What are Semiconductor Materials Characteristics?

university wafer substrates

Semiconductor Materials Characteristics

As of today, Silicon (Si) is still the most important material used in Silicon. Silicon wafers are used to fabricate devices. Si's unique physical and chemical properties provide the semiconductor industry with a cheap and abundant supply.

Get Your Quote FAST!

Melting Points of Different Semiconductor Materials






Melting Point Celcius 1412 937 1238 ~1700
Atomic Weight 28.09 72.6 144.63 60.08
Atomic density (atoms/cm3) 4.00 x 10 to the 22 4.42 x 10 to the 22 2.21 x 10 to the 22 2.3 x 10 to the 22
Energy Band GaP (eV) 1.11 0.67 1.40 ~8

What Are the Characteristics of a Semiconductor?

A semiconductor is a material that has a very low electrical resistance. It is very pure chemically and has only one defining characteristic: conduction. When exposed to an electric field, electrons in this material will move at a very high speed. The same applies to holes. When the temperature of a semiconductor is raised, however, the conduction property of the material will decrease. In this article, we'll explore the different types of semiconductors and their characteristics.

A semiconductor is a class of crystalline solids that are intermediate in electrical conductivity between an insulator and a metal. They are commonly used in electronic devices, including diodes, transistors, integrated circuits, optical sensors, light emitters, and power devices. These materials have extremely broad current- and voltage-handling capabilities, allowing them to be integrated into complex microelectronic circuits. But what are the characteristics of a typical semiconductor?

The atomic structure of a semiconductor material is periodic, with atoms arranged in a three-dimensional arrangement. A silicon crystal contains four electrons in its outer orbit, with the remaining four in the inner-most orbit. The shared electron pairs in a semiconductor are called covalent bonds, which hold two atoms together. These bonds exist because they are unable to form between two isolated atoms. When the vacancies are filled, an electron moves into the vacancy to fill them. The result is a material that conducts electricity.

How Do Impurities in a Semiconductor Affect Charge Transport?

Impurities in semiconductors can cause two different types of compensation. Magnetic impurities and Static disorder affect charge transport differently. This article will provide an overview of the different types of compensation. You can use this knowledge to design circuits that use these different types of compensation. You can even model the effect of impurities in semiconductors. Just make sure to read the complete article before attempting to solve any equations!

Static disorder

Electrons move in an electrically conductive semiconductor if the energy levels in their orbitals are asymmetric. This asymmetry can be described by the expectation value of the variance of their energy levels over time. The total conformational disorder can be calculated as the quadratic sum of the dynamic and static disorder. Electrons with low hopping rates will be asymmetric and will move in shallow traps.

This effect is caused by a disordering mechanism that is controlled by the density of states in the system. The amount of static disorder in the material affects the charge transport mechanism in various ways. In one approach, it is a consequence of the structural disorder causing the diffusion. In a different approach, charge migration in the crystalline system is dominated by molecular pairs with maximum electronic coupling while in the amorphous, small coupling is observed.

This study shows how the degree of static disorder in a semiconductor depends on the morphology of the material. In the case of a TIPS-pentacene semiconductor, the degree of delocalization is minimized when the dielectric constant is high. Moreover, the total carrier concentration, the Fermi energy, and the Boltzmann constant are important parameters in this study. Moreover, the delocalization degree is related to the degree of electronic interaction between the molecules.

This study also studied the effect of energetic disorder on charge transport in the cryo-NPD. Charge hopping occurs in the forward direction of the device. However, it is not clear whether the forward direction is favored over the backward direction. Moreover, it is unknown if this type of energetic disorder affects charge transport. A further study would have to be conducted on these materials to determine if they can be used in energy-efficient applications.

Molecular-level (ML) models were trained using DFT energies and multiscale modeling simulations. These models were trained to predict the energy level distribution of complete MD trajectories of disordered thin films. These models were trained on 38 million energy levels, and this data was analyzed by the models. The quantum mechanical calculations required by this study would not have been feasible without the ML models.

