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Mps Lect 02 Why Silicon

Mps Lect 02 Why Silicon

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Published by: mpssassygirl on Mar 07, 2011
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Why Silicon?
Technological evolution toward integrated circuits began with development of anunderstanding of diode action and the invention of the transistor in the late 1940s. At thattime the semiconductor of greatest interest was germanium. Experiments withgermanium produced important knowledge about the growth of large single crystalshaving chemical purity and crystalline perfection that were previously unachievable.Gennanium is an element that crystallizes in a diamond-like lattice structure, in whicheach atom forms covalent bonds with its four nearest neighbors. The crystal structure isshown in Figure 1.
Figure 1 The diamond-crystal lattice characterized by four covalently bonded atoms. The lattice constant, denoted by
ao,
is
0.356, 0.543
and
0.565
nm for diamond, silicon, and germanium, respectively. Nearest neighbors are spaced
(\I3ao
/4)
units apart. Of the 18 atoms shown in the figure, only 8 belong to the volume
a03.
Because the
8
corner atoms are eachshared by
8
cubes, they contribute a total of 
1
atom; the 6 face atoms are each shared by 2 cubes and thus contribute 3atoms, and there are 4 atoms inside the cube. The atomic density is therefore
8/a03,
which corresponds to
17.7, 5.00,
and
4.43
x
10
22
cm-
3,
respectively. (After W. Shockley:
Electrons and Holes in Semiconductors,
Van Nostrand, Princeton, N.J.,
1950.)
Limitations of Germanium:
Germanium has a band gap of 0.67 eV and an intrinsic carrier density equal to 2.5
X
10
13
 
cm
-
3
 
at 300
K.
Because of the relatively small band gap in germanium, its intrinsic-carrier density increases rapidly with increasing temperature, growing roughly to 10
15
cm
-
3
 
at 400 K (see Figure 2).
Figure 2 Electron concentration versus temperature for two n-type doped semiconductors:
(a)
Silicon doped with 1.15 x10
16
 
arsenic atoms cm
-
3
[1].
(b)
Germanium doped with 7.5 x 10
15
 
arsenic atoms cm
-
3
[2].
1

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