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Fundamentals of Semiconductor Devices

Betty Lise Anderson • Richard L. Anderson

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Invention of the first transistor : Disruptive Technology

The discovery of the point contact transistor in 1947: W. Shockley,

J. Bardeen and W. Brattain

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Semiconductor Devices

1. Fundamentals of Semiconductor Materials :

Part I

2. pn Junction Diode : Part II

3. MOSFET : Part III

Evaluation : 10%(출석) + 10%(과제) +

40%(중간고사) + 40%(기말고사)

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Goal : We will discuss the operation principles of
semiconductor devices : e.g., pn junction diode, MOSFET,
and BJT (very briefly). I-V characteristics of semiconductor

Then, we need to understand the physical properties of

semiconductor materials in quantum mechanical point of
view. The core concept is “energy band”.

Once we understand the concept of energy band, the

concepts of (1) charged carriers (i.e., electron and hole), (2)
their distribution in semiconductor materials in view of
electron energy, and (3) their actions (i.e., drift, diffusion, and
ehp G-R processes) will be introduced.

Finally, based on the carrier actions, we will derive the

continuity equations which could be used for I-V analysis.

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One of the most important semiconductor devices is MOSFET.

Mark Bohr, “Intel’s 90 nm

Process Starting High Volume
Manufacturing,” Intel Developer Forum,
September 16, 2003

Z µ nCox ⎡ Vd ⎤
∴ ID = ⎢(VG − Vt )Vd − ⎥ ; 0 ≤ Vd ≤ Vdsat , Vg ≥ Vt
L ⎣ 2 ⎦
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MOSFET Applications in LOGIC and MEMORY:




pMOS Capacitor

Vin VO
∆V =
∫ I inj dt
Q = ∫ C( v )dv Cox

Destructive readout Nondestructive readout
Refresh No-refresh
Volatile Nonvolatile

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CMOS: Complementary MOS

From Burns and Bond, “Principles of Electronic Circuits”, PWS

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CMOS Inverter Circuit

There is no dc path for current from

the +VDD to ground !!!

Equivalent Circuit Vin = VDD (left)

and Vin = 0 (right)

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Mechanisms of Current Conduction and Continuity Equation

Ionized Impurity
Lattice Vibration
Drift due to the applied
electric field !

Diffusion due to the

difference !

Electron-Hole generation and

recombination !

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Continuity Equation

∂ n 1 ∂ n ∂ n
= ∇ ⋅ J + +
∂ t ∂ t ∂ t
q thermal
R − G

∂ p 1 ∂ p ∂ p
= − ∇ ⋅ J + +
∂ t ∂ t ∂ t
q thermal
R − G

Minority Carrier Diffusion Equations

∂∆ n p ∂ 2∆n p ∆n p
= DN − + GL
∂t ∂x 2
∂∆ pn ∂ 2∆pn ∆pn
= DP − + GL
∂t ∂x 2

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We need to understand the concepts of electron, hole, and their
densities via energy band in semiconductor materials !

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(a) (b) (c) (d)
Energy Band ψ

Energy gap, Eg

ψ ψ
hyb B


Fig. 4.17: (a) Formation of energy bands in the Si crystal first involves hybridization
of 3s and 3p orbitals to four identical ψhyb orbitals which make 109.5° with each
other as shown in (b). (c) ψhyb orbitals on two neighboring Si atoms can overlap to
form ψB or ψA. The first is a bonding orbital (full) and the second is an antibondiong
orbital (empty). In the crystal ψB overlap to give the valence band (full) and ψA
overlap to give the conduction band (empty).
From Principles of Electronic Materials and Devices, Second Edition, S.O. Kasap (© McGraw-Hill, 2002)

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PART 1 Materials

Chapter 1 Electron Energy and States in Semiconductors

: A brief review for both quantum mechanical concepts and
crystallography including crystal structure, plane and direction

Chapter 2 Homogeneous Semiconductors

: A review for energy band concept, semiconductor classification
(intrinsic vs. extrinsic), hole concept, and electron/hole distribution
in semiconductor by introducing density-of-states functions and
Fermi functions

Chapter 3 Current Flow in Homogeneous Semiconductors

: Introduction of both carrier actions (drift, diffusion, and ehp G-R)
which has been known to cause device current and continuity
equations that could be used for device analysis

Chapter 4 Nonhomogeneous Semiconductors

: Introduction of the consequence of nonuniform doping
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Chapter 1 Electron Energy and States in Semiconductors
The point of this chapter is to understand some fundamental physics of
how electrons behave in matter.
Figure 1.1 :
Models of an Atom : (a) The Thompson model of an atom, in which the
positive charge is uniformly distributed in a sphere
[1] Thompson Model and the electrons are considered to be negative point
[2] Rutherford Model charges embedded in it;
(b) the Bohr model, in which the positive charge is
[3] Bohr Model concentrated in a small nucleus and the electrons
[4] Wilson-Sommerfeld Model orbit in circles;
(c) the Wilson-Sommerfeld model, which allows for
elliptical orbits.

