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Solids: Conductors, Insulators and Semiconductors

•  Conductors: mostly metals •  Insulators: mostly nonmetal materials •  Semiconductors: metalloids
Conduction Band: white

No gap Valence Band in red

Band gap

AHR, Abril-Julio, 2011



Sodium According to Band Theory
Conduction band: empty 3s antibonding

No gap Valence band: full 3s bonding

AHR, Abril-Julio, 2011

•  Metalloids: semiconducting elements
–  low electrical conductivity at room temperature –  Electrical conductivity increases with temp.

•  Gap between valence and conduction band is intermediate in size

•  Semiconducting elements form the basis of solid state electronic devices.
–  Metalloids (such as silicon or germanium) are semiconducting elements whose electrical conductivity increases as temperature increases. –  A striking property of these elements is that their conductivities increase markedly when they are doped with small quantities of other elements.
AHR, Abril-Julio, 2011

•  Semiconducting elements form the basis of solid state electronic devices.
–  When silicon is doped with phosphorus, it becomes an ntype semiconductor, in which electric current is carried by electrons.

–  When silicon is doped with boron, it becomes a p-type semiconductor, in which an electrical current is carried by positively charged holes –  Joining a p-type semiconductor to an n-type semiconductor produces a p-n junction, which can function as a rectifier. –  A rectifier is a device that allows current to flow in one direction, but not the other.
AHR, Abril-Julio, 2011


29: Effect of doping silicon. 2011 .Figure 13. AHR. Abril-Julio.

Abril-Julio.A p-n junction as a rectifier. 7 AHR. 2011 .

the molecules arrange themselves into a structure called a lattice structure •  A pure semiconductor material such as silicon or germanium has no special properties and will make a poor conductive material. Abril-Julio.SEMICONDUCTORS •  Made from materials that have four valence electrons in their outer orbits •  Germanium and silicon are the most common semiconductor materials used in solid-state devices •  Silicon is preferred due to its ability to withstand heat •  When refined into a pure form. 2011 . AHR.

and electrons the minority carriers AHR. designate the holes as the majority carriers. •  In a P-type material. leaving a hole in the material where an electron could reside. the lattice structure changes. •  Since it now lacks an electron. Abril-Julio. it now carries a net positive charge… hence P-type material.P-type MATERIAL •  To make semiconductor material useful for solid-state components. both of which have only three valence (trivalent) electrons •  With the doping of impurity. the material is no longer electrically neutral. it is doped with an impurity •  This impurity could be indium or gallium. 2011 .

P-type MATERIAL Lattice structure of a P-type material AHR. Abril-Julio. 2011 .

Abril-Julio. •  In an N-type material. they designate the electrons as the major carriers. much like a conductor. 2011 .N-type MATERIAL •  Is made by doping semiconductor material with an impurity that has five valence (pentavalent) electrons such as arsenic or antimony •  Now the lattice structure has an excess of electrons. and a net negative charge… hence N-type material •  These excessive electrons will enable free electron movement under certain conditions. and holes as the minority carriers AHR.

2011 .N-type MATERIAL Lattice structure of a N-type material AHR. Abril-Julio.

the number of layers.SOLID-STATE DEVICES •  All solid-state devices are made from a combination of P and N-type materials •  The type of device formed is determined by how the P and N-type materials are connected. and thickness of layers •  Examples: The PN junction or diode AHR. 2011 The transistor . Abril-Julio.

•  In the nineteenth century. 2011 . as an invention of physicists. Thomas Alva Edison •  In the twentieth century. scientists invaded the domain of invention: John Fleming invented the vacuum diode tube and Lee De Forest invented the triode tube •  The transistor can be viewed. The Timetables of Technology. scientists were rarely inventors: Samuel F. 1993 AHR. Morse. as can the laser. Abril-Julio. Alexander Graham Bell. –  Source: Bunch and Hellemans.B. Simon and Schuster.

2011 . Abril-Julio. AHR.William B. Shockley (1910-1989) •  Known as the Father of the Transistor •  joined Bell Labs in 1936 in the vacuum tube department (solid state physicist) •  Moved to the semiconductor laboratory: –  It has today occurred to me that an amplifier using semiconductors rather than vacuum tubes is in principle possible.

2011 . AHR. Abril-Julio.Walter Houser Brattain •  Experimental physicist who also worked on vacuum tubes •  Joined Shockley and Bardeen in semiconductor research.

Bell Telephone Laboratories 1945-1951 (theorist) •  Professor of Electrical Engineering. Naval Ordnance Laboratory 1941-1945 •  Research Physicist.John Bardeen (1908-1991) •  Physicist. –  University of Illinois. 1951-1978 •  Nobel Prize in Physics: 1956 and 1972 •  transistor (1956) and superconductivity (1972) –  I knew the transistor was important. Abril-Julio. AHR. 2011 . but I never foresaw the revolution in electronics it would bring.

zone.and an n. Two wires made contact with the crystal near the junction between the two zones like the whiskers of a crystalradio set. Brattain and Bardeen start working with p.Nobel Prize in 1956 •  Shockley. 2011 . AHR.type germanium and silicon semiconductors in 1946 •  Bardeen and Brattain put together the first transistor in December 1947: –  a point-contact transistor consisting of a single germanium crystal with a p. Abril-Julio.and n.

e. to explain the physics of transistors •  A few months later.•  Shockley immediately set out to define the effects that they had observed. in the spirit of its founder. 2011 . i. Shockley devised the junction transistor. •  AT&T licensed the transistor very cheaply to other manufacturers and waived patent rights for the use of transistors in hearing aids. a true solid-state device which did not need the whiskers of the point-contact transistor. Alexander Graham Bell Shockley s sandwich transistor AHR.. Abril-Julio.

