We know that there exist many types of materials around us. Materials are classified according to the composition and their property to conduct electricity. Materials based on their conducting capacity are classified as:
Conductors are the materials that have the capacity to pass electricity through them. Examples of conductors are copper, gold and silver. The property of the conductor to conduct electricity is known as conductivity. Insulators are materials that do not allow electricity to pass through them. Examples of insulators are rubber, paper, and wood.
Now let us know in detail about the material which revolutionized the age-old communication system and brought unpredictable changes in our lifestyle. The material that brought in the change in the communication system is the semiconductor material. Semiconductors, due to their wide range of properties, find their usage in all fields. Semiconductors are the chief materials in the electronics field. Semiconductor Electronics Materials are the key components of microchip, transistors, LED displays, solar cells and many more devices.
In this article, let us know the composition, properties and applications of the semiconductors in detail.
Semiconductors In Electronics
As we are aware, a semiconductor is a material whose electrical conductivity falls between that of a conductor and an insulator. The semiconductors can be made to behave according to the requirement, by controlling the conductivity. The conductivity of a semiconductor is increased by adding a small amount of pentavalent or trivalent atoms. The conductivity of a semiconductor is increased by adding a feeble quantity of impurities. Commonly known semiconductors are silicon and germanium.
The communication systems were developed with the invention of transistors and semiconductors. Silicon is extensively used in electronic circuit fabrication for the design and development of various electronic devices. Basic components of electronics like diodes, transistors, and integrated circuits are designed using semiconductor electronics materials.
Integrated circuits consist of transistors and other components embedded on a single chip. Photovoltaic cells are used for electrical powering to remote locations on satellites and are used in combination with storage batteries as well as for some outdoor lighting. It also finds applications in bar-code readers, automatic doors, burglar alarms, and fibre-optic communications devices too.
Let us know more about intrinsic semiconductor and extrinsic semiconductors.
Classification Of Semiconductors
Semiconductors are of two types:
- Intrinsic Semiconductor
- Extrinsic Semiconductor
Intrinsic type semiconductors are composed of a single type of materials and are chemically pure by nature. Examples of intrinsic semiconductors are silicon and germanium.
Extrinsic Semiconductors are not pure in nature; they are doped by adding impurity atoms to the pure semiconductors. This process of adding impurities to the semiconductor is known as doping. The conductivity of semiconductors can be greatly improved by doping. Extrinsic semiconductors are of two types:
- N-type Semiconductor
- P-type Semiconductor
When a semiconductor material is doped and features excess holes, it is known as p-type semiconductors, and when a semiconductor material is doped and features excess free electrons, it is known as n-type semiconductors. When a p-type semiconductor joins with n-type, P-N junction is formed. Most of the electronic components feature the P-N junction. Components like diodes and transistors depend on the P-N junction for their operation.
These semiconductors have revolutionized the way of electronics and communication and have changed the daily lifestyle of people.