Semiconductors
Semiconductor devices
Electronic Properties
Robert M Rose, Lawrence A Shepart, John Wulff
Wiley Eastern Limited, New Delhi (1987)
Energy gap in solids
In the free electron theory a constant potential was assumed inside the solid.
In reality the presence of the positive ion cores gives rise to a varying potential field. In a
simple model the potential as in Fig.1 can be assumed (‘a’ is the lattice spacing and ‘w’ is
the width of the potential). If ‘w’ 0, we get ‘’ functions.
The travelling electron wave interacts with this periodic potential (for a crystalline solid).
The electron wave can be Bragg diffracted.
np � 2a � �p 2p 3p �
k= λCritical ��
2a, a, , ...� kCritical α��
� , , , ...�
a � 3 � �a a a �
k →
E →
2 2
h k
E=
8p 2 m
Band gap
2p p p 2p
  + +
a a a a
The Velocity of electrons for the above values of k are zero.
These values of k and the corresponding E are forbidden in the solid.
The waveform of the electron wave is two standing waves.
The standing waves have a periodic variation in amplitude and hence the electron
probability density in the crystal.
The potential energy of the electron becomes a function of its position
(cannot be assumed to be constant (and zero) as was done in the free electron model).
The magnitude of the Energy gap between two bands is the difference in the potential
energy of two electron locations.
The effective mass of an electron (m*) in a solid could be different from the rest mass (m 0).
The effective mass can be larger or smaller than the rest mass.
Collisions with atoms increases the rest mass, while enhanced propagation in the crystal
gives a reduced effective mass.
From the concept of group velocity the effective mass can be deduced. It is related to the
curvature of the Ek curve. Close to band edges, m* can be negative.
p
+
k → a
Within a band
If Fermi energy lies in this region
then the conductivity would be high
Effective energy gap → Forbidden gap → Band gap
The effective gap for all directions of motion is called the forbidden gap.
There is no forbidden gap if the maximum of a band for one direction of motion is higher
than the minimum for the higher band for another direction of motion this happens if the
potential energy of the electron is not a strong function of the position in the crystal.
np
k=
d Sin
p p
k= k=
d Sin 90o d Sin 45o
[100] [110]
Effective gap
E →
E →
p k → 2p k →
+ +
a a
Energy band diagram: METALS
Divalent metals
Monovalent metals
Semiconductor
Conduction Band
23 eV
Valence Band
Elements of the 4th column (C, Si, Ge, Sn, Pb) → valence band full but no overlap of
valence and conduction bands
Diamond → PE as strong function of the position in the crystal
Band gap is 5.4 eV
Down the 4th column the outermost orbital is farther away from the nucleus and less bound
the electron is less strong a function of the position in the crystal reducing band gap
down the column
Energy band diagram: INSULATORS
Insulator
Conduction Band
> 3 eV
Valence Band
Intrinsic semiconductors
At zero K very high field strengths (~ 1010 V/m) are required to move an electron from the
top of the valence band to the bottom of the conduction band
Thermal excitation is an easier route
P(E) →
E →
EF Eg
Eg/2
0 0.5 1
T>0K 1
P( E ) =
E  EF Eg
1 + exp
kT
( E  EF ) =
2
( E  E F ) Silicon
Eg E  EF
= = 0.55 eV kT 0.026 eV 1
2 Silicon kT
Unity in denominator can be ignored
Eg
P( E ) exp 
2 kT
Eg
= C exp 
2 kT
Eg
ln = C1 
2kT Eg

Ln()→
2k
1/T (/K) →
Extrinsic semiconductors
The addition of doping elements significantly increases the conductivity of a semiconductor.
In fact impurity is accidentally present in semiconductors (even in low concentrations like 1
atom in 1012 atoms), which make it extrinsic.
Doping of Si
V column element (P, As, Sb) → the extra unbonded electron is practically free (with a
radius of motion of ~ 80 Å)
Energy level near the conduction band
n type semiconductor
III column element (Al, Ga, In) → the extra electron for bonding supplied by a
neighbouring Si atom → leaves a hole in Si.
Energy level near the valence band
p type semiconductor
ntype Ionization Energy→
Energy required to promote an electron
from the Donor level to conduction band.
EF EIonization~0.01 eV
EIonization < Eg
Eg ~1 eV even at RT large fraction of the donor
electrons are exited into the conduction
Donor level (ED) band.
10 2
R3
(/ Ohm / K) →
Exponential
1 R1
10
Ex
function
t
rin
+ve slope due to
sic
Temperature dependent
mobility term
10 0 Slope can be used for the
calculation of EIonization