CA (1957) by eight Shockley employees including Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce •  Bell Labs had made several improvements in the manufacturing of crystals of silicon and germanium with the impurities needed to create semiconductors AHR. Abril-Julio. CA (1954) –  the beginnings of Silicon Valley •  Fairchild Semiconductors founded in Mountain View.Manufacturing transistors on a chip •  Shockley Semiconductor Laboratories. Palo Alto. 2011 .

Abril-Julio. 2011 . called integrated circuits or ICs.Meanwhile…. •  Jack Kilby worked for Texas Instruments •  Conceived of a manufacturing method that allowed the miniaturization of electronic circuits on semiconductor chips. AHR. •  Kilby had reduced the transistor to the size of a match head •  Texas Instruments sold these for $450.

And at Fairchild…. Engines of the Mind. TI lost but companies needed licenses from both companies. 1984 AHR. •  Noyce adapted a system called planar manufacturing. •  Noyce filed for a patent five months after TI •  Lawsuit: TI claimed patent infringement. –  source: Shurkin. Abril-Julio. 2011 . in which all the transistors and resistors were formed together on a silicon chip with the metal wiring embedded in the silicon.

Field Effect Transistor (Lucent) AHR. Abril-Julio. 2011 .

2011 . –  Grosch s law for mainframes: every year. the power of computers doubles while the price is cut in half AHR. integrated circuits became smaller and smaller •  Gordon Moore observed that the number of transistors on a chip seems to double every year…. while the price remains the same. Abril-Julio.•  Due to improvements in manufacturing. –  Moore s Law: the number of transistors on a chip seems to double every 18 months.

1984 AHR. engineering and venture capital start a new company down the street. •  Silicon Valley grew and grew and grew! –  source: Shurkin. and with enough science.A Little Economic Sociology •  No matter how rich you are working for someone else. Engines of the Mind. 2011 . Abril-Julio. think of how rich you could be if you worked for yourself! •  People figured out quickly that one could bolt from one company.

•  The greatest deterrent to success is success! •  Large companies tend to be conservative and bureaucratic with lengthy approval processes which stifle new ideas.Bergin s musings…. Osborne. •  Small companies have no history. etc. •  Starting technology companies became the new gold rush (and it was in California!) AHR. 2011 . they need to take risks and they have no stockholders to answer to: Apple. Abril-Julio.

and Andrew Grove leave Fairchild and found Intel in 1968 –  focus on random access memory (RAM) chips •  Question: if you can put transistors. capacitors. the first microprocessor in 1969 –  based on Digital s PDP-8 AHR. etc. Moore. on a chip. Abril-Julio. why couldn t you put a central processor on a chip? •  Ted Hoff designs the Intel 4004. 2011 .Intel •  Noyce.

He asked her what the name of the computer on the Enterprise was. was a lover of Star Trek. Abril-Julio. Lauren.Microcomputers •  Ed Roberts founds Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems (MITS) in 1968 •  Popular Electronics puts the MITS Altair on the cover in January 1975 [nee PE-8. She said computer but why don t you call it Altair because that is where they are going tonight! AHR. 2011 . Intel 8080] •  Les Solomon s 12 year old daughter.

Altair 8800 Computer .

33 3 11 41 111 .Intel processors •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  CPU 4004 8008 8080 8088 80286 80386 80486 Pentium Year 1971 1972 1974 1980 1982 1985 1989 1993 Data Memory 4 1K 8 16K 8 64K 8 1M 16 1M 32 4G 32 4G 64 4G MIPS .

highest-energy filled states are in the valence band Lowest unoccupied states are in the conduction band Inter-band absorption (direct gap) E conduction electrons empty Egap valence electrons a -2π/a -π/a 0 π/a 2π/a 3π/a k filled Energy difference between valence and conduction band is called the bandgap of the semiconductor Material is called a semiconductor if Egap < 4eV. 2011 . Abril-Julio. and insulator if Egap > 4eV AHR.Finite amount of electrons results in filled and empty states In semiconductor.

Abril-Julio. Gaponenko AHR. the dispersion relation depends on direction in the crystal Energy levels in real semiconductors source: Optical Properties of Semiconductor Nanocrystals.In three dimensions. 2011 .

Single atoms are surrounded by bound electrons In solids: electrons in neighboring atoms can interact: ⇒ electron levels are modified. 2011 . Abril-Julio. resulting in energy bands In semiconductors the highest-energy band that is filled (occupied by electrons) is the valence band. and the lowest unoccupied states are in the conduction band strongest optical response if electron transitions can be induced E E empty E conduction states (usually empty) k Egap -2π/a -π/a 0 π/a 2π/a 3π/a filled k k valence states (usually filled) AHR.

