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ELE 232 ELECTRONICS 1

Chapter 1: SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIAL

Prepared By:
Norsabrina Sihab
Faculty of Electrical Engineering,
Universiti Teknologi MARA
Pulau Pinang
Tel : 04-3823355
Email : norsabrina@ppinang.uitm.edu.my

Norsabrina Sihab
Faculty of Electrical Engineering,
Universiti Teknologi MARA
Pulau Pinang
Tel : 04-3823355
Email : norsabrina@ppinang.uitm.edu.my

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

Learning Outcome

Introduction

At the end of this chapter, students able to:


Discuss the basic structure of atoms, energy band, covalent
bonds, conduction in semiconductor, free electrons and
holes as carrier.
Describe intrinsic, doping and extrinsic semiconductor
Describe the properties of n-type and p-type semiconductors

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ELE232 - Electronics 1

Updated Nov 2013

Electronics devices are complex component which mostly used in


electronics systems:
Communication (TV, radio)
Digital system (PC, calculator)
Industrial system (robotic, process control)
Medical system (x-ray, ECG)
Instrumentation (oscilloscope)
Since 1940s, electronics system constructed using solid-state
components.
Solid state components are made from semiconductor elements,
neither conductor nor insulator, has useful characteristics as an
amplifier or rectifier.

Norsabrina Sihab

ELE232 - Electronics 1

Updated Nov 2013

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

Atomic structure

Atomic structure

Atom > All matter is made up of atom. Smallest particle of an


element. Contains 3 basic particles : protons, neutrons & electrons
The nucleus consists of positively charged particles called protons and
uncharged particles called neutrons. The basic particles of negatively
charged are called electrons.
Atomic number > All elements are arranged in the periodic tables of
the elements in order according to their atomic number. The atomic
number equals the number of protons in the nucleus, which is the
same number of electrons in an electrically balanced (neutral) atom.
Electrons Shells and Orbits -> Electrons orbit the nucleus of an atom at
certain distances from nucleus. Electrons near the nucleus have less
energy than more distant orbits.

Energy Level -> Each orbit from the nucleus corresponds to a


certain energy level. In an atom, the orbits are grouped into
energy bands known as shells. Every atom has fixed number of
shells and each shell has fixed number of electrons at permissible
energy levels.
Bohr Model is a basic model of atom. The shells are designated
1,2,3 and so on, which 1 being closest to the nucleus. Orbital
shell/path 1 (innermost shell) and n (outermost shell).
n
1

Nucleus
Figure 1.1 - Bohr Model of an atom
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ELE232 - Electronics 1

Updated Nov 2013

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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Updated Nov 2013

Atomic structure

Number of electrons in each shell The maximum number of


electrons, Ne can exist in each shell of atom can be calculate :
Ne=2n2 where n is the number of shell.
The maximum number of electrons that can exist in the
innermost shell Ne=2(1)2=2.
The maximum number of electrons that can exist in the
second shell Ne=2(2)2=8.
The maximum number of electrons that can exist in the third
shell Ne=2(3)2=18.
The maximum number of electrons that can exist in the
forth shell Ne=2(4)2=32.

ELE232 - Electronics 1

Orbital Shells

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

Atomic structure

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ELE232 - Electronics 1

Updated Nov 2013

Valance Electrons - Electrons that are in orbits farther from the


nucleus have higher energy and less tightly bound to the atom
than those closer to the nucleus. This is because the force of
attraction between the positively charged electron decreases
with increasing distance from the nucleus. Electrons with the
highest energy exist in outermost shell of an atom and are
relatively loosely bound to the atom. This outermost shell is
known as the valence shell and electrons in this shell are called
valance electrons. These valance electrons contribute to the
chemical reactions and bonding within the structure of a
material and determine its electrical properties.
Valance Band - Contains 1 (nearly perfect conductor) up to 8
(insulator) valence electrons. Conductivity depends on the
number of electrons in valence band. Conductivity 1/no. of
valence electrons. (Conductivity so valence e- ).
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ELE232 - Electronics 1

Updated Nov 2013

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

Atomic structure

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Conductor, Semiconductor & Insulator


Materials can be classified into three groups: conductor,
semiconductor and insulator. When atoms combine to form a
solid, crystalline material, they arrange themselves in a
symmetrical pattern. They held together by covalent bonds, which
are created by the interaction of the valance electrons of the
atoms.
Conductor > material that easily conducts electrical current. (has
1-3 valence electron). Eg. Copper, silver, gold and aluminum (has
1 valence electrons).

