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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How do High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMT) work?

I am studying High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMT), but I simply cannot understand how they work in the way described by the references I've read on the Internet. This is what I understand so ...
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26 views

Why are laser pulses Sech Squared in temporal shape?

Ultrashort pulses from mode-locked lasers often have a temporal shape which can be described with a squared hyperbolic secant ($\mathrm{sech}^2$) function: $$ P(t)=P_0 \mathrm{sech}^2 \left( ...
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77 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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14 views

Why an undoped heterojunction causes potential barrier?

In this image (source) a potential double-barrier was created using GaAs and AlAs lattices (undoped). Why would any potential barrier be formed, if all the bonds are electrostatically balanced (i.e. ...
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254 views

How do the effects of semiconductor doping affect the Hall effect?

For instance, consider number 4 and 5 in the following sample: Using the right hand rule, B points downwards, conventional current points to the right (because of the 5V battery), and therefore, ...
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Why the current through a resonant tunnel diode drops when the bound state goes below the conduction band?

The IV curve of a resonant tunneling diode is N-shaped. The rise in current flow happens because the bound state (the energy state in the well) enters the thermal area of the conductor ($\mu_1 + ...
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34 views

Why a tunnel diode (TD) is called a diode?

Traditionally, a diode is a 2-terminal device that limits current to flow in one direction, i.e. a rectifier. But a "tunnel diode", according to wikipedia, is not rectifying: In the tunnel diode, ...
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53 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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51 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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15 views

How to simplify logic circuit? [closed]

Only the AND, OR, NOT gates are there in my course and I know only how to write results including only a single of these, but my course has no mention of solving these: I just wrote ...
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1answer
38 views

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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14 views

Thermal conductivity of semiconductors - theoretical function?

Below is a plot of the thermal conductivity coefficient for Gallium Arsenide, reproduced from 3: I would like to interpolate the data, but I don't know what fit function to use. I tried a generic ...
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Crystal structure of Silicon

From what I was reading, Silicon has a FCC unit cell but they also said that the Silicon atoms form a tetrahedron at 109 degrees from each other. Then they said that the tetrahedron is formed by ...
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52 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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29 views

Lattice and carrier temperature

If I hold a semiconductor sample at a certain temperature $T$, its lattice temperature $T_l$ will equalize: $T_l=T$. But how is this lattice temperature related to the carrier (electron or hole) ...
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225 views

If we connect a block of p-type semiconductor only to a positive terminal, will it become positively charged?

Connect the positive terminal of a battery to a piece of p-doped semiconductor, say, silicon doped with boron. Will the terminal pull electrons out of the doped silicon, or equivalently, inject holes ...
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45 views

Question on Shockley's equation for FETs

I'm currently studying FETs (Field Effect Transistors) in Navy school. What I know so far is that in FETs, $V_{gs}$ is reversed biased, creating a depletion zone. What this means in plain English is ...
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296 views

Semiconductor problem: how much Boron is required to establish a certain amount of charge carrier density

The problem description is as follows: Boron is used to dope 1 kg of germanium (Ge). How much boron (B) is required to establish a charge carrier density of 3.091 x 10^17 / cm^3. One mole of ...
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91 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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140 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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434 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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37 views

Why don't electrons simply diffuse back when illuminating a photodiode?

Assuming you connect the cathode and the anode with a conductor (no sources), why can't the electron-hole pairs created by the photons diffuse back instead of going through the wire? My reasoning is ...
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Couting the occupied states in band structure

I work with several dft codes and I have produced the band structures of some doped semiconductors with their plots. The problem I have is that I do not know how I can analyze the band structure and ...
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A question about Memristors

A question about memristors: These semiconductor entities have been defined in terms of magnetic flux leakage, and a non-linear relationship to the electric charge that has flowed. In essence, the ...
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297 views

Donors/Acceptors in Metal Oxides

Can anyone explain to me why most articles describe chromium as an acceptor in titanium dioxide? In TiO2, titanium has the charge state Ti$^{4+}$ and oxygen has the charge state O$^{2-}$. When Cr ...
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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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86 views

Does Saturation velocity in semiconductors have a relation with the wavelength in which the peak in the absorption spectrum occurs?

Saturation velocity is the maximum velocity a charge carrier in a semiconductor, generally an electron, attains in the presence of very high electric fields. (source) I want to know if the ...
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392 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 ...
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95 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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1answer
2k views

Change in the width of depletion layer with doping [duplicate]

I have 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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799 views

In solar cells, do photons break apart electron-hole pairs, or create them?

Some sources say that when a photon hits the PV cell, it breaks apart electron-hole pairs. Other sources say that photons create electron-hole pairs. Can anyone explain which one is right? I've read ...
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85 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 ...
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107 views

Is carrier charge density and carrier mobility constant in a given material?

If we assume the semi-conductor is doped by a variable amount, is there some way I can look up carrier charge density for the material in a reference somewhere? What about carrier mobility?
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Poisson solver diverged [migrated]

My 2D-Poisson solver is build for simulation of semiconductor. The algorithm is Gauss-Seidel iterative method. If I use simple PN junction for simulation testing, it diverged while I applied high ...
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What makes Monocrystalline silicon a good semi-conductor? [closed]

I'm researching Monocrystalline silicon for a school project and focusing on its application in Electronics. One area I'm researching is why the material is a good semiconductor, and what properties ...
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246 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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How does current flow from the emitter, through the base and to the collector in a NPN transistor?

So, I understand that for a NPN transistor to work the emitter-base junction needs to be forward biased and the collector-base junction needs to be reverse biased. I understand how current flows from ...
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24 views

Why is the heavy/light hole band not called heavy/light electron band?

Are the bands called heavy hole, light hole and electron band, just because the charge carriers are holes/electrons or is there some deeper reason I missed? The question might seem stupid, but it ...
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82 views

What does “although electrons enter and leave the diode, charge is carried by holes in the p-type region” mean? [closed]

I read this in an electronics book but I couldn't understand it: The flow of current through a forward-biased diode may be summarized like this. Electrons pass from the external circuit and ...
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1answer
36 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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23 views

Semiconductor band diagram with a doping gradient

What does the Energy band diagram in a semiconductor look like if we introduced a doping gradient? What would it look like if after we added the doping gradient we introduced an electric field? I ...
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25 views

Discrepancy in introducing Schottky barrier

I have a problem regarding introduction of Schottky barrier in metal-semiconductor junction. Because of this barrier the energies of conduction band vary discontinuously and hence the potential is ...
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2answers
54 views

Surface acoustic wave

Why does a surface acoustic wave (SAW) propagate only in the surface leyer of the solid, let's assume a semiconductor? One can create such a SAW through an interdigital transducer (IDT) as I read, ...
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4answers
2k views

Why does a semiconductor hole have a mass?

I have read that holes in semiconductor are nothing but vacancies created by electrons. But how can this vacancy i.e. hole has a mass?
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Calculating Boltzmann constant using semiconductor

My task from the latest laboratory exercise in physics is to calculate Boltzmann constant from known temperature, current and voltage. We were given this circuit: By changing the resistor value, I ...
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50 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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1answer
31 views

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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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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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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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 .