Solid-state physics studies how macroscopic properties of solids (mechanical, electrical, optical, etc.) result from their microscopic structure. It usually deals with the scale where quantum properties of the particles are substantial.

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Bloch wave function orthonormality?

there is this text book that is giving me a hard time for a while now: It shows that Bloch wave functions can be written as $$\Psi_{n\vec{k}}\left(\vec{r}\right) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{V}}e^{i\vec k \vec ...
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416 views

Interpretation Born-Von Karman boundary conditions

The cyclic Born-Von Karman boundary condition says that if we consider a one dimensional lattice with length $L$, and if $\psi(x,t)$ is the wavefunction of an electron in this lattice, then we can say ...
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142 views

Interpreting a Hamiltonian in terms of 'hopping' operators

I am having some trouble interpreting a Hamiltonian in terms of "hopping" operators. The Huckel model for nearest neighbour interaction in graphene is given by $$H=-t\sum_\vec{R}|\vec ...
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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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375 views

Question about the quantization of lattice vibration (phonons)

In my syllabus about solid state physics they state that lattice vibration is quantized, analogous to the harmonic oscillator: $$E = (n+\frac{1}{2})\hbar\omega$$ So the lattice vibration has ...
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144 views

Hall effect with similar positive and negative carriers?

The Hall effect includes the transverse (to the flow of current) electric field set up by the charges which accumulate on the edges, to counter the magnetic component of the Lorentz force acting on ...
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394 views

Probability of Different States - Canonical Ensemble - Partition Function

Consider a canonical ensemble of $N$ ideal gas atoms, which could have spin up or spin down. Why is it that the probability of finding the particle in a spin up state generally only involves the ...
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153 views

Average number of spin up particles

In a paramagnetic system, where $N = N_\uparrow + N_\downarrow$ is fixed, how does one calculate the average number of spin-up particles $\langle N_\uparrow \rangle$? You can assume we have the ...
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627 views

Partition Function for Two Level System

I have a system with $N_s$ sites and $N$ particles, such that $N_s >> N >> 1$. If a site has no particle, then there is zero energy associated with that site. The $N$ particles occupy the ...
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90 views

Brillouin Zones in a nanowire

My professor told me something I didn't understand the other day: I was reading a paper on a crystalline nanowire (NW), and in the paper they look at how the band structure changes (from that of the ...
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138 views

Holes in a P-type semiconductor under external force E

Basically in almost every semiconductor texts, there will be all these concepts concerning electrons, holes, dopants, fermi-levels. However, I have been always confused about the picture of hole ...
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148 views

Paramagnetism and large N

In a paramagnetic system, we have: $$N = N_\uparrow + N_\downarrow$$. If we have a large system, with $N >> 1$, is it generally okay to assume $N_\uparrow \approx \frac{N}{2}$ and ...
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208 views

Distinguishable, Indistinguishable Paramagnetic Ideal Gas

In the canonical ensemble, the partition function for an ideal gas is given by: $$\frac{Z}{N!}$$ The factor $N!$ accounts for the indistinguishability of the particles of the ideal gas. What ...
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471 views

Paramagnetism Spin-1/2 Particles - Partition Function

I'm trying to come up with an expression for the partition function of a system of spin-1/2 ideal gas particles on a line of length $L$. The total number of particles $N$ is fixed, with $N = ...
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55 views

Long range repulsion in anomalous solids

As far as I know things like rocks, walls, rubber balls, polished tables etc. exert a short range repulsive force on other everyday objects that is responsible for hardness, softness, collisions, ...
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Can plasma turn back into gas, solid, or liquid?

I wanted to know if, since basic chemistry teaches you that states of matter can be changed, I was wondering particularly about plasma. I know that virtually all of the Sun is plasma, so I was ...
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204 views

Calculate the change in the Fermi energy as the temperature is raised

Sodium has a volume expansion coefficient of $15 * 10^{-5} K^{-1}$. Calculate the percentage change in the fermi energy as the temperature is raised from $T = 0K$ to $T = 300K$. My attempt at the ...
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114 views

Electric field and capacitance across a resistor

Using a simple lattice model of conduction, where electrons are accelerated by an electric field, and are slowed down by bumping into the lattice, you get the following equation for current density: ...
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44 views

Momentum of light in medium [duplicate]

Maybe this has been asked before, but I didn't find anything about it. I am wondering about the momentum of light in media with refractive index n>1 (so to say, not in vacuum). There are two ...
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170 views

Anisotropic refractive index with isotropic components?

In relation to my question here I wanted to make sure that my physical argument was not flawed. Anisotropic properties, (especially refractive index) is characteristic of a well-ordered solid ...
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67 views

Why do excitonic absorptions have small bandwidth?

Below is an image of the optical density (proportional to the absorption coefficient) of KBr crystal at low temperature. Indicated at 6.6 ev and 7.7 eV are the absorption by excitons. As you can see, ...
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685 views

Determining if a semiconductor is n-type, p-type or intrinsic

The probability that an energy state in the conduction band is occupied by an electron is 0.001. Would this semiconductor then be n-type, p-type, or intrinsic? Notation that I use: $E_F$ represents ...
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130 views

Determining Fourier Coefficients by inspection

I'm beginning to learn about Fourier series/transforms. My teacher hopes that by now we should be able to examine a simple potential function and decompose it without having to actually do the ...
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170 views

What determines Phonon - Phonon collisions?

