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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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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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 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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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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140 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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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643 views

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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884 views

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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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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685 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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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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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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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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133 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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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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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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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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281 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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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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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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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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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 ...
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645 views

Can electrons move through vacuum?

I studied that electronics is the branch of physics which deals with the practical applications of moving electrons through vacuum, semi-conductors and gasses. Can electrons move through vacuum?
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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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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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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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silicon oxide - aluminium interface voltage

Let us consider a MOS (metal oxide semiconductor FET) system. Now the threshold voltage of aluminium of the gate of such a FET of 4.1 eV and that of the silicon oxide layer is different. My book ...
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What causes this IR emission in UV 365nm LED?

I've just got access to spectrometer and measuring spectrum of everything. But when I took a look at 365nm UV led from chinese UV flashlight I got something really strange - it had some IR at exactly ...
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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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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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What the heck is negative effective mass?

I am reading this book:Solid State Electronic Devices by Ben G Streetman and Sanjay Kumar Banerjee. I have some doubts in the article 3.2.2 Effective mass. In this the aythors say that ...
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Need help understanding Semiconductor physics

I am trying to read Kittel for a project, and he mentions the properties on silicon and germanium so briefly, that I don't understand it at all. He talks about p states, and I don't really know what ...
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1answer
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Is it possible to excite a semiconductor @ k=0?

Let us assume a direct semiconductor with parabolic band structure around the $\Gamma$ point (which is not bad for most semiconductors) in momentum ($k$) space. Now we excite it with light: I ...
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Why are there direct bandgaps?

This Question has been bugging me for sometime. Some semiconductors have direct bandgaps and indirect bandgaps. So what causes a direct bandgap to occur? The physics behind ,why there are direct ...
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Semi-conductors

Suppose there is a semiconductor with Fermi energy $E_f$ and that there are $N$ bound electron states. I'd like to know why the mean number of excited electrons takes the form $$\bar n={N\over ...
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Fermi level in equilibrium and non-equilibrium situations

Why do the Fermi level for electrons and holes coincide in equilibrium condition and why do they separate as quasi-Fermi levels in non equilibrium situations?
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Turn-on delay time for Laser diode

Do you know any simple explanation on the reason why the turn-on delay time on a laser diode is reducing while we increase the bias current? Turn on delay,is the time that the laser needs from the ...
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1answer
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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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In a positively biased PN junction, where do the injection carriers come from?

I am not quite understand i-v character of PN-junction diode. Here is the model in textbook. The PN junction diode can be divided into three regions. They are One depletion region near the PN ...
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1answer
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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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Purchasing semiconductor substrates

I'd like to make a comparison of prices, availability and properties of semiconductor substrate layers like Si, Ge, GaP, AlN etc. I wonder what are the problems related to getting such data, what are ...
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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?