Ionization > A process of an atom either loosing or gaining a


valence electron to become positive ions or negative ions. When an
atom absorbs energy from a heat source for example the energies of
the electrons are raised. The valance electrons posses more energy
and are more loosely bound to the atom than inner electrons, so
they can easily jump to higher orbits within the valance shell when
external energy is absorbed by the atom. When a neutral atom loses
its valence electron, its become positive ion. The escaped valence
electron is called free electron. When free electron loses energy and
falls back into the outermost shell, its become negative ion.

Figure 1.2 Atomic Structure


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Updated Nov 2013

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Conductor, Semiconductor & Insulator

Insulator > material that does not conduct electrical current under
normal condition. Eg. Rubber, plastics, glass, mica and quartz. (has
5-8 valence electrons).
Semiconductor > material that between conductors and insulators
in its ability to conduct electrical current. (4 valence electrons).
Intrinsic (pure) semiconductor is neither a good conductor nor a
good insulator.
Most commonly use semiconductor are
Eg. diode, transistor
Silicon (Si) 14 e- , (2, 8, 4)
Germanium (Ge) - 32 e- , (2, 8, 18, 4)
Carbon (C) 6 e-, (2, 4) Eg. Resistor, potentiometer.
Si has valence electron in 3rd shell.
Ge has valence electron in 4th shell.
Thus Ge has higher energy level than Si. It means Ge
required smaller amount of energy to escape from their
atom and become free electron.
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Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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Conductor, Semiconductor & Insulator

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ELE232 - Electronics 1

Norsabrina Sihab

Updated Nov 2013

Si has valence electron in 3rd shell.


Ge has valence electron in 4th shell.
Thus Ge has higher energy level than Si. It means Ge
required smaller amount of energy to escape from their
atom and become free electron.

Figure 1.4 Atomic structure Si and Ge

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Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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Conductor, Semiconductor & Insulator

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Current in Semiconductors

Energy gap > The difference in energy between the valence band
and the conduction band. This is the amount of energy required for a
valence electrons to jump from valence band to conduction band.
Once at conduction band, electrons is free to move throughout the
material and is not tied to any given atom. For example, it absorb an
amount of energy 1.8eV-0.7eV=1.1eV (for Si material).
*1eV=1.6X10-9J.

Energy Level -> Electrons orbit the nucleus of an atom at certain


distance from the nucleus. Electrons near the nucleus have less
energy. Each distance from nucleus corresponds to a certain
energy level.

e- (free electron)

Conduction band

e(valence e-)

Figure 1.3 - Energy diagrams for the three types of materials


(insulator, semiconductor, and conductor)
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ELE232 - Electronics 1

Figure 1.5 Energy Level


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Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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Updated Nov 2013

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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Current in Semiconductors

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Current in Semiconductors

Free Electrons > When an electron acquires enough energy (from


heat energy), it can leave the valence band and become a free electron
which its exist in conduction band.
Conduction band > Band outside valence band which level of
energy of an electron is high enough and capable of being influence by
an external force.

Covalent Bond -> Is a method by which atoms complete their


valence shells by sharing valence e- with other atoms. It strong
bonding between atoms. Eg. Si atom has 4 valence e- and it create
8 shared valence e- of each atom. When Si atoms combined by
covalent bonding it form a solid material.

Figure 1.6 Creation of EHPs


Figure 1.7 - Covalent bonding of the silicon atom.
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ELE232 - Electronics 1

Updated Nov 2013

Norsabrina Sihab

ELE232 - Electronics 1

Updated Nov 2013

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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Current in Semiconductors

Current in Semiconductors
Recombination > Is a process, within a very short time (Sec)
becoming a free electrons in conduction band this electrons will
loses energy and falls back into a hole in valence band.
EHP Life Time -> The time taken from an electrons jump into
conduction band to become a free electrons until it falls back to a
hole (recombination occurs).

Covalent bonding -> Atoms are held together, forming a solid


substance.
1. Atoms are all electrically stable because their valence shells
are complete.
2. The complete valence shells cause the Si to act as insulator.
Thus pure (intrinsic) Si is very poor conductor. (The same
principle also for Ge)
Electron Hole Pairs (EHP) -> When a valence electrons absorbs
enough energy (thermal energy), it jump from valence band to
the conduction band and become free electrons. When an
electrons jump to the conduction band, a vacancy left in the
valence band is called hole. For every conduction band electrons
and valence band hole is called Electron Hole Pair (EHP).

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Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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Current in Semiconductors

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Current in Semiconductors

Electron Current -> When a voltage is applied across a piece of


intrinsic Si, the thermally generated free electrons in conduction
band are easily attracted toward the positive terminal of the
supply. These movement of free electrons is one type of current
in a semi-conductive material and is call and its called Electron
Current.

