0
$\begingroup$

According to this slide (from this website), the potential energy of an electron in a semiconductor is defined by the difference between the Energy level of the conduction band and the fermi level. But what is the physical meaning? (e.g. I understand that a higher object has more energy than a object closer to the ground). And why is the potential energy not defined as the difference between the energy level of the electron and the fermi level? enter image description here

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "why is the potential energy not defined as the difference between the energy level of the electron and the fermi level" It is the same thing. The energy level of the conduction band is just a way to talk about the energy the electrons in the conduction band may attain. So this is the difference between electron energy level and fermi level. $\endgroup$ – Steeven Apr 20 '16 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ We also cannot really talk about discrete energy levels because they are so closely packed in a semiconductor and merged into the conduction band $\endgroup$ – Secret Apr 20 '16 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Steeven, so can't electrons have a higher energy than the (fixed) energy level of the conduction band? $\endgroup$ – Simon Ravelingien Apr 23 '16 at 15:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.