Semiconductor Glossary, Developed Semi OneSource.
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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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Term (Index) Definition
work function  energy needed to move electron in the solid atom from the Fermi level to vacuum level, i.e. to outside of the atom; convenient reference while comparing energy state of various elements and predicting electrical properties of the contact between them.
work function difference  defines characteristics of contact between two materials featuring different work function; for conductor-semiconductor contact w.f.d. determines height of potential barrier in the contact plane, and hence, determines whether contact is ohmic or rectifying.
Term (Index) Definition
work function difference  defines characteristics of contact between two materials featuring different work function; for conductor-semiconductor contact w.f.d. determines height of potential barrier in the contact plane, and hence, determines whether contact is ohmic or rectifying.
ohmic contact  metal-semiconductor contact with very low resistance independent of applied voltage (may be represented by constant resistance); to form an "ohmic" contact metal and semiconductor must be selected such that there is no potential barrier formed at the interface (or potential barrier is so thin that charge carriers can readily tunnel through it).
potential barrier  increased potential at the junction between two materials featuring different work function; e.g. p-type and n-type semiconductor (p-n junction) or metal-semiconductor contact (Schottky diode); there is an electric field present in the barrier region; the width of the potential barrier depends on the semiconductor doping; the height of potential barrier changes with applied bias voltage (reverse bias - high potential barrier, forward bias - low potential barrier) which makes junction to display diode-like current-voltage characteristics.
rectifying contact  metal-semiconductor contact displaying asymmetric current-voltage characteristics, i.e. allowing high current to flow across under the forward bias condition and blocking current off under the reverse bias; this behavior is controlled by the bias voltage dependent changes of the potential barrier height in the contact region.
work function  energy needed to move electron in the solid atom from the Fermi level to vacuum level, i.e. to outside of the atom; convenient reference while comparing energy state of various elements and predicting electrical properties of the contact between them.
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Information in this glossary is provided at the author's discretion. Any liability based on, or related to the contents of this glossary is disclaimed.