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1.3.1 The Bohr Model for the Hydrogen Atom (p.5)

Hydrogen atom based on the Bohr model :

[1] Potential energy

E p = Evac − (1.6)
4πεo r 2

The vacuum level Evac is defined

as the potential energy at r = ∝
Figure 1.2 Potential energy diagram for an electron in the
vicinity of a single positive point charge. The electron is
considered to be a point charge.
[2] The Bohr radius of the nth state is
4πε o n 2 η2
rn = (1.12)
mq 2
mq 4
[3] The total energy En is En = E Kn + E Pn = Evac − (1.16)
2(4πε o ) 2 n 2 η2

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EXAMPLE 1.1 (p.8)

Find the energies and radii for the first four orbits in the hydrogen atom.

Figure 1.3
Allowed energies in the hydrogen atom. Higher
energies occur increasingly close to each other,
approaching the vacuum level.

Figure 1.4
Radii of the first four atomic orbits of the
hydrogen atom, according to the Bohr model.

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1.3.2 Application to Molecules: Covalent Bonding (p.11)

From isolated atoms to molecules

“Isolated” means nuclei are

sufficiently far apart so that they
do not influence each other.

Figure 1.6a Energy band diagram for two

noninteracting hydrogen nuclei.

When the nuclei are allowed to

approach each other, an electron
would be influenced by both
nuclei according to Coulomb’s

Figure 1.6b As the nuclei are brought together,

the upper energy levels merge and electrons in
those levels are shared between the atoms.
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H-atom H-atom
Electron shell

1s 1s

Covalent bond
H-H Molecule Figure 1.6c The nuclei are sufficiently close
2 1 together that all energy levels are shared.
Since the lowest level is usually the only
2 1 occupied level for hydrogen, if it is occupied
by two electrons H2 molecule is stable.

1 2
Fig. 1.4: Formation of a covalent bond between two H atoms leads Read the paragraph in your textbook
to the H2 molecule. Electrons spend majority of their time between
page 12: Ek = E1 - Ep so that the
the two nuclei which results in a net attraction between the electrons
and the two nuclei which is the origin of the covalent bond . velocity of electrons is smallest in
From Principles of Electronic Materials and Devices, Second Edition, S.O. Kasap (© McGraw-Hill, 2002)
between the nuclei.

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1.3.4 Covalent Bonding in Crystalline Solids (p.14)

Consider Si crystal
The electrons occupying the outer subshells are called valence
electrons, which determine the valency of the atoms.

Valence Electrons : “stronly

involve in chemical reactions:
Covalent Bonding”

Core electrons : “remain essentially unperturbed during the

chemical reactions on normal atom-atom interaction.”

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Si crystalline in 3-dimension and the bonding model in 2-dimension

valence electrons :
contribute to the formation of VB
Figure 1.7a Two-dimensional bonding
representation of a crystalline solid.

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“The four vacant states in the third shell of atoms in Si form a
band in crystalline Si called the conduction band.”

Forbidden Band

Figure 1.7b Potential energy for an electron in that crystal along a row of atoms
(solid line) and between rows (dashed line). In this representation the electron is
considered a point charge.

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Electron Affinity, Ionization Potential, and Band Gap (p. 16)

Ionization energy : the minimum energy required to excite an electron from the
top of the valence band in the crystal to the vacuum level

Electron affinity : the energy difference between the vacuum level and the vacant
state of lowest energy (i.e., Ec)

Energy gap : the minimum energy required to excite an electron from the valence
band to the conduction band

See Table 1.2 in p. 17, and

discuss the properties of various

Figure 1.8 Definitions of

vacuum energy Evac, electron
affinity c, ionization energy g
and the energy gap Eg.

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Occupancy of energy band as a function of temperature (p. 18)

If Eapplied ≥ Eg, then a few electrons are able to excited into the conduction band. For
example, ni (electrons/cm3) = 1.08 x 1010 /cm3 for Si @ room temperature: For further
discussion, see the Table listed in the backside of textbook cover.

