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Sunday, April 24, 2016

#343 Semiconductor material engineering, part. I

As a follow up to the previous post discussing the role of alterations of composition of solids a few remarks regarding specifically semiconductors (see also blog #341).


First and foremost it needs to be emphasized that with an exception of the very specialized p-n junctions which included intrinsic (undoped) “i” component (p-i-n junctions), all semiconductor devices are manufactured used doped material. In fact our ability to control concentration of alien elements in the host material is a foundation of semiconductor device technology. In short, our ability to process diodes and transistors is based on the choice of the dopant type, making semiconductor either p- or n-type, and dopant concentration which allows control over its electrical conductivity.


Importance of dopants in semiconductor device technology is such that unless semiconductor material has elements that can make it either p-type or n-type, its usefulness in the manufacture of diodes and transistor is close to zero. An example of such material is diamond which in theory is an excellent semiconductor, but in practice is hardly used to make commercial devices because no element in the periodic table can effectively make into a device-grade n-type material.


Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 08:54 AM | Semiconductors | Link is the personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. With over 35 years of experience in academic research and teaching in the area of semiconductor engineering (currently holding position of a Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University), he has a unique perspective on the developments in this progress driving technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

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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