Solid State Electronics

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Solid State Electronics

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Text Book

Ben. G. Streetman and Sanjay Banerjee: Solid State

Electronic Devices, Prentice-Hall of India Private

Limited.

Chapter 3 and 4

Insulator: A very poor conductor of electricity is

called an insulator.

In an insulator material the valance band

is filled while the conduction band is empty.

The conduction band and valance band in

the insulator are separated by a large forbidden

band or energy gap (almost 10 eV).

In an insulator material, the energy which

can be supplied to an electron from a applied field

is too small to carry the particle from the field

valance band into the empty conduction band.

Since the electron cannot acquire

sufficient applied energy, conduction is

impossible in an insulator.

insulator and conductor is a semiconductor.

A substance for which the width of the forbidden energy

region is relatively small (almost 1 eV) is called semiconductor.

In a semiconductor material, the energy which can be supplied to

an electron from a applied field is too small to carry the particle

from the field valance band into the empty conduction band at 0

K.

As the temperature is increased, some of the valance band

electrons acquire thermal energy. Thus, the semiconductors allow

for excitation of electrons from the valance band to conduction

band.

These are now free electrons in the sense that they can move

about under the influence of even a small-applied field.

Metal: A metal is an excellent conductor.

In metals the band either overlap or are only partially

filled.

Thus electrons and empty energy states are intermixed within the

bands so that electrons can move freely under the influence of an

electric field.

Direct Material: The material (such as

GaAs) in which a transition of an electron

from the minimum point of conduction band

to the maximum point of valence band takes

place with the same value of K (propagation

constant or wave vector) is called direct

semiconductor material.

According to Eq. (3-1) the energy (E) vs

propagation constant (k) curve is shown in

the figure.

A direct semiconductor such as GaAs, an

electron in the conduction band can fall to an

empty state in the valence band, giving off

the energy difference Eg as a photon of light.

which a transition of an electron from the

minimum point of conduction band to the

maximum point of valence band takes place

with the different values of K (propagation

constant or wave vector) is called indirect

material.

According to Eq. (3-1) the energy (E) vs

propagation constant (k) curve is shown in the

figure.

An electron in the conduction band minimum of an indirect

semiconductor cannot fall directly to the valence band maximum but

must undergo a momentum change as well as changing its energy.

It may go through some defect state (Et) within the band gap.

In an indirect transition which involves a change in k, the energy is

generally given up as heat to the lattice rather than as emitted photon.

Intrinsic Material

called an intrinsic material.

In intrinsic material, there are no charge carrier at 0K, since the

valence band is filled with electrons and the conduction band is

empty.

At high temperature electron-hole pairs are generated as valence

band electrons are excited thermally across the band gap to the

conduction band.

These EHPs are the only charge carriers in intrinsic material.

Since the electrons and holes are crated in pairs, the conduction

band electron concentration n (electron/cm3) is equal to the

concentration of holes in the valence band p (holes/cm3).

Each of these intrinsic carrier concentrations is commonly

referred to as ni. Thus for intrinsic material: n=p=ni

(3-6)

At a temperature there is a carrier concentration of EHPs ni.

band makes transition to an empty state (hole) in the valence

band, thus annihilating the pair.

If we denote the generation rate of EHPs as gi (EHP/cm3-s)

and the recombination rate ri, equilibrium requires that

ri=gi

(3-7a)

Each of these rates is temperature dependent.

gi(T) increases when the temperature is raised, and a new

carrier concentration ni is established such that the higher

recombination rate ri(T) just balances generation.

At any temperature, the rate of recombination of electrons

and holes ri is proportional to the equilibrium concentration

of electrons n0 and the concentration of holes p0:

ri=rn0p0= rni2=gi

(3-7b)

The factor r is a constant of proportionality which depends

on the particular mechanism takes place.

Extrinsic Material

When a crystal is doped such that the equilibrium carrier

concentrations n0 and p0 are different from carrier concentration

ni, the material is said to be extrinsic material.

In addition to the intrinsic carriers generated, it is possible to

create carriers in semiconductors by purposely introducing

impurities into the crystal.

