Elementary Properties of Semiconductors

  • Karlheinz Seeger
Part of the Advanced Texts in Physics book series (ADTP)


A consequence of the discovery of electricity was the observation that metals are good conductors while nonmetals are poor conductors. The latter were called insulators. Metallic conductivity is typically between 106 and 104 (Ω cm)−1, while typical insulators have conductivities of less than 10−10 (Ω cm)−1. Some solids with conductivities between 104 and 10−10 (Ω cm)−1 are classified as semiconductors. However, substances such as alkali-halides whose conductivity is due to electrolytic decomposition shall be excluded. Also we restrict our discussion to chemically uniform, homogeneous substances and prefer those which can be obtained in monocrystalline form. Even then we have to distinguish between semiconductors and semimetals. This distinction is possible only as a result of thorough investigation of optical and electrical properties and how they are influenced by temperature, magnetic field, etc. Without giving further explanations at this stage, the statement is made that semiconductors have an energy gap while semimetals and metals have no such gap. However, very impure semiconductors show a more or less metallic behavior and with many substances, the art of purification is not so far advanced that a distinction can easily be made. The transition between semiconductors and insulators is even more gradual and depends on the ratio of the energy gap to the temperature of investigation. Very pure semiconductors may become insulators when the temperature approaches the absolute zero.


Valence Electron Gallium Arsenide Seed Crystal Extra Electron Positive Hole 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.1
    C.K. Chiang, C.R. Fincher, Jr., Y.W. Park, A. J. Heeger, H. Shirakawa, E.J. Louis, S.C. Gau, A.G. MacDiarmid, Phys. Rev. Lett. 39, 1098 (1977)Google Scholar
  2. 1.2
    W.C. Dash, J. Appl. