, i.e. forbidden energies. Well i know that in ...
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40 views

Complex dielectric constant in ultraviolet range

Dielectric constant of a material could be a complex number, which is dependent of the frequency of electromagnetic wave. From the Springer material website, I learn that both the real part and ...
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Why does the width of the depletion layer in a semiconductor change with the amount of doping? [duplicate]

I've read that if there is very low doping in a pn-junction diode, the depletion region will be large because a large volume of depleted semiconductor is needed to generate enough electric field to ...
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512 views

Effect of doping on the width of depletion layer of PN-junction diode

I've read that if there is very low doping in a pn-junction diode, the depletion region will be large because a large volume of depleted semiconductor is needed to generate enough electric field to ...
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74 views

Size of bit cell in flash memory

If we consider a normal sd card, whose dimensions are 11x15x1 $mm^3$, there are 512,000,000,000 bits stored in 64 GB memory card. If one bit is stored per cell, size of a cell would be 10e-14 m on ...
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173 views

Why is the law of the p-n junction valid under forward bias?

I'm currently studying the physics of the PN junction. I went though the derivation of the built-in potential in the PN junction under equilibrium: $$ {Diffusion\ current\ density} = {Drift\ current\ ...
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Why is nitrogen not used as a pentavalent impurity?

I don't understand why nitrogen though a fifth group element is not used as a pentavalent impurity in doping a semiconductor.
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Can electrons move back into the donor level

In a n-type semiconductor electrons from the donor level move up into the conduction band but can they move back down? Also in a p-type semiconductor electrons move to the acceptor level from the ...
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31 views

N-type semiconductors and the number of holes?

Let us say we have Germanium which has been doped with antimony. Antinomy has a a fifth valence electron not involved in bonding. Is this electron in the valence band? I ask because all texts on the ...
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How do we predict electrical properties of a material using scattering data and vice-versa?

I know that the band gap is related to conductivity. What I'm wondering is what it is like for an experimentalist who is trying to figure out what an unknown material, a black box, is doing. The only ...
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84 views

Does the Shockley Diode Equation hold in a dynamic circuit?

Consider the following simple photodiode circuit: I've created a real-life version of this circuit, and I've detected that $I$ is oscillating: $$I(t)=I(t+\tau)\tag{$\tau\approx ...
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Silicon/silicon dioxide interface

Suppose we have an interface of silicon/silicondioxide. If we shine light on the top surface electron-hole pairs are generated in silicon. since there is always a field directing from surface to bulk ...
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22 views

What is the temperature evolution of the conductance of a quantum chaotic system?

I read this really nice article by Abanin and Levitov: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0704.3608.pdf They argued that the mixing of the quantum edge channel at the vicinity of a PN junction is described by the ...
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56 views

Why is the diffusion capacitance greater than the depletion capacitance in a p-n junction?

In a p-n junction the total capacitance is the sum of depletion capacitance and diffusion capacitance and it is mentioned that the diffusion capacitance is almost a million times greater than the ...
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60 views

why some elements of same group cannot be used for doping semiconductors?

15th group elements like As, Sb, P can be used for doping whereas N and Bi cannot be used for doping even though they too belong belong to 15th group. Why ?
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90 views

Optical absorption in a semiconductor for $E<E_g$ [duplicate]

Quoting from Solid State Electronic Devices (by Ben G. Streetman and Sanjay Banerjee): A photon with energy less than $E_g$ is unable to excite an electron from the valence band to the ...
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78 views

Effective masses for different direction

Assume we have an indirect semiconductor where the effective mass becomes anisotropic in different directions. Usually, one talks about a mass in parallel and perpendicular direction referring to ...
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How to check the ohmic contact to the film?

I have a thin semiconductor film deposited on an isolating substrate. I would like to check different metals to find out do they form the ohmic contact or Schottky barrier. What is the best way to do ...
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How can we determine the inbuilt barrierpotential and electric feld for a given band diagram?

Suppose I have got two p type silicon materials of different concentrations (the difference in thier concentrations is small but considerable enough that their fermi levels differ by noticeable ...
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185 views

Why can't we dope the intrinsic semiconductors with sixth or second group elements?

Suppose we want to make an n-type silicon semiconductor why do we use arsenic or phosporous as an impurity? Why cant we use selinium or terellium? Infact my doubt is when we use sixth group element ...
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174 views

What factors cause the velocity saturation to occur at different electric fields for different materials?

In semiconductors the velocity of carriers gets saturated after a certain value of electric field. In silicon it occurs at around $10^4 kV/cm$ and in GaAs at some other value. What factors are ...
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28 views

How to obtain ballistic transport in a device?