This process, called doping, is the most common technique for

varying conductivity of semiconductor.

There are two types of doped semiconductors, n-type (mostly

electrons) and p-type (mostly holes).

introduces an energy level very near the conduction band in Ge or

Si.

The energy level very near the conduction band is filled with electrons

at 0K, and very little thermal energy is required to excite these

electrons to the conduction band (Fig. 3-12a).

Thus at 50-100K virtually all of the electrons in the impurity level are,

donated to the conduction band.

Such an impurity level is called a donor level and the column V

impurities in Ge or Si are called donor impurities.

Semiconductors doped with a significant number of donor atoms will

have n0>>(ni,p0) at room temperature.

This is n-type material.

electrons from donor level to

conduction band.

Similarly, an impurity from column III of the periodic table (B, Al, Ga

and In) introduces an energy level very near the valence band in Ge or

Si.

These levels are empty of electrons at 0K (Fig. 3-12b).

At low temperatures, enough thermal energy is available to excite

electrons from the valence into the impurity level, leaving behind holes

in the valence band.

Since this type of impurity level accepts electrons from the valence

band, it is called an acceptor level, and the column III impurities are

acceptor impurities in the Ge and Si.

Doping

with

acceptor

impurities

can

create

a

semiconductor with a hole

concentration p0 much greater

that the conduction band

electron concentration n0.

This type is p-type material.

Fig. 3.12b

Carrier concentration

The calculating semiconductor properties and analyzing device

behavior, it is often necessary to know the number of charge carriers

per cm3 in the material.

To obtain equation for the carrier concentration, Fermi-Dirac

distribution function can be used.

The distribution of electrons over a range of allowed energy levels at

thermal equilibrium is

1

f (E)

1 e( E EF ) / kT

J/K).

The function f(E), the Fermi-Dirac distribution function, gives the

probability that an available energy state at E will be occupied by an

electron at absolute temperature T.

The quantity EF is called the Fermi level, and it represents an

important quantity in the analysis of semiconductor behavior.

For an energy E equal to the Fermi level energy EF, the occupation

probability is

1

1

f ( EF )

1 e

( E F E F ) / kT

hole is 50 percent at the Fermi energy level. And, the Fermi function

is symmetrical about EF for all temperature; that is, the probability

f(EF +E) of electron that a state E above EF is filled is the same as

probability [1-f(EF-E)] of hole that a state E below EF is empty.

At 0K the distribution takes the

simple rectangular form shown in

Fig. 3-14.

With T=0K in the denominator of

the exponent, f(E) is 1/(1+0)=1

when the exponent is negative

(E<EF), and is 1/(1+)=0 when

the exponent is positive (E>EF).

state up to EF is filled with electrons, and all states above EF are empty.

At temperature higher than 0K, some probability exists for states above

the Fermi level to be filled.

At T=T1 in Fig. 3-14 there is

some probability f(E) that states

above EF are filled, and there is

a corresponding probability [1f(E)] that states below EF are

empty.

The

symmetry

of

the

distribution of empty and filled

states about EF makes the Fermi

level a natural reference point

in calculations of electron and

hole

concentration

in

semiconductors.

the valence band is equal to the concentration of

electrons in the conduction band.

of the band gap.

Since f(E) is symmetrical

about

EF,

the

electron

probability tail if f(E)

extending into the conduction

band of Fig. 3-15a is

symmetrical with the hole

probability tail [1-f(E)] in the

valence band.

the conduction band (Fig. 3-15b) such that

the value of f(E) for each energy level in the

conduction band increases as EF moves

closer to Ec.

measure of n.

Fig. 3.15(c) ptype material

near the valence band (Fig. 3-15c) such

that the [1- f(E)] tail value Ev is larger

than the f(E) tail above Ec.

The value of (EF-Ev) indicates how

strongly p-type the material is.

0.2 eV below the conduction band. At T=320K, determine the

probability of occupancy of the acceptor states if the acceptor states

relocated at 0.03 eV above the valence band.