Magnetic Impurities

In a DMS system with strongly localized carriers, charge transport occurs. In the diagram below, localized holes are indicated by black arrows, while dotted regions indicate regions containing magnetic impurities with polarized spins. The polarized regions coalesce into an infinite cluster, spanning the entire sample. The holes facilitate charge transport by hopping between the localization sites. The holes must avoid the free sites because of on-site repulsion. At high-temperatures, such as those at T Tc, hopping to sites that are already occupied by other holes is rare.

To understand how magnetic impurities affect charge transport, we must first understand how they affect semiconductor properties. The transition from non-ferromagnetic to ferromagnetic occurs first and foremost in regions with a high charge-carrier density. The higher the density of charge carriers, the stronger the effective exchange interaction. Hence, ferromagnetic trans-ition will begin in local regions. However, we must also keep in mind that charge carriers do not change their spin orientation with a magnetic field.

Superconductivity in graphite is caused by sulfur doping and rearranging the adsorbed oxygen on the surface of graphite. This phenomenon has nothing to do with ferromagnetic impurities. For example, ferromagnetic states are stable even in the presence of a large number of TM impurities. This can be explained in many ways. A few examples are discussed below.

If a semiconductor is doped with an equal number of p and n elements, it is called an i-type semiconductor. If it contains a greater number of p-type semiconductors, the effect of these impurities is negligible. In contrast, p-type semiconductors are doped with Group V elements and are therefore electrically conductive. Moreover, Group V elements are said to act as an electron donor while Group III elements are said to be an electron acceptor.

The most widely studied charge-transport mechanism in semiconductors is known as molecular hopping. This type of electron conduction is intermediate between classical band-like Bloch electron conduction and molecular hopping. Both types of conduction are based on the same physics, but there are some key differences. To understand the charge-transport mechanism, it is necessary to understand what factors limit charge carrier mobility.

Ionized Impurities

Ionized impurities in semiconductors reduce carrier mobility. The carriers scatter from ionized impurities and lattice vibrations. The population of lattice vibrations increases with increasing temperature, thus lowering carrier mobility. Surfaces also scatter carriers; therefore, narrow lines of a semiconductor will have lower effective mobility than vast expanses. Neutral impurities also scatter carriers, but at lower rates than ionized ones.

The mobility of charge carriers in polycrystalline samples is determined by grain boundary scattering. The accumulated electrostatic charge at the intergrain boundaries sets up potential barriers to the current flow. This scattering normally exhibits a temperature dependence, and the Prins et al. model predicts that the conductivity of polycrystalline samples is dependent on the bulk parameters, including the height and width of barrier layers and the degree of sample inhomogeneity.

The total energy of a single ionized impurity is related to the sheet density of a given nanowire. The acoustic and optical phonon rates vary with the concentration of impurities, and surface roughness scattering affects the total mobilities. Hence, circular nanowires have higher mobilities than square ones and the effect of II scattering is more evident at high impurity concentrations.

In addition to the ionization of semiconductors, impurities also affect the mobility of electrons. The ionized impurities in semiconductors affect electron mobility via the scattering mechanism. The higher the impurity concentration, the higher the Ii rate. However, this is only an indicator of the presence of ionized impurities. Ionized impurities in semiconductors are more than just a nuisance.

Ionized impurities in semiconductors increase the mobility of carrier electrons by excitation near the Dirac point. The mobility of carriers increases with n, but monotonically decreases at large n. Moreover, the mobility of electrons is dominated by short-range defect scattering. In addition, the mobility of electrons in pure semiconductors is almost constant during the discharge regime.

High dopant concentrations reduce carrier mobility. Hence, the carrier mobility in a doped sample is 18 cm2/Vs. The negative barrier height results from this doping. The Fermi level is in the conduction band, but the electrons in a heavily doped sample have higher electron density. The Fermi level is in the region where the conduction band meets the impurity levels.

