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What makes silicon a semiconductor?

Updated: 9/19/2023
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13y ago

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Elements have two bands.

One is Valence band and other is Conduction band.

Valence band contains electrons whereas the conduction band is empty.

The energy gap between them is called the forbidden gap.

In case of metals, this gap is very small or the bands overlap.

Therefore, the electrons are able to jump from the valence band to the conduction band and hence metal are able to conduct electricity and they are generally conductors.

In case of Non-Metals, the energy gap is very large and hence hence electrons are not able to move from valence band to conduction band.

Hence they are insulators.

But in case of elements like Silicon, Germanium this gap is between Metals and Non-Metals, hence few electrons are able to move from valence band to conduction band. Therefore they have some conductivity but it is low and hence they are called semiconductors.

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