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.

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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 ...
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Are insulators and conductors arbitrary categories?

I have seen charts showing the transition from insulator to semi-conductor is at $10^{-8}~\frac{\text{S}}{\text{cm}}$ and between semi-conductor and conductor is $10^{3}~\frac{\text{S}}{\text{cm}}$. ...
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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 ...
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Measuring the effective mass

Intro: To avoid any terminology confusion, this is asked in the context of Solid State Physics and semiconductors. The canonical definition given for the effective mass is that it is related to the ...
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Is it viable or possible to make your own transistor?

Just wondering if it is possible/viable to construct your own transistor, not small like todays, but the same scale as the one created at Bell Labs.
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Why are band maxima / minima often (always?) at high-symmetry points?

(inspired by this question.) In every semiconductor that I can think of, the valence band maximum and conduction band minimum are at a high-symmetry point in the Brillouin Zone (BZ). Often the BZ ...
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Modern and complete references for the $k\cdot p$ method?

I've recently started studying the $k\cdot p$ method for describing electronic bandstructures near the centre of the Brillouin zone and I've been finding it hard to find any pedagogical references on ...
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Why can electricity flow only in one direction through a diode?

A few days ago I was soldering a small thing which contained a diode, a battery and some other useless things. Unfortunately, I soldered the diode reversed and it didn't work. When I reversed it ...
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What are “electron holes” in semiconductors?

I'm tutoring senior high school students. So far I've explained them the concepts of atomic structure (Bohr's model & Quantum mechanical model) very clearly. Now the next topic to be taught is ...
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Why do electrons in graphene behave as Dirac fermions near the Dirac points?

I've been learning about graphene, and I recently calculated the band structure for it using a nearest-neighbor tight-binding model for the $\pi$ electrons: $$\varepsilon(\vec k)=\pm t\sqrt{3+2 \cos \...
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486 views

Understanding electronic band structure diagrams

Currently I'm trying to understand electronic band structures such as depicted below: And following questions were arisen. Why are there multiple lines in valence side and conduction side? Where ...
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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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Tunneling v. Hopping

Can someone explain the difference between hopping and tunneling? The context I'm considering is conduction in semiconductors, specifically between impurity states within the bandgap. It's always ...
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156 views

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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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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367 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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How is a CCD able to collect images in drastically different lighting conditions?

I have read the basics of how a digital camera works. As much as I have understood, the digital cameras have a device called a CCD on which photons coming from the lens are incident. The CCD then ...
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What does Fermi level in the band gap mean?

What does it mean that the Fermi level for some semiconductors lie in the band gap? Is Fermi level definition different from what is know as usual? We define the Fermi level as the highest level of ...
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Ionized Depletion Region, Why aren't those charged being excited?

Ok so I understand the PN junction, and how when 2 Semiconductor materials are placed together the Electrons will jump into the Holes near the junction creating a Negatively Ionized Atoms on the P-...
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1answer
780 views

What is a Dirac semimetal?

What is the precise definition of a Dirac semimetal? Is it sufficient for two bands to touch at a single k point with a linear crossing, or are more conditions required for a material to be called a ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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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1answer
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How did the Bardeen-Brattain point-contact transistor work?

I've been trying to understand how the Bardeen-Brattain point-contact transistor worked. The point-contact transistor uses Schottky barriers (metal/semi-conductor junctions), so under what conditions ...
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1answer
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How do Zener diodes maintain the potential across their terminals?

My physics book has a topic about Zener diodes being used as voltage regulators in the reverse bias. Well, I'm curious to know how does a Zener diode maintain the potential across its terminals after ...
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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. ...
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1answer
533 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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Temperature dependence of the relaxation time in Boltzmann equation for impurity scattering in metals

Is there any temperature dependence of relaxation time in impurity scattering of conducting electrons? It seems to me that there is none. But, some people claim that there is. So if you could explain,...
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763 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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4answers
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(If and) Why does cold temperature affect semiconductors?

I had a college student build an overclocked PC using phase-change technology. (This is essentially an air-conditioning unit with the evaporator attached directly to the motherboard.) He said that ...
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1answer
485 views

Why is photodiode made reverse biased?

If only its purpose is to create an additional electron-hole pair,then why would it be made reverse biased.We can good amount of current in forward biased condition.
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Derivation of Schrodinger equation for a system with position dependent effective mass

How to derive the Schrodinger equation for a system with position dependent effective mass? For example, I encountered this equation when I first studied semiconductor hetero-structures. All the books ...
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1answer
142 views

In semiconductor devices, why is quantum tunneling “fast”?

I'm reading up on semiconductor devices that rely on quantum tunneling, such as the tunnel diode and the TFET. The big advantage of these devices is apparently that "quantum tunneling is extremely ...
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Do holes have physical existence?

We know that holes are created due to electrons hopping from one covalent bond to another. But does a hole have a physical existence or it's just a fictitious positive charge, an illusion created by ...
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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 to determine divergence of a LED source from a single biconvex lens

I'm trying to determine the divergence angle of light from a single lens that is completely illuminated by a high power LED. Most optics textbooks only deal with imaging optics and I'm having a hard ...
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How do Zener diodes survive the breakdown during reverse bias?

My highschool textbook states that Zener diodes are a special type of diode which is made of highly doped p and n junctions, and which can survive reverse bias - unlike normal diodes, which get ...
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2answers
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What's a typical electron-hole recombination time of semiconductors?

Have some trouble finding a useful reference to answer the following questions: What's a typical electron-hole recombination time of semiconductors? And how does it depend on the temperature and the ...
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2answers
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Why are only Group III & V elements used for doping?

Only group III & IV are used for doping in elemental semiconductors like Si and Ge, why can't other groups be used instead?
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Layered CMOS structure question

I am trying to understand the workings of a CMOS image sensor. I understand that increasing wavelength results in an increased penetration depth in the silicon often used in CMOS image sensors. What ...
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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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1answer
612 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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1answer
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Analogy in combination of batteries in series and pn junction diode circuit to find potential difference

Can I use the analogy of combination of two batteries to get the potential difference between two points(by applying Kirchhoff's law) in case ,if a pn junction diode is used in the place of other ...
5
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1answer
147 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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Why do solar cells have a window layer on top of the absorber layer 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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What is injection level (semiconductor physics)?

I am currently reading journal articles about semiconductor physics in solar cells. What is injection level? I'll try to start off with what I understand. Photons hitting the silicon cause its ...
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How does annealing improves the ohmic contact?

Suppose we have a p-type material and metal contacts deposited taking the work function of a metal and semiconductor into account. At room temperature (depending on the doping level) they might now ...
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0answers
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Model for a thin metal/semiconductor junction?

Are there any books or articles that describe models for transport in a metal/semiconductor junction where the thickness of the semiconductor is less than the thickness of the depletion/accumulation ...