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Sunday, September 20, 2020

#446 Semiconductor material choices: what else matters?

 In addition to those most obvious listed in the previous blog, there are other considerations influencing selection of semiconductor materials for various device commercial applications.

 

An important one is susceptibility to doping as both n-type and p-type doping should be possible with all semiconductor materials. Diamond for instance has an “n-type problem”. Being naturally p-type, diamond cannot be easily converted into n-type semiconductor which makes fabrication of p-n junction based devices in diamond a challenge. Too bad, as other than that, diamond is an excellent semiconductor. 

 

Thermal conductivity is another important parameter as it determines ability of semiconductor material to dissipate heat generated during device operation. By the way, diamond is an excellent conductor of heat.     

 

Oxidation characteristics of semiconductor material also come to play. Ability to form its own, device-grade native oxide is a major advantage of semiconductor material. Silicon excels in this regard and its unmatched by other semiconductors oxidation characteristics (growth of high-quality native oxide SiO2 by means of thermal oxidation) effectively opened the door to MOS (Metal Oxide Semiconductor) technology without which, as we all know, we wouldn’t be even close to where we are in terms of the impact of electronics on our lives.   

Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 11:12 AM | Semiconductors | Link



Semi1source.com/blog 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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