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Supplement II

Examples on Doping and Fermi Levels

Zeynep Dilli, Oct. 2008, rev. Mar. 2009

This is a supplement presenting examples on the relationship between doping, carrier concentrations

and the Fermi level at equilibrium.

Required Constants: For silicon at T =300 K, ni = 1.45 1010 1/cm3 . The Boltzmann constant

kB = k = 8.61 105 eV/K. Silicon bandgap energy Eg =1.12 eV.

1. Consider a silicon crystal at room temperature (300 K) doped with arsenic atoms so that ND =

6 1016 1/cm3 . Find the equilibrium electron concentration n0 , hole concentration p0 , and Fermi

level EF with respect to the intrinsic Fermi level Ei and conduction band edge EC .

Then we can use the Law of Mass Action to find the hole concentration:

n2i 2.1 1020

p0 = = = 3.5 103 1/cm3 (2)

n0 6 1016

To find the Fermi level with respect to the intrinsic Fermi level, we use the expression that links

electron concentration to Ei and ni :

EF Ei n0

n0 = ni exp( ) (EF Ei ) = kT ln( ) (3)

kT ni

At room temperature

kT = 8.61 105 300 0.026 eV (4)

Then the separation of the Fermi level and intrinsic Fermi level is, from Eqn. 3:

6 1016

(EF Ei ) = 0.026 ln( ) = 0.026 15.24 = 0.396 eV

1.45 1010

EF = Ei + 0.396 eV (5)

Drawing the band energy diagram, we can then place the Fermi level in the correct place with respect

to the intrinsic Fermi level (middle of bandgap) and also find its separation from the conduction band

edge EC . See Figure 1.

1

Figure 1: Solution to Problem 1. This is an n-type material doped at 6 1016 1/cm3 .

2

2. Consider a silicon crystal at 300 K, with the Fermi level 0.18 eV above the valence band. What

type is the material? What are the electron and hole concentrations?

We start with drawing the band energy diagram for the crystal, as in Figure 2:

Figure 2: The energy band diagram for the crystal presented in Problem 2.

The separation between EF and EV is given. Then, as can be seen from the figure, we can calculate

the separation between Ei and EF :

Ei EV = Eg /2 = 0.56 eV

Ei EV = (Ei EF ) + (EF EV ) (Ei EF ) = Eg /2 (EF EV )

(Ei EF ) = 0.56 0.18 = 0.38 eV (6)

The Fermi level is below the intrinsic Fermi level (in other words, it is closer to the valence band than

it is to the conduction band). Therefore this is a p-type material, and we can find the equilibrium

hole concentration as

Ei EF 0.38

p0 = ni exp( ) = 1.45 1010 exp( ) 3.23 1016 1/cm3 (7)

kT 0.026

We can then calculate the equilibrium electron concentration by the Law of Mass Action:

n0 = = 6.5 103 1/cm3 (8)

p0 3.23 1016

3

Note that we could also arrive at this result by using the EF -related expression for n0 :

EF Ei 0.38

n0 = ni exp( ) = 1.45 1010 exp( ) = 1.45 1010 exp(14.62) 6.5 103 1/cm3 (9)

kT 0.026

As an exercise, go back to Problem 1 and show that you could use the expression in Eqn. 7 to

calculate p0 in that problem after the calculation of EF in Eqn. 5.

4

3. Consider a silicon crystal at room temperature, doped with both donor and acceptor atoms so that

ND = 2 1015 1/cm3 and NA = 1 1015 1/cm3 . What type of material would this yield? Find the

location of the Fermi level.

Here, ND > NA , so with more donors than acceptors this will be an n-type crystal.

Then

n2i 2.1 1020

p0 = = = 2.1 105 1/cm3 (11)

n0 1 1015

and

n0 1 1015

(EF Ei ) = kT ln( ) = 0.026 ln( ) = 0.026 11.14 = 0.29 eV (12)

ni 1.45 1010

The band energy diagram will be as in Figure 3.

Figure 3: The energy band diagram for the crystal presented in Problem 3.

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