Solution:

From above figure, Ea-EF={0.03-(1.1-0.2)} eV= -0.87 eV

kT= 8.6210-5 eV/K320=2758.4 eV

we know that,

f ( Ea )

1

1 e

( Ea E F ) / kT

1

1 e

0.87 /( 2758.4105 )

1.0

The concentration of electron and hole in the conduction band and

valance are

n0 E f ( E ) N ( E )dE

c

p0 Ev [1 f ( E )] N ( E )dE

(3.12a)

(3.12b)

where N(E)dE is the density of states (cm-3) in the energy range dE.

The subscript 0 used with the electron and hole concentration symbols

(n0, p0) indicates equilibrium conditions.

The number of electrons (holes) per unit volume in the energy range

dE is the product of the density of states and the probability of

occupancy f(E) [1-f(E)].

Thus the total electron (hole) concentration is the integral over the

entire conduction (valance) band as in Eq. (3.12).

The function N(E) is proportional to E(1/2), so the density of states in

the conduction (valance) band increases (decreases) with electron

(hole) energy.

valence band [1-f(E)] decreases rapidly below Ev, and most hole

occupy states near the top of the valence band.

in Fig. 3-16.

The electron and hole concentrations predicted by Eqs. (3-15) and (318) are valid whether the material is intrinsic or doped, provided

thermal equilibrium is maintained.

Thus for intrinsic material, EF lies at some intrinsic level Ei near the

middle of the band gap, and the intrinsic electron and hole

concentrations are

From Eqs. (3.15) and (3.18), we obtain

n0 p0 Nce

( Ec EF ) / kT

n0 p0 Nc Nve

Nve

( Ec Ev ) / kT

( EF Ev ) / kT

Nc Nve

E g / kT

(3.22)

ni pi Nc Nve

( Ec Ev ) / kT

Nc Nve

E g / kT

(3.23)

a constant for a particular material and temperature, even if the

doping is varied.

The intrinsic electron and hole concentrations are equal, ni=pi; thus

from Eq. (3.23) the intrinsic concentrations is

ni Nc Nv e

E g / 2 kT

(3.24)

can be written conveniently from (3.22) and (3.23) as

n0 p0 ni2 (3.25)

At room temperature (300K) is: For Si approximately ni=1.51010

cm-3; For Ge approximately ni=2.51013 cm-3;

N c ni e( Ec Ei ) / kT

N v pi e

( Ei Ev ) / kT

(3.26)

n0 ni e( Ec Ei ) / kT e( Ec EF ) / kT ni e( Ec Ei Ec EF ) / kT

( Ei EF ) / kT

( EF Ei ) / kT

n0 ni e

ni e

(3.27)

Substitute the value of Nv from (3.26) into (3.18), we obtain

p0 pi e( Ei Ev ) / kT e( EF Ev ) / kT ni e( Ei Ev EF Ev ) / kT

p0 ni e

( EF Ei ) / kT

ni e

( Ei EF ) / kT

(3.28)

increases exponentially as the Fermi level moves away from Ei

toward the conduction band.

Similarly, the hole concentrations p0 varies from ni to larger values as

EF moves from Ei toward the valence band.

Concentrations

The variation of carrier concentration with temperature is indicated

by Eq. (3.21)

ni Nce

( Ec Ei ) / kT

, pi Nve

( Ei Ev ) / kT

(3.21)

3.24) and that EF can vary with temperature.

ni Nc Nv e

E g / 2 kT

(3.24)

semiconductor can be visualized as shown in Fig. 3-18.

n-type

with

donor

concentration Nd of 1015 cm-3.

At very low temperature

(large 1/T) negligible intrinsic

EHPs exist, and the donor

electrons are bound to the

donor atoms.

these electrons are donated to

the conduction band, and at

about 100K (1000/T=10) all

the donor atoms are ionized. Figure 3-18 Carrier concentration vs.

for Si doped with

This temperature range is inverse temperature

3.

10

donors/cm

15

called ionization region.

Once the donor atoms are ionized, the conduction band electron

concentration is n0Nd=1015 cm-3, since one electron is obtained for each

donor atom.

conduction band, no is virtually constant with temperature until the

concentration of intrinsic carriers ni becomes comparable to the

extrinsic concentration Nd.