Abril-Julio. 2011 .Direct-gap semiconductor: highest occupied and lowest unoccupied state occur at k=0 E Light can induce electronic transitions if energy and momentum are conserved: Efinal – Einitial = Ephot and Δk = k phot ≈ 0 (Photon: long wavelength compared to atomic spacing ⇒ kphot « π/a ) k Direct gap semiconductors Photons with E < Egap have insufficient energy to kick a valence electron into a conduction state ⇒ absorption starts at Ephot = Egap These band-band absorptions have the usual implications for n and κ (recall Kramers-Kronig relations) AHR.

Abril-Julio. 2011 .Indirect-gap semiconductor: highest occupied and lowest unoccupied state have Δk≠0 Direct transitions possible for Δk≈0 ⇒ strong direct interband absorption occurs at E > Egap Egap Other possibility: momentum and energy can be conserved by photon absorption and simultaneous absorption or emission of a phonon: Indirect transitions possible with assistance of a phonon Egap Shown here are optically induced transitions .during phonon absorption a phonon is generated in the process AHR.during phonon emission a phonon is generated in the process .

Abril-Julio. or energy required for exciton breakup e Wave functions of electron and hole look similar to free electron and free hole Note: exciton can move through crystal. i.Excitons Excitons are combined electron-hole states: A free electron and a free hole (empty electronic state in the valence band) exert Coulomb force on each other: hydrogen-like bound states possible: excitonic states n=3 n=2 n=1 Coulomb force E h Eb k Eb is the exciton binding energy = energy released upon exciton formation.e. 2011 . not bound to specific atom! AHR.

Excitonic absorption Light can excite an electron from the valence band and generate an exciton at energies slightly below the bandgap ⇒ see absorption at Ephot = Egap – Eb (absorption slightly below Egap) n=3 n=2 n=1 Coulomb force E h Eb k e Exciton binding energy on the order of a few meV Thermal energy at room temperature: kT ~ 25 meV ⇒ exciton rapidly dissociates at room temperature ⇒ absorption lines broaden / disappear for higher temperatures AHR. 2011 . Abril-Julio.

2011 . Abril-Julio.Optical transitions related to dopant atoms Ga: 3 valence electrons Si: 4 valence electrons As: 5 valence electrons AHR.

2011 . electron weakly bound lew energy light can excite donor electron in to conduciton band Binding energy Ed similar to kT at room temperature ( RT ): At room temperature the bound electron is quickly released RT ⇒ impurity mostly ionized at RT : Arsenic is a donor in Si At RT such transitions are typically too broad to observe AHR.Donor levels Substitute Si atom with As atom (impurity atom in the Si lattice): weakly bound extra valence electron Low T Low T: donors neutral. Abril-Julio.

2011 .Acceptor levels Substitute Si atom with Ga atom : empty electronic state just above the Si valence band: at finite temperature. producing a free charge AHR. Si valence electron may fill acceptor level ⇒ location of unoccupied valence state (hole) can orbit the charged Ga dopant ‘hole’ = available electron state Binding energy Ea similar to kT at room temperature ( RT ): At room temperature the hole can leave the dopant. Abril-Julio.

Infrared absorption due to dopants Dopant binding energies low: donor level related absorptions invisible at RT. Abril-Julio. but observable at low temperatures Example: direct valence band → acceptor level absorption in boron doped Si Transition at ~40 meV ⇒ absorption at λ≈30 µm : infrared AHR. 2011 .

2011 . Abril-Julio. but not clearly observable at RT AHR.Dopant related transitions Possible dopant related transitions: Typically visible at low T.

Abril-Julio. 2011 .Free carrier absorption (1/2) At RT. predominant dopant related absorption is free carrier absorption in which a photon excites an electron into a higher lying state Example: p-type semiconductors: filled states in the conduction band: optical transitions possible at Ephot < Egap ! Free electrons: absorption typically indirect phonon-assisted transition Free holes can make direct transitions form the heavy-hole band to the light-hole band ⇒ holes cause stronger free carrier absorption than electrons AHR.

Abril-Julio. 2011 . ω 2 2 ωp ωp Γ ε r " (ω ) ≈ 3 = 3 ωτ ω 2 ωp Γ Γ λ2 α (ω ) ≅ ε " (ω ) ≅ = 2 c cω c λ2 p ω Electron FCA up for lower energies Free hole absorption less well defined AHR.103 lower than of metals: IR At frequencies above plasma frequency.1018 /cm3 which is ~108 – 106 lower than free electron densities in metals Plasma frequency of doped semiconductors 104 .Free carrier absorption (2/2) Free electron absorption can be described by the Drude model Dopant levels in semiconductors range from ~1014 .εr and α described by 2 ωp ε r ' (ω ) ≈ 1 − 2 .

2011 .Band to band transition AHR. Abril-Julio.

2011 .Direct vs indirect gaps AHR. Abril-Julio.