This value seems to be very high ! However, consider this: In Si, 5×1022 atoms/cm3
4 valence electrons/atom→ 2×1023 bonds(or equivalently valence electrons)/cm3.
Therefore, at room temperature, only 1 electrons out of 2 x 1013 electrons/cm3 can be
excited !

Even more, the average time an

electron spends in the CB is on the
order of 10-10 to 10-3 s, depending
on the quality of material.

Figure 1.9 At room temperature,

electrons are being excited up to the
conduction band and relaxing back to
the valence band. At any given
moment there is some number of
electrons in the conduction band. Hole

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BREAK: Matter vs. Antimatter

Hole theory proposed by Paul Dirac in 1928, and the discovery of

positron by Carl Anderson in 1932.
입자 (양의 에너지)

(음의 에너지)

빈공간: 반입자

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Holes indeed contribute to the formation of current in the
semiconductor devices !

Figure 1.10 Movement of many electrons is treated as the movement of one

positively charged “hole.”

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Discussions on

[1] Polycrystalline and Amorphous Materials (p. 19)

[2] Distinctive Features in Energy Band of Various Materials (p. 20)

Figure 1.11 Energy band diagrams for (a) an insulator, (b) a semiconductor, and (c) a
metal. The energies in the shaded regions are in general occupied.

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1.4 Wave-Particle Duality (p. 20) : Review of Physical Electronics

1. Classical waves have energies that are quantized. Each quantum of

energy can be considered a particle. For electromagnetic radiation (e.g.,
light), these particles are called photons. For acoustic waves (e.g.,
sound), the particles are called phonons.
The energy of these particles is
E = hν = 2πν = ηω (1.24)

2. Classical particles can be considered to be waves possessing energy
and wavelength.

3. The electric field of an electromagnetic wave traveling in the x direction

can be expressed by a simple sinusoidal function of amplitude A,
wavelength λ, and wave vector (wave number in 1-dimension problem):
ρ ⎡ ⎛x ⎞⎤ ⎛ E ⎞
E ( x , t ) = A cos⎢2π ⎜ − νt ⎟ ⎥ = A cos( Kx − ωt ) = A cos⎜ Kx − t ⎟ (1.25)
⎣ ⎝λ ⎠⎦ ⎝ η ⎠

K= (1.26)

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4. Likewise, matter can also be described using waves using a wave
function: Matter Wave

⎛ E ⎞
Ψ ( x , t ) = A sin⎜ Kx − t ⎟ (1.27) : wave function
⎝ η ⎠

λ= (1.28) : wavelength of the matter wave

Ψ(x,t)=Ae j[ Kx − ( E / η) t ] (1.29) : general form of a wave function of the

matter wave in a vacuum (A=constant)

1.5 The Wave Function in 3-dimension with time variation (p. 22)

Ψ = Ψ ( x, y, z, t )

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Probability and the Wave Function

“A basic connection between the properties of the wave function and the
behavior of the associated particle is the probability density P(x, t).”

P( x , t ) = Ψ * ( x , t )Ψ( x , t )

where Ψ*(x, t) is the complex conjugate of Ψ*(x, t).

In summary,

• IΨ(x, y, z, t)I2 is the probability of finding the electron per unit volume at
x, y, z, at time t.
• IΨ(x, y, z, t)I2dxdydz is the probability of finding the electron in a small
elemental volume dxdydz at x, y, z at time t.
• If we are just considering one dimension, then the wave function is Ψ(x,
t), and IΨ(x, t)I2dx is the probability of finding the electron between x and
(x+dx) at time t.

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1.6 The Electron Wave Function

Remind the discussion we had in the course of “Physical Electronics”. Time-

dependent wave function can be derived by the multiplication of a space-
dependent part (i.e., time-independent wave function) by a time-dependent part.

Ψ(x,t)=ψ ( x )
− j ( E / η) t
(1.34) : time-dependent wave function

Now, ψ(x) can be derived by the time-independent Schrödinger’s equation.

− η2 d 2ψ ( x )
+ E P ( x )ψ ( x ) = Eψ ( x ) (1.35)
2m dx

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1.6.1 The Free Electron in One Dimension : constant potential
energy and no collision in a solid (p. 23)

The total energy of an electron in this case is E = Ep + Ek.

