Theory of Superconducting Semiconductors

  • C. S. Koonce
Conference paper


Superconducting semiconductors are different in many ways from metals, alloys and compounds in which superconductivity is usually found. One of the outstanding differences is the way in which they are constructed. One usually begins with a semiconductor, that is, a material having a concentration of electrons in the conduction band proportional to \( {\text{e}}^{ - {\text{E}}_{\text{G}} /{\text{kT}}} \) where EG, the semiconducting gap, is typically of the order of tenths of electron volts (thousands of Kelvin). Since the semiconducting energy gap is much larger than the superconducting energy gap, pure semiconductors are not superconducting. In order for superconductivity to occur, we must have unpaired electrons in the normal state, that is, a partly filled energy band. Doping is used to achieve this condition. Doping occurs when an element in the semiconductor is replaced by a small percentage of an element in another column of the periodic table, or when a partially ionic semiconductor is prepared with a deficiency of one of the elements in the compound. If the concentration of impurities, which are called donors or acceptors depending on whether they donate or accept electrons, is low, these extra electrons or holes will remain bound to the impurities. Fig. 1 shows an idealized semiconductor band structure with one donor and one acceptor level.


Fermi Energy Dielectric Function Small Wave Vector Normal State Property Eliashberg Equation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. S. Koonce
    • 1
  1. 1.National Bureau of StandardsUSA

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