Compensation Caused by Impurities

Impurities in a semiconductor create a large density gradient, PN junction, in which electrons from donor impurity atoms migrate across the newly formed junction to fill up holes in the P-type material. The electrons are then taken out of the donor ions on the negative side of the PN junction by the acceptor impurity atoms. The process repeats on the other side of the PN junction.

The deep level model of compensation describes the position of the Fermi level in a semiconductor as a function of impurity concentration. Impurities in semiconductors have dangling bonds associated with them, and dangling bonds can act as hole and electron traps when they are occupied. The dangling bonds are important in determining the compensation caused by impurities in a semiconductor.

In wide-band-gap semiconductors, doping with impurities results in spontaneous compensation of the opposite-charged intrinsic defects. This suppression suppresses Fermi level shifting and leads to the invalid control of free carriers. The generated non-equilibrium carriers inhibit the generation of native defects of the donor type. This explains the observed polarization in wide-band-gap semiconductors.

Video: Scattering in Semiconductors


Silicon's Atomic Structure

Silicon's atomic structure includes the following:

  • Electrons
  • Protons
  • Neutrons

Silicon on the Periodic TableSilicon, although abundant, is not found in pure form. Si must be purified by refining it.

The melting point of Silicon 1412 deg C.

Pure Silicon is called Intrinsic Silicon and it has no impurities.

An example of Intrinsic Silicon specs are as follows:

100mm Intrinsic FZ Si (100) >20,000 ohm-cm 500um SSP

Silicon makes up around 85% of the material used in Semiconductors. But why Silicon and not another material?

Why Use Silicon in Semiconductors?

Below are the main reasons why Silicon and not Germanium, the first semiconductor, is used in semiconductors.

  • Silicon is the second most abundant material on earth after carbon. Silicon Silicon Dioxide on Silicon Wafermakes up 25% of the earth crust.
  • Silicon has a higher melting point to withstand higher processing temps.
  • Silicon has a wider range of temperatures that it can function under. So from cold to hot, Silicon performance surpasses most other materials such as Germanium.
  • Silicon dioxide (SiO2) grows naturally on the surface of Silicon Wafers. SiO2 is stable insulator required in semiconductors. The mechanical properties of SiO2 means you can process the wafer at high-temp without the wafer warping.

Doping Silicon

No only can Silicon be purfied to make it Intrinsic (undoped), silicon can also be doped to create Extrinsic Silicon.

So extrinsic silicon is impure. But it's done on purpose to increase semiconductor conductivity.

Adding impurities or doping can change the electrical conductivitiy of the semiconductor.

Doped Silicon Resistivity

Doping pure silicon reduces resistivity while it improved conductivity.

Silicon P-N Junctions

The heart of solid-state electronics is the pn junction. Pn junctions and is the reason why semiconductors can act as both an insulator and as a conductor.

Semiconductor Mechanical Materials Properties

The mechanical properties of semiconductors determine the electronic and optical properties, which are still the subject of extensive investigations. In order to limit and exploit impurities, atoms and crystal defects, it is necessary to develop a method for producing satisfactory semiconductor materials, which forms the basis for the development of so-called "semiconductor material technology." Due to the required level of perfection of the crystal structure required for the manufacture of semicurate components, special methods have been developed to produce the first semicodelectric materials. [Sources: 1, 5, 13]

This method, in which a thin film of semiconductors is layered on a heat-sensitive substrate material, offers the possibility of triggering changes in the properties of the semiconductor material electronically. It offers a new way to electronically trigger the change in the properties of semicodelectric materials, such as the absorption of light and the heat transfer from the surface to the subatomic plane. This method, which involves placing thick - or thin - chip layers over a heat-sensitive substrate, offers an alternative to conventional methods that electronically trigger the change in the property of a half-hearted material: the use of high-temperature heat. [Sources: 10]

The special properties of a semiconductor are determined by the materials used and the layering of these materials in the device. The size and characteristic parameters of semiconductors in a material have a significant influence on their properties, such as the absorption of light and heat transfer from the surface to the subatomic plane. [Sources: 9, 13]