Now, the Schrodinger’s equation is

− η2 d 2ψ ( x )
+ Eoψ ( x ) = Eψ ( x ) (1.36)
2mo dx

Since both Eo and the total energy E are

constant, the eq. (1.36) becomes

d 2ψ ( x ) 2mo
+ 2 ( E − Eo )ψ ( x ) = 0
dx 2

Figure 1.12 The free electron model for an

electron; (a) the physical picture; (b) the
potential is assumed constant everywhere
inside the crystal.

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The solution to Equation (1.37) is

ψ ( x ) = Ae jKx + Be − jKx (1.38)

ψ ( x ) = C sin( Kx ) + D cos( Kx ) (1.39)

Here A, B, C, and D are constants to be determined from the boundary

conditions, and

2mo ( E − Eo ) 2mo E K
K= = (1.40) : Ek = kinetic energy

As discussed in eq. (1.34), the total wave function for the free electron is

Ψ( x , t ) = Ae j [ Kx − ( E / η) t ] + Be − j [ Kx + ( E / η) t ] (1.41)

Traveling wave in the +x direction Traveling wave in the -x direction

The electron could be going either way.

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The phase velocity is the velocity of a point of constant phase of the wave :

x E
νp = =
t ηK

The phase velocity is not unique because the total energy E is dependent on the
choice of potential energy reference.

The group velocity is the velocity associated with the center of mass of the
particle :

dx 1 dE
νg = = (1.43)
dt η dK

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The energy E of the electron is

η2 K 2
E = Eo + (1.44)

Kinetic Energy

∂ 2 E η2
= (1.47)
∂K 2

The curvature (the second

derivative) of the E-K locus is
inversely proportional to the

Figure 1.13 The E-K diagram

for the free electron.

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1.6.2 The De Broglie Relationship (p. 25)

Presented in 1924, and awarded Nobel prize in 1929

“Just as a photon has a Fluorescent screen

light wave associated with Two slits
it that governs its motion,
so a material particle (e.g.,
an electron) has an
associated matter wave (or Electrons
pilot wave) that governs
its motion.” ----- A Grand Vacuum
Electron diffraction fringes on the
Symmetry of Nature screen

h Fig 3.12: Young's double slit experiment with electrons involves an

λ= electron gun and two slits in a cathode ray tune (CRT) (hence in
p vacuum). Electrons from the filament are accelerated by a 50 kV
anode voltage to produce a beam which is made to pass through the
slits. The electrons then produce a visible pattern when they strike a
This equation holds only fluoresecent screen (e.g. a TV screen) and the resulting visual pattern
when the potential energy is is photographed (pattern from C. Jönsson, D. Brandt, S. Hirschi,
Am. J. Physics, 42, Fig. 8, p. 9, 1974.
constant over the path of the
From Principles of Electronic Materials and Devices, Second Edition, S.O. Kasap (© McGraw-Hill, 2002)
electron. http://Materials.Usask.Ca

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1.6.4 The Quasi-free Electron Model (p. 27)

Now, consider the more realistic model. For a periodic function of Ep(x),
Ep(x) = Ep(x ± na). Then the Schrodinger’s equation becomes

d 2ψ ( x ) 2mo
+ 2 [ E − E p ( x )]ψ ( x ) = 0 (1.55)
dx 2

Note that we do not know the exact form of the potential energy Ep(x), so that
we cannot derive the exact solution of Eq. (1.55). ⇒ Use the Bloch theorem.

L = na

Figure 1.14 The electron potential energy in a crystal is a periodic function.

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Bloch Theorem (p. 28)

For an electron in a periodic potential [i.e., EP(x) is periodic function], the time-
independent wave function is

ψ ( x ) = U K ( x )e jKx (1.56) or ψ ( x + a) = ψ ( x )e jKa

where UK(x) is some function (or called as the unit cell wave function) that is
also periodic in x with the periodicity of the crystal.

Based on the discussion in p.23 and on Eq. (1.34), the time-dependent Bloch
wave function is

Ψ( x , t ) = U K ( x )e j[ Kx − ( E / η) t ] (1.57)

A unit amplitude plane wave modulated by some

periodic function UK(x) with period a.

U K ( x ) = U K ( x + na) (1.58)

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E – K Relationship : Rough Interpretation

We know that the crystalline forces acting on the electron are independent of the
direction of propagation (sign of K): Therefore, energy in K-space is

E(K) = E(-K)

This suggest that E(K) has an extremum (either a relative maximum or minimum)
at K=0.

After some mathematical derivation shown in p. 29, we are able to show

⎛ 2πn ⎞
E (K) = E⎜ K + ⎟ (1.66)
⎝ a ⎠

That is, the E(K) relation is periodic in K, with period 2π/a.

