What Are Bulk Semiconductors?

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Semiconductors are what make the majority of modern electronics work. The term semiconductors is used to describe solid materials that are not considered conductors or insulators. Semiconductors have a conductor property that falls somewhere in the middle.

Definition

  • Bulk semiconductors are materials that are sold in bulk that can be used to make semiconductors. There are two common materials that are used: silicon and gallium arsenide. Silicon is one of the most abundant elements on the planet. Gallium arsenide is an arsenic compound that is produced exclusively for the semiconductor industry. These materials must be purified and synthesized before they are used in electronics.

Semiconductor Doping

  • Doping refers to the intentional introduction of impurities into the pure semiconductor material during the production process. These impurities change the semiconductor's electrical properties. Extrinsic semiconductors are ones that have been slightly doped. When a semiconductor has been highly doped it tends to act more like a conductor. These are called degenerate semiconductors.

Semiconductors and Temperature

  • At higher temperatures, semiconductors act more like a metal that is very conductive. At lower temperatures, they have more in common with insulators. They fall in-between these two at room temperature.

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