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 harness it in electrical circuits.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

0
votes
0answers
21 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
768 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
306 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\ ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

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.
0
votes
1answer
27 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
38 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
95 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
26 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
90 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
80 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 ?
2
votes
2answers
97 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
103 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
250 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
205 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
33 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 .
1
vote
2answers
75 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
228 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
59 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
90 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
61 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
410 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
305 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
54 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
31 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
65 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
746 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
114 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?
43
votes
9answers
8k views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Ionization energy of a donator impurity in Si vs H ionization energy

Why is the ionization energy of a donator in an $\mathrm{Si}$ semicondutor much smaller than in an $\mathrm{H}$ atom?
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Semiconductor doping and conductivity

Why is the conductivity of Si dopped with P and As much bigger than the conductivity of Si dopped with In and P?
5
votes
1answer
111 views

Optical mode leakage through a layer of gold

The geometry of my semiconductor device is given below. The blue regions are gold, the grey ones - gallium arsenide (n-doped to $2.9 \times 10^{15} \mathrm{cm^{-3}}$). The dimensions are μm, i.e. it ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Reverse bias P-N junction [duplicate]

I am not able to understand why the PN junction does not conduct when reverse biased. Can't electrons travel from the N side through the power supply to the P side where they can jump from one hole to ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

Spin FET Transistor

Spin FET Transistor. When a gate voltage is applied to a current of spin polarized electrons, a spin precession will occur. If this spin precession is enough to make the bulk electron spin ...
0
votes
0answers
103 views

Working of a phototransistor

Can anyone explain how photogenerated current in the base gets amplified in a phototransistor. If you use band energy diagram, then I would understand more quickly and clearly.
3
votes
1answer
136 views

How can I simulate a model electronic hole?

Suppose I can solve time-dependent Schrödinger equation for several 1D particles (currently 3). I'd like to see, what an electronic hole is and how it behaves — in a series of numerical experiments. ...
4
votes
3answers
288 views

How does temperature affect photovoltaics (PV) efficiency?

I know that photovoltaic panels are more efficient at lower temperatures: As the temperature increases, the output voltage decreases. I am looking for an explanation of the mechanism behind this ...
4
votes
2answers
320 views

Why isn't there a potential difference across a disconnected diode?

I know this question sounds silly, as if there was a potential difference a current would be created when the terminals are connected together and this would mean energy has come from somewhere. The ...
12
votes
1answer
487 views

What is the probability of quantum tunneling occurring in this CPU?

You may have noticed over the last few years that Moore's law is no longer applying to the real world. This observation states that over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on ...
6
votes
1answer
644 views

The skin effect and the reflectivity of gold

I am simulating a waveguide in COMSOL, a FEM solver. My model looks like this (it is similar to a standard Quantum Cascade Laser geometry): Therefore there is a very thin (30nm) layer of gold ...