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Figure 1.15a One possible E versus K diagram for the periodic potential. E versus K.

1. E(K) is periodic in K space, with period 2π/a.
2. Equivalent extrema in E exist at K = 0, ±2π/a, ±4π/a …..
3. Equivalent extrema exist at K = ±π/a, ±3π/a …..
4. The slope of the E-K curve is zero at K = 0, ±π/a, ±2π/a, ±3π/a, ±4π/a …..
5. The group velocity is periodic in K space with the same periodicity as the E-
K curve.
dx 1 dE
νg = = (1.43)
dt η dK

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Figure 1.15b One possible E versus
K diagram for the periodic potential.
The group velocity vg versus K.

Reduced Zone (or First Brillouin Zone)

Figure 1.16 The reduced, or first Brillouin,


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Energy Band Diagram : E - K vs. E - x

Figure 1.17 (a) The E-K diagram; (b) the corresponding energy band (E-x) diagram.

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More accurate calculation of E-K via Kronig-Penny model shows

No Bragg

-π/a +π/a

Bragg diffraction occurs at the BZ boundary, resulting in standing wave and

energy gap where no waves are allowed to be traveled.

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Reference : Band Gap of Si

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1.6.5 Reflection and Tunneling (p. 32)

Figure 1.18 An electron wave is

extended in space. (a) When the
wave reflects from the potential
barrier, the electron wave function
extends a short distance into the
forbidden region. Thus some fraction
of the electron charge is found to the
right of the barrier. (b) If the barrier
is very thin, the electron wave
function Y may extend all the way
through it. Since the probability
density Y*Y is not zero on the far
side of the barrier, there is some
(small) chance that the electron will
cross through the barrier and
emerge on the other side.

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게르트 비니히 하인리히로러
(Gerd Binnig) (Heinrich Rohrer)
Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM)

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Metal Vacuum Metal Vacuum
Second Metal

Vo Vo
V(x) V(x)
E < Vo
x x
(a) (b)

Probe Scan x

Image of surface (schematic sketch)
Fig. 3.17: (a) The wavefunction decays exponentially as we move away from the
surface because the PE outside the metal is Vo and the energy of the electron, E < Vo..
(b) If we bring a second metal close to the first metal, then the wavefunction can
penetrate into the second metal. The electron can tunnel from the first metal to the
second. (c) The principle of the Scanning Tunneling Microscope. The tunneling current
depends on exp(-αa) where a is the distance of the probe from the surface of the
material and α is a constant.
From Principles of Electronic Materials and Devices, Second Edition, S.O. Kasap (© McGraw-Hill, 2002)
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[Thermomechanical storage
and AFM] Source:
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1.7 Optical Emission and Absorption

Light energy must be absorbed or emitted in integer multiples of hν.

E = hν = ηω pht (1.70)

Figure 1.19 (a) A photon of energy 2.06

eV is incident on a material of energy gap
2.5 eV. The photon cannot be absorbed.
(b) The band gap is small enough that
allowed states separated by 2.06 eV exist,
thus the photon can be absorbed. The
photon’s energy is given to the electron.
(c) In emission, the electron goes to a
lower energy state, releasing the extra
energy in the form of a photon.

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Example 1.5 Optical Communication

Solve this example by yourself.

Figure 1.20 (a) A communication fiber optic link contains a light source, a fiber,
and a photodetector. (b) Typical absorption spectrum for optical fiber.

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1.8 Crystal Structures, Planes, and Directions

Crystallography is of great interest to people who fabricate semiconductor

devices: This knowledge is especially important in MOSFET technology.

Crystalline Amorphous Poly-crystalline

Crystals are regular structures in which the atoms are arranged in a pattern that
repeats throughout the material.

Electrical and physical properties strongly depend on the atomic arrangement in

the material.

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Figure 1.21 Cubic crystals: (a) simple cubic; (b) face-centered cubic, an atom in the
center of every face, and (c) body-centered cubic.
Figure 1.22 (a) The diamond
structure consists of two
interpenetrating FCC lattices. The
second FCC cube is offset by one-
quarter of the longest diagonal. The
dashed lines indicate the part of the
second FCC lattice that is outside
the unit diamond cell. (b) A zinc
blende material has the same
structure, but two types of atoms.
The black atoms are one type (for
example, gallium) and the colored atoms are the other (arsenic).
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Figure 1.23 The three most important crystallographic planes (in parentheses) and
the corresponding crystallographic directions (square brackets).

The device performance

including the mobility is
dependent upon the plane
and direction discussed
here !

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