Hole Current > Another type of current occurs in the valance


band, where the holes created by the free electrons exist. Electrons
remaining in the valance band are still attached to their atoms and
not free to move randomly as are free electrons. But valance
electron can move into nearby hole with a little change in its
energy level. A valence electrons can move into a nearby hole with
a little changes in its energy level, thus leaving another hole where
it come from. Effectively the hole moved from one place to another
in the crystal structure. Although current in the valance band
produced by valance electrons its called Hole Current.

Figure 1.8 - Electron current in intrinsic silicon is produced by the movement of


thermally generated free electrons.

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ELE232 - Electronics 1

Figure 1.9 - Hole current in intrinsic silicon


Updated Nov 2013

Norsabrina Sihab

ELE232 - Electronics 1

Updated Nov 2013

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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Current in Semiconductors

N-type & P-type Semiconductor

Conduction Versus Temperature > At room temperature pure Si


has no free e-. Semiconductor has no free electrons when no
voltage applied. As temperature increase, electrons will absorb
enough energy to break their covalent bonds and number of free
electrons will increase. As temperature decrease, less thermal
energy to release the e- from their covalence band and number of
electrons will decrease. Conductivity of semiconductor
temperature. When circuit is warm up, current will increase.

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ELE232 - Electronics 1

Intrinsic Semiconductor > Semiconductor which has a very low


level of impurities. Intrinsic Si & Ge poor conductor (relatively
large energy gap)
Extrinsic Semiconductor > Semiconductor that has been subjected
to a doping process. Not longer as pure/intrinsic material.
Doping - Is a process of adding impurities atoms to the intrinsic Si
or Ge to improve the conductivity of a semiconductor.

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Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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N-type & P-type Semiconductor

Two types of impurities:


1. Trivalent > To increase the number of holes in intrinsic
semiconductor. It has 3 valence electrons. Known as acceptor
(accept electrons). Eg. Aluminum (Al), Gallium (Ga), Boron
(B), Indium (In). Trivalent doped with Si/Ge is called a p-type
semiconductor.
2. Pentavalent > To increase the number of conduction band
electrons in intrinsic semiconductor. It has 5 valence
electrons. Known as donor (donate electrons). Eg.
Phosphorus (P), Arsenic (As), Antimony (Sb), Bismuth (Bi).
Pentavalent doped with Si/Ge is called a n-type
semiconductor.

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Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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N-type & P-type Semiconductor

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Two types of extrinsic semiconductor (material that are subjected


to doping process):
1. n-type > negative charge of electrons. Created by adding
impurity element with 5 valence electrons into pure Si or Ge.
Electrons are majority carriers. Holes created by EHP are
minority carrier.
2. p-type > positive charge of hole. Holes are majority carrier.
Electrons are minority carrier.

Norsabrina Sihab

ELE232 - Electronics 1

Updated Nov 2013

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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N-type & P-type Semiconductor

Trivalent impurity atom in a silicon


crystal structure. A boron (B) impurity
atom is shown in the center.

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N-type & P-type Semiconductor

Pentavalent impurity atom in a silicon crystal


structure. An antimony (Sb) impurity atom is
shown in the center. The extra electron from the
Sb atom becomes a free electron.

Figure 1.11 N-type semiconductor

Figure 1.10 Trivalent and pentavalent impurities


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ELE232 - Electronics 1
Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

Updated Nov 2013

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ELE232 - Electronics 1

Updated Nov 2013

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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N-type & P-type Semiconductor

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p-n Junction
P-N junction > formed by p-type region jointed with n-type
region.

Figure 1.12 P-type semiconductor

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ELE232 - Electronics 1

Figure 1.13 - The basic diode structure at the instant of junction formation
showing only the majority and minority carriers.

Updated Nov 2013

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ELE232 - Electronics 1

Updated Nov 2013

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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Exercise

ELE232 - Electronics 1

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Exercise

Updated Nov 2013

Chapter 1 Semiconductor Material

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Exercise
1. Define the following terms:
a) Free electron
b) Intrinsic material
c)

Ionization

2. Define covalent bonding and sketch a diagram showing the


covalent bonding of the silicon atom.

3. Explain the concepts of electron hole pair (EHP) and Lifetime of


EHP.

4. Draw the energy diagrams of conductor, semiconductor and


insulator.

5. Describe the difference between n-type and p-type


semiconductor materials.

6. Describe the differences between majority and minority


carriers.

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Updated Nov 2013

Norsabrina Sihab

ELE232 - Electronics 1

Updated Nov 2013