You are on page 1of 19

Advanced Semiconductor

Dr. Yousuf Khan
Types of materials
• Insulators
• Conductors
• Semi-conductors
• Intrinsic semiconductors
• Extrinsic semiconductors
– P-type materials
– N-type materials
Semiconductors: Silicon
• Half filled valence shell with four electrons
• Other semiconductors include germanium
• Silicon is the source of most semiconductors today
• Crystalline structure of silicon
• silicon has only four electrons in its valence shell
• Cubic structure and the center of
• each face of the cube there exists an atom of silicon. Therefore, we say that
the crystal structure is face centered cubic
Energy Levels
• Single atom has discrete energy levels (orbitals)
• Within a crystal, though, each atom is affected by those around it. This
causes slight changes in the energy levels. Taken as a whole, all of these
individual variations cause the discrete levels to blur into broader bands
• Figure shows energy diagram of an intrinsic semiconductor material
Extrinsic or doped materials
• Impurities are also known as dopants
• A crystal with an added dopant is referred to as an extrinsic semiconductor
or doped material
• The amount of impurity added is generally small, perhaps in the
neighborhood of one part per million
Extrinsic or doped materials
• The dopant may be added through a gaseous
diffusion process where the crystal is heated
in an oven and the dopant added in gaseous
• Over a period of time the impurities will
diffuse or “seep into” the target crystal
• An alternate approach is ion implantation
• In this method the impurities are accelerated
and quite literally smash into the target,
dislodging and replacing some of the original
atoms in the crystal
Extrinsic or doped materials
• There are two different types of semiconductors
possible N-type material, and P-type material
• N-type material is created by adding pentavalent
impurities, that is, a dopant with five electrons in
its outer shell
• Examples include phosphorus, arsenic and
• P-type material is created by adding a trivalent
impurity, one with three electrons in its outer
• Possible trivalent impurities include boron,
gallium and indium.
N-type materials
• In N-type material, electrons in N-type material are referred to as
• the majority charge carrier (or more simply, the majority carrier) while
holes are referred to as the minority charge carrier (or minority carrier)
• Fermi level represents the point where 50% of states would be filled, so if
we add states above this, then the new 50% point must be higher than the
former level
P-type materials
• In a similar manner, if we introduce a trivalent impurity, our crystal model
now features a hole; a location where an electron is lacking. For this
reason, trivalent
• impurities are sometimes called acceptors
Energy Bands in Semiconductors

(a) A simplified two dimensional view of a region of the Si crystal showing covalent
bonds. (b) The energy band diagram of electrons in the Si crystal at absolute zero of
temperature. The bottom of the VB has been assigned a zero of energy.
Energy Bands in Semiconductors

(a) A photon with an energy hu greater than Eg can excite an electron from the VB to the
CB. (b) Each line between Si-Si atoms is a valence electron in a bond. When a photon
breaks a Si-Si bond, a free electron and a hole in the Si-Si bond is created. The result is
the photogeneration of an electron and a hole pair (EHP)
Energy bands
• Energy of band gap: Eg = Ec-Ev
• Energy of photon must be great than energy of band gap
• Thermal generation: electron-hole generation process in
absence of external radiations
• Recombination: electron falls from CB into VB
Hole Motion in a Semiconductor

A pictorial illustration of a hole in the valence band (VB) wandering around the crystal due to the tunneling of
electrons from neighboring bonds; and its eventual recombination with a wandering electron in the conduction
band. A missing electron in a bond represents a hole as in (a). An electron in a neighboring bond can tunnel into
this empty state and thereby cause the hole to be displaced as in (a) to (d). The hole is able to wander around in
the crystal as if it were free but with a different effective mass than the electron. A wandering electron in the CB
meets a hole in the VB in (e), which results in the recombination and the filling of the empty VB state as in (f)
Semiconductor Statistics

(a) Energy band diagram.

(b) Density of states (number of states per unit energy per unit volume).
(c) Fermi-Dirac probability function (probability of occupancy of a state).
(d) The product of g(E) and f (E) is the energy density of electrons in the CB (number of electrons per unit energy
per unit volume). The area under nE(E) versus E is the electron concentration.
Energy bands bend
in an applied field
Energy band diagram of an n-type
semiconductor connected to a voltage
supply of V volts.

The whole energy diagram tilts because

the electron now also has an electrostatic
potential energy.
E vs. k Diagrams

The E-k diagram of a direct bandgap semiconductor such as GaAs. The E-k curve consists of many
discrete points with each point corresponding to a possible state, wavefunction yk(x), that is
allowed to exist in the crystal. The points are so close that we normally draw the E-k relationship as
a continuous curve. In the energy range Ev to Ec there are no points, i.e. no yk(x) solutions
E vs. k Diagrams and Direct and Indirect
Bandgap Semiconductors

(a) In GaAs the minimum of the CB is directly above the maximum of the VB. GaAs is
therefore a direct bandgap semiconductor. (b) In Si, the minimum of the CB is displaced
from the maximum of the VB and Si is an indirect bandgap semiconductor. (c)
Recombination of an electron and a hole in Si involves a recombination center .