I would like to know the ballistic device characteristics and illustrations (if any) to understand how can we overcome the dependence of current on carrier mobility .
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How should semiconductors be understood? [duplicate]

In the chemistry setting, a doped semiconductor is a crystal lattice with holes/extra electrons in it. In the band/quantum mechanical picture, these holes/extra electrons can be seen as the amount ...
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188 views

Diffusion and Drift currents in a PN junction

In a forward-biased PN junction, the potential barrier decreases, allowing more majority carriers from one side to diffuse to the other side where they are minority carriers. After they cross the ...
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55 views

Can the current in a semiconductor be independent of mobility of charge carriers?

Can any device be made in such a way that the current through it is independent of carrier mobility? In a usual semiconductor or a device which is made of semiconductor material the current due to ...
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87 views

What is the performance of a silicon crystal that makes it an essential component to computing

I'm on a thread of interest in the precise physics that allow the creation of the computing process. It began as a question posted in search of an understandable explanation of what physical form ...
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66 views

P-N junction voltage under polarization

All the books that deal with the p-n junction under applied bias assume that the same equations used for the equilibrium case (no bias) can be used for the biased case provided that the junction ...
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81 views

Schottky Barrier - Why energy band levels at interface are assumed to remain the same that bulk

I have been chewing up some time ago the Schottky-Mott theory of Schottky Barrier height (which ignores the surface states). All the deduction seems to ground on fundamental thermodynamical principles ...
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86 views

How does a minority carrier diffuse?

I have gone through a lot of questions but none of them ask how do the minority carriers approach the depletion layer in the first place. When a p-n junction is formed, negative space charge ...
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55 views

Polarization selection rules

So, I am just reviewing some of my physics stuff, and I have read something about polarization selection rules in inter-band-transitions in quantum wells. If I calculate them, I get a strength of 1/2 ...
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321 views

Sold-State Band Structure - connection between Fermi Energy, Fermi Level and Work Fuction

I've been struggling with the concepts of these three terms - Fermi Energy, Fermi Level and work fuction. Now, I was given these definitions (in the context of semi-conductors): Fermi Level is the ...
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232 views

Why is effective mass of holes positive?

i am trying to understand this. I know that the effective mass of electrons or holes is calculated as: $$m^* = \frac{h^2}{(4\pi^2)\frac{d^2E}{dk^2}}$$ Now,if i look at this plot for example: I ...
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Alignment of Fermi Levels between Metal and Insulator

If I stick a metal and insulator together, will the Fermi level of the metal align with the insulator? When people draw a band diagram for a metal-oxide-semiconductor heterostructure, I never see ...
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in an organic semiconductor, what is the average distance travelled by an exciton?

In an organic semiconductor, what is the average distance travelled by an exciton up to recombination? How is this value related to the morfology / structure of the organic semiconductor?
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46 views

Extrinsic Photoconductor Charge Carriers

I'm studying some materials on semiconductors, and a section on photoconductivity has left me somewhat confused. In an extrinsic material, is photoconductivity the result of electrons moving from the ...
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28 views

How does Passivation in Mercury-arc-valve cause “diode” behavior

Does passivation of lead anodes cause them to become semiconductors? Or even become diodes (eg. a p-n passage)? How does this work on an atomar level? This question has been risen by trying to ...
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63 views

minority carrier life time? Why is it important for devices' switching speed. Why not majority carriers? [closed]

I am trying to get my head around why would and silicon engineer care about the minority life time carrier and how does the minority carrier affect the switching speed of PN junction. Why is it so ...
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117 views

Hall Effect p-type Germanium holes density

I had to do some experiments with a Hall Effect Apparatus of Leybolds with a p-doped Germanium plate, this is the datasheet (pdf). eq. (1) $U_H=R_H \frac{IB}{d}$ $U_H$ = Hall voltage $R_H$ = Hall ...
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The speed of electrons moving in different medium

Can one have a simple (dimensional-analysis) model to evaluate the speed of electrons moving in: (1) a copper wire (2) a silver wire (3) a gold wire (4) a semiconductor wire let's use meter over ...
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Replacing diode in circuit analysis?

While analyzing circuits containing diodes in reverse bias I replace it with a pure insulator for simplifying things. Similarly can I replace a forward biased diode with a conductor and a varying ...
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491 views

How does temperature affect an electrical current

Synopsis I have read an interesting article J. Halderman et al. "Lest we remember: cold boot attacks on encryption keys" in computer science regarding cold booting. The paper discusses how the use ...
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In k$\cdot$p theory, how does one calculate the bulk inversion asymmetry coefficients given in table 6.3 in Winkler?

In k$\cdot$p theory, how does one calculate the bulk inversion asymmetry coefficients given in table 6.3 in Winkler? Winkler's book on spin-orbit coupling effects is available free online. In ...
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95 views

Calculating band gap from band structure

If while calculating a band gap, the band just below the Fermi level touches the Fermi level, can we say the material is semiconducting?
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Why is it said that without quantum mechanics we would not have modern computers?

I've heard this in many quantum mechanics talks and lectures, nevertheless I don't seem to grasp the idea behind it. What I mean is, at which point is that our modern understanding of quantum ...