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What are Semiconductors?

The semiconductor industry will invest over $80 billion into the United States. These funds will last until 2025 and create thousands of jobs for Americans.

You likely have heard of this technology at some point and have wondered why they are important.

This guide will answer your questions. Once you’re done reading, you will find yourself familiar with what they are. You’ll also know their uses and the different types of semiconductors.

What Is a Semiconductor?

It is a type of substance that serves as a foundation for electronics. A semiconductor is usually a compound or chemical element.

It can conduct electricity under certain conditions. This makes them an ideal material to control electrical currents.

These have properties between insulators, which cannot conduct electricity, and conductors (the opposite). These differ from materials with superconductor properties. This type of property will act differently when cooled to certain temperatures.

When valence electrons bind with similar electrons from other atoms, they will change. The rearrangement will change them into crystals. Semiconductor creation will result from these crystals. Most of the time, they are silicon crystals.

Uses for Semiconductors

Due to this material’s properties, manufacturers can produce various industrial technologies. Some examples include solar cells, controlling devices, and microchips. Controlling devices will often power public transportation, robotics, and even spacecraft.

This substance is often used for electronic circuits in technology like CPUs. You’ll find these in consumer products like smartphones, LED bulbs, and computers.

Types of Semiconductors

Semiconductors come in various shapes and sizes. Yet, they only have two categories. Each category has areas where they’re better suited for different applications.

Extrinsic Semiconductor

These have no intrinsic properties. That is because makers will add suitable substitute atoms. This is also known as doping. These types of atoms are impurities.

They will improve the conductivity of semiconductors. Because of this, they have greater electrical resistance.

You can further categorize this type of material into the following:

  • P-type: carries currents known as holes, which have a positive charge
  • N-type: carries currents that are negatively charged electrons

Keep in mind that the charge in P-type’s holes is opposite and equal to an electron.

Extrinsic semiconductors offer a couple features their counterpart doesn’t. They have high conductivity and operating temperature.

Intrinsic Semiconductor

Fabrication plants will only use one kind of material in this category. Because of this, they don’t have any impurities. The types of materials used for these are Silicon and Germanium.

Due to these features, this type has lower electrical conductivity. It also has less operating temperature compared to its counterparts.

Learn More About Semiconductors

Though you understand the types of semiconductors and how they work, you will want to become an expert in this field. That way, you can know how these substances contribute to economic growth.

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