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Sunday, December 1, 2019

#416 Crystallographic order plays key role

The extent to which spatial distribution of atoms in the solid such as silicon for instance is ordered, and what is the geometrical nature of the ensuing crystallographic order defines key electronic characteristics of any given semiconductor material. In terms of crystallographic order two distinct cases are represented by (i) crystals featuring a long-range periodic order and (ii) non-crystalline materials, commonly referred to as amorphous materials in which, in contrast to crystals, atomic arrangement exhibits no periodicity or long-range order.


Among crystals, single-crystal and poly-crystalline materials (in some situations also referred to as multicrystalline materials) are distinguished. In the former case, periodic long-range order is maintained throughout the entire piece of material while in the latter case such order is maintained only within the limited in volume grains which are randomly connected to form a solid. An amorphous, non-crystalline material does not feature a long-range order at all and in general features inferior to crystalline materials electronic properties. Don’t this last observation make you conclude that the amorphous materials are of lesser use than crystals. This is not the case because some semiconductor materials are very difficult to obtain in the single-crystal form, yet are broadly used, while some other are used on purpose in the amorphous form because of their lower cost than single-crystals and certain inherent properties which make them especially useful in some applications.

Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 09:23 AM | Semiconductors | Link is a personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University. With over forty years' experience in academic research and teaching in semiconductor engineering he has a unique perspective on the developments in this technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

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With over 2000 terms defined and explained, Semiconductor Glossary is the most complete reference in the field of semiconductors on the market today.


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