The doping of a semiconductor, such as silicon, increases the number of free electrons (holes) in the semiconductors considerably. In this case, it can be said that by adding trivalent impurities (atoms) to the inner silicon semiconductor material, the number of current carriers can be increased and the conductivity of the silicon material can be improved. An intrinsic semicode electrical material can also be doped, so that it has more holes. By adding more free electron hole contamination, this can not only increase the number of holes, but also in some ways increase, in some cases even decrease, the number of electrons. [Sources: 1, 6]

The main property of an intrinsic semiconductor is the number of holes (electrons) that pass the current in this type of semiconductor. [Sources: 7]

Semiconductors doped with quintuple atoms are semiconductors of type n, because they are all holes, but if they are electrons, then they are p-types of semiconductors. Semiconductors dosed with trivalent atoms are not n-types of sediments because they do not carry electricity as negatively charged electrons (they have charge carriers known as electrons and holes). N semiconductors are extrinsic semic conductors in which the dopant atom is able to provide an additional conductive electron. The specific properties of these chips depend heavily on their impurities (doping), but the specific properties of each semicurate strongly depend on its impurities, or "doping agents." [Sources: 2, 6, 11]

This is used to produce n-like semiconductor materials that add electrons to the conductor band, increasing the number of electrons. [Sources: 0]

Composite semiconductors have properties that are useful for electronic devices and devices. They offer a wide range of properties such as high power, low power consumption, high conductivity and high electrical conductivity. [Sources: 12]

The main reason why semiconductor materials are so useful is that the behavior of semiconductors can be easily manipulated by adding impurities known as doping. The electronic properties and conductivity of a half-curate are modified in a controlled way by adding other elements, so-called doping, to the intrinsic material. Intrinsic properties can also be found in doped elements and even other elements that have been "doped" when introducing other desired properties. [Sources: 1, 3, 4]

A small amount of five-fold impurities is added to a pure semiconductor, resulting in extrinsic N-type semiconductors. Small amounts of trivalent impurities were added to pure silicon and its inner material in a small number of ways to produce P-type semiconductors, extrinsic conductors such as P-2, N-1 and S-3. Low doping can also cause a large increase in the electrical conductivity of the material, for example by adding small amounts of p-4, P1 and P2. [Sources: 15]

Chapter 3 shows how these phenomena can be applied to elementary compounds in semiconductors and offers a new approach to understanding the plasticity of semiconductor materials. Volume 1 begins with an overview of the elastic properties of all semic conductors, including elementary compounds and pseudobinary alloys of a semic conductor, and a description of their properties. [Sources: 5]

The aim of this volume is to describe the role that semiconductors have played in modern semiconductor technology. To understand the properties of semiconductor materials, we should know the basics that are related to them. Semiconductor materials have electrical conductivity values that fall into three main categories: high, medium and low - conductive. [Sources: 5, 7, 14]

The proportion of major impurities in each atom can be less than one in ten billion, and in fact the greatest values of the dielectric constant are between 0.1 and 1.5 parts per billion in high-purity materials. Germanium - Silicon is the purest semiconductor material you can get. It is one of the most common semiconductor materials used in optical detectors and is a good candidate for the development of optical sensors such as optical microscopes. [Sources: 8, 9, 13]


[0]: https://asdn.net/asdn/physics/semiconductor.php

[1]: https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Semiconductor

[2]: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/introchem/chapter/semiconductors/

[3]: https://metallurgyfordummies.com/semiconductor-materials.html

[5]: https://authors.library.caltech.edu/49710/

[6]: https://www.circuitbread.com/tutorials/basics-of-semiconductors

[7]: https://pnpntransistor.com/semiconductor-properties-types-uses/

[8]: https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Semiconductor+materials

[9]: http://www.tpub.com/neets/tm/111-2.htm

[10]: https://phys.org/news/2016-10-semiconductor-properties-room-temperature.html

[11]: https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Semiconductor

[12]: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/06/10/2046424/0/en/Compound-Semiconductor-Materials-Market-To-Reach-USD-66-66-Billion-By-2027-Reports-and-Data.html

[13]: https://www.utmel.com/blog/categories/semiconductor/semiconductor-materials-types-properties-and-production-process

[14]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiconductor

What is the behavior of semiconductors?

Listed below are some basic facts about the materials used in semiconductors, such as the type of electrons in the material, the presence of a covalent bond, and the absorption rate. These facts should help you understand how the properties of semiconductors are affected by electric fields. To begin with, let's look at the difference between crystalline and amorphous silicon. Amorphous silicon is much more absorbent than crystalline silicon.

n-type semiconductors have an excess of electrons

A n-type semiconductor is an electrically neutral material with an excess of 'free' electrons. These electrons move freely within the crystal lattice due to the presence of immobile donors, such as nuclear protons and lower-band atoms. Free electrons are created by donating an ion from an impure atom, leaving a positive charge on the donor atom. A free electron is not always electrically neutral, so it is important to understand why n-type semiconductors are sometimes not completely neutral.

semiconductor properties explained

Phosphorus, Arsenic, and Niobium are all elements that are able to donate an electron. These elements can be used to dope silicon, diamond, and other n-type semiconductors. While these naturally-occurring semiconductors are poor conductors, they can be doped with a donor element to produce a better semiconductor material. In addition to Niobium, other elements, such as Antimony or Arsenic, can also dop semiconductors.

In an n-type semiconductor, electrons move left to right through the crystal lattice, much like electrons move in a metallic wire. The electrical field moves electrons from a p-type region to an n-type region and vice versa. The p-n junction is formed when an excess of electrons in one semiconductor causes an excess of electrons in another. This causes electrons to diffuse from a high concentration region to a low-concentration region. When this happens, a restoring electric field is created, balancing the movement of electrons.

Another difference between n-type and p-type semiconductors is the presence of donor impurities. Donor impurities donate negatively charged electrons to semiconductors. The result is that the amount of electrons in an n-type semiconductor is greater than that of the p-type. As a result, electrons are the majority and holes are the minority carriers. This difference is necessary to understand how semiconductors work in electronic circuits.

Amorphous silicon is more absorbent than crystalline silicon

Amorphous silicon is a much more absorbent material than crystalline silicon, and the difference is quite dramatic. Amorphous silicon has been the subject of intense research over the past decade. It has been used for low-cost photovoltaic solar cells, electronic devices, displays, and imaging optical sensors. Its popularity in the photovoltaic industry has fueled research into using amorphous silicon in detectors.

In order to make solar cells, amorphous silicon is more absorbent than a crystalline counterpart. Its atoms are arranged randomly and have an unsatisfied bond. Typical amorphous silicon contains around 15% hydrogen, which helps reduce recombination. It has a higher absorption coefficient than crystalline silicon, and its bandgap energy is higher than bulk silicon. This makes it more efficient than crystalline silicon, but thin-film amorphous solar cells do not have as much efficiency as wafer-based crystalline silicon.

In addition to being more absorbent, amorphous silicon can be amorphized by hydrogenation. CVD and PVD processes can be used to deposit amorphous silicon onto substrates. However, they are not as versatile as single-crystal silicon, and are not suitable for high-frequency applications. They are also more prone to defects and damage than crystalline silicon.

Hydrogenated amorphous silicon is a potential material for making inexpensive solar cells. Hydrogenation of amorphous silicon makes a thin film less than 1 um thick, while conventional silicon requires hundreds of micrometers. Another advantage is its low material cost. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon is grown by plasma deposition at temperatures below 300 degrees Celsius. These low temperatures and pressures are ideal for large-scale production.

What is the presence of a covalent bond in a semiconductor

The existence of a covalent bond between two atoms in a semiconductor is critical to the material's ability to function as a semiconductor. These bonds allow atoms to move electrons and holes from one another in a crystal lattice. Electrons are emitted when an electric field is applied to the material, while holes are generated when an electron escapes a bond. These free carriers are reactive to changes in temperature and electric field, as well as to light.

The presence of a covalent bond in a semiconductor also influences the material's electrical properties. Electrons in a covalent bond cannot participate in absorption or current flow and cannot change their energy. Because of this, a semiconductor can be used for electronic devices such as transistors and microprocessors. To make semiconductor devices, these materials are used in combination with passive components.

A semiconductor has two distinct bands, the conduction band and the valence band. This is because electrons must move between the two bands in order to conduct electrical current. Above this point, the electrons become randomized or smeared out. Electrons in this band are called "free electrons" and are typically labeled as such. However, a semiconductor may have one or more different valence bands, causing it to be more or less inactive.

The presence of a covalent bond also determines the material's thermal conductivity. Phosphorus is a popular semiconductor material, with a 5x1022 atoms per cubic centimeter. Adding phosphorus to silicon causes an increase in the density of the p-type material. The electrons migrate across the newly formed PN junction and fill up the holes on the P-type material. Electrons from the donor atoms migrate across the PN junction to the negative side, and this process happens again.

The effect of electric field on semiconductors material properties

A semiconductor is a device that contains a layer of material that is regulated by an electric field. In this way, a semiconductor can have its properties changed. The electric field is an important factor in semiconductor materials, as it controls the electron mobility and the charge of the material. In addition to controlling the electron mobility, the electric field can also control the valence band conductivity. This section will discuss some of these important properties.

A typical semiconductor is made from one of several materials. Materials such as titanium dioxide and iron(III) oxide are regarded as semiconductors. Titanium dioxide has a higher specific surface area than silica. Alumina and silica both have an energy gap of approximately 6 eV and the largest surface areas. In addition, all other investigated samples are single-phase, except for the TiO2 semiconductor which contains rutile (12% w/v).

The application of an electric field can activate the catalytic properties of semiconductors. For instance, the transition of wet CO2 to CO over Fe2O3 is possible with a strong electric field of 104 V/cm. This mechanism is superior to UV-vis radiation and is considered to be more effective. However, a larger electric field is required to activate the catalytic properties of the semiconductor.

The effect of an electric field on semiconductors is a key feature of modern electronic devices. Electrons flow toward the p-side of the junction, filling the holes on the p-side. During this process, oppositely charged ions are accumulated at the junction, creating a barrier that prevents the electrons from further migrating. Therefore, semiconductors exhibit the most efficient electronics.

Tin is a good electrical conductor

While the metallic form of tin is a poor electrical conductor, its diamond crystal structure makes it a good one. Similarly, semiconductors are inherently poor conductors above their transition temperatures, but they have important applications. In semiconductors, tin is a good electrical conductor when used in a high-voltage electronic device, while pure silicon or germanium is an excellent conductor only at moderate temperatures.

The energy gap between the valence and conduction bands is a key characteristic of semiconductors. While a conductor has a gap between these two regions, a semiconductor has one less than half the width of the band gap. Similarly, a semiconductor has a large band gap and a small atomic radius. Compared to a metal, a semiconductor's energy gap is less than half the length of the atom's atomic radius, so a thin strip of tin can act as a transparent conductor.

Electrical current can flow freely through a conductor and not in an insulator. Metals, such as copper, are known to be good electrical conductors. Non-metallic solids are insulators because their atoms tightly hold their electrons. Copper, on the other hand, has electrons that are essentially free and repel each other. This process propagates the flow of electricity in a "domino" fashion through the conductor.

The amount of valence electrons in an atom determines its conductivity. Conductors have one or two valence electrons, while insulators have four. Hence, copper and silver are good conductors. By comparison, graphite and silver are poor conductors. They are both light and durable. The list of non-metals that are good conductors of electricity is not complete.

Video: What are Semiconductor Materials Properties