Finally, at higher temperature ni is much greater than Nd, and the

intrinsic carriers dominate.

In most devices it is desirable to

control the carrier concentration by

doping rather than by thermal EHP

generation.

such that the extrinsic range extends

beyond the highest temperature at

which the device to be used.

The carriers, which are excess of the thermal equilibrium

carries values, are created by external excitation is called excess

carriers.

The excess carriers can be created by optical excitation or

electron bombardment.

Optical Absorption

Measurement of band gap energy: The band gap energy of a

semiconductor can be measured by the absorption of incident photons

by the material.

In order to measure the band gap energy, the photons of selected

wavelengths are directed at the sample, and relative transmission of the

various photons is observed.

This type of band gap measurement gives an accurate value of

band gap energy because photons with energies greater than the band

gap energy are absorbed while photons with energies less than band gap

are transmitted.

is apparent from Fig. 4-1 that a photon

with energy hv>Eg can be absorbed in a

semiconductor.

Since the valence band contains

many electrons and conduction band has

many empty states into which the

electron may be excited, the probability

Figure 4-1 Optical absorption of a photon with

of photon absorption is high.

hv>Eg: (a) an EHP is created during photon

Fig. 4-1 indicates, an electron

absorption (b) the excited electron gives up

excited to the conduction band by optical energy to the lattice by scattering events; (c)

absorption may initially have more the electron recombines with a hole in the

energy than is common for conduction valence band.

band electrons.

Thus the excited electron losses energy to the lattice in scattering events until

its velocity reaches the thermal equilibrium velocity of other conduction band

electrons.

The electron and hole created by this absorption process are excess carriers:

since they are out of balance with their environment, they must even eventually

recombine.

While the excess carriers exit in their respective bands, however, they are free

to contribute to the conduction of material.

I0

It

semiconductor, there will be some predictable amount of

absorption, determined by the properties of the material.

The ratio of transmitted to incident light

intensity depends on the photon wavelength and the

thickness of the sample.

let us assume that a photon beam of intensity I0 (photons/cm-2-s) is directed

at a sample of thickness l as shown in Fig. 4-2.

monochromator.

As the beam passes through the sample, its intensity at a distance x from

the surface can be calculated by considering the probability of absorption with in

any increment dx.

The degradation of the intensity dI(x)/dx is proportional to the intensity remaining

at x:

dI( x) I( x)

(4.1)

dx

I( x) I ex

0

(4.2)

through the sample thickness l is

It I el

0

(4.3)

absorption coefficient and has units of

cm-1.

This coefficient varies with the photon

wavelength and with the material.

absorption coefficient for a

semiconductor on the wavelength

of incident light.

There is negligible absorption at long wavelength (hv small) and

considerable absorptions with energies larger than Eg.

The relation between photon energy and wavelength is E=hc/. If E is

given in electron volt and is micrometers, this becomes E=1.24/.

The thermal generation of EHPs is balanced by the recombination rate that means

[Eq. 3.7]

g (T ) r n2 r n p

(4.10)

i

0 0

If a steady state light is shone on the sample, an optical generation rate gop will be

added to the thermal generation, and the carrier concentration n and p will increase to

new steady sate values.

If n and p are the carrier concentrations which are departed from equilibrium:

g (T ) gop r np r (n0 n)( p0 p)

(4.11)

For steady state recombination and no traping, n=p; thus Eq. (4.11) becomes

g (T ) gop r n0 p0 r [(n0 p0 )n n 2 ]

(4.12)

Since g(T)==rn0p0 and neglecting the n2, we can rewrite Eq. (4.12) as

gop r [(n0 p0 )n] (n / n )

where, n

(4.13)

1

is the carrier life time.

r (n0 p0 )

n p gop n

(4.14)

Quasi-Fermi Level

The Fermi level EF used in previous equations is meaningful only when no excess

carriers are present.

The steady state concentrations in the same form as the equilibrium expressions by

defining separate quasi-Fermi levels Fn and Fp for electrons and holes.

The resulting carrier concentration equations

n ni e( Fn Ei ) / KT ;

p ni e

( Ei F p ) / KT

(4.15)

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