I was in Solid State Physics lecture yesterday and we BRIEFLY went over what causes phonons to collide with one another. Things such as crystal imperfections, boundaries, Temperature, but I was ...
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Is there a derivation of all possible Bravais lattices in 2D and 3D?

Do any of you know a (possibly elegant) derivation of all possible Bravais Lattice and the Crystallographic Group of Lattices in 2 and 3 dimensions? Group theory /abstract nonsense approaches are ...
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102 views

Photoelectric effect high frequency limit?

The photoelectric effect has a low frequency limit below which nothing is observed. Increasing the frequency energy is enough to free an electron. Continuing to increase the frequency the material ...
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What are the six degrees of freedom of the atoms in a solid?

A monoatomic ideal gas has heat capacity $C_v=1.5$ which comes from the three translational degrees of freedom. For solids at high temperature, $C_v=3$, implying six degrees of freedom. What are ...
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337 views

Derivation of Matrix Components of Hamiltonian in Tight Binding Method

Im currently struggling with the description of the tight binding method in the original paper by Slater and Koster from 1954 (where a free version of the paper can be found under this link). In ...
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48 views

What happens to the impinging light if its wavelength is smaller than the absorption band of a semiconductor?

Are all wavelengths absorbed in the semiconductor regardless of material's absorption band?
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What are some common errors when it comes to measuring hall voltage of a semiconductor?

What are some common errors when it comes to measuring hall voltage of a semiconductor? I've thought of two errors: Adjusting the potentiometer so that the width of the conductor would start with 0 ...
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92 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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82 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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221 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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186 views

Is the thickness of a sample related to the intensity of x-ray diffraction?

I understand that in general if we're adding more planes of atoms (increasing thickness of sample) then the intensity would increase because we have more constructive interference. But isn't there a ...
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196 views

How should I think about reciprocal lattice and Miller indices?

When I hear someone talking about a (100) plane or a (111) plane or an (hkl) in general, my first thought is, is the system cubic. The reason I think this is because I tend NOT to think of the planes ...
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63 views

Stress and Mass Density Distribution

I'm simulating electromigration in a copper wire using COMSOL and trying to see the back-stress caused by material transport. However, I do not see any stress growth. In other words, the atomic ...
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173 views

Domain of validity for semiconductor equations

If I understand correctly, the distinction between semiconductors and insulators is a matter of convention? A semiconductor is basically an insulator with an (enough) narrow band gap, usually around ...
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512 views

when we rub objects together, what determines which material will pick up electrons?

For example We know glass when rubbed by silk will become positively charged while the silk will be charged negative. What exactly makes glass appropriate for losing electrons in that experiment? (
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102 views

Where do electrical charges go, on a nonconductor dielectric when we make it charged?

My question is about electrically nonconductor dielectrics. We know such materials don't possess free charges.They have atoms bound together and every atom has specific numbers of electrons turning ...
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174 views

Connecting Fermi levels and band diagrams to potential diagrams?

I'm trying to make sense of how you can find the potential diagram given the band diagrams of a few adjacent materials. As a simple example, in semiconducting heterostructures, if you have sandwich ...
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230 views

How to demonstrate that there are just 14 types of Bravais lattice?

Is it possible to demonstrate that there are just 14 types of Bravais lattice without the knowledge of group theory?
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172 views

Simultaneous diagonalization of Hamiltonian and momentum operator

I'm looking at a translationally invariant problem with 3 atoms arranged in a circle each with one valence electron capable of tunelling to either of its two neighbors. With a tunelling rate of ...
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52 views

Why can I see the 5D0 to 7F3 transition in the trivalent Eu?

According to the selection rules of the intra-configurational f-f transitions, if the J of the initial or final state is zero, a transition with $\Delta J = 3$ is forbidden by electrical dipole, ...
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1k views

Geometric Structure Factor for Monatomic FCC lattice

I am trying to find the geometric structure factor and my work here is clearly wrong. I will put my wrong answer and then I will throw up the link to wikipedia for the correct answer, because I cannot ...
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2answers
184 views

A few questions about the Fermi Level/Energy

My first question is, how is the Fermi Energy for a material actually determined? I know this derivation, but it seems to say that the Fermi Energy is just based on the electron density (and maybe ...
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301 views

Why do some things crystallize? (And others don't, for that matter.)

Ice, for example, will form a crystal when frozen under certain circumstances. Why is this the case for ice? While on the subject of water crystallization, why do snowflakes usually form in base 6 ...
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671 views

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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When is the Fermi surface a surface of constant mean curvature?

Fermi surfaces are surfaces of constant energy in reciprocal space. They provide information about the properties of a material in solid state physics. Constant mean curvature surfaces are a superset ...
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books/topics to get started on physics of semiconductors [duplicate]

i would like to know enough about the physics of semiconductors to the point that i can extrapolate certain properties of custom semiconductor pieces. i'll mostly be using Technology CAD to simulate ...
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199 views

Energy band diagram for solid state: what is the meaning of $k$?

I am having trouble with the meaning of the $k$ vectors in an energy diagram. If I want to populate some band, let say using a laser, what will be the significance of $k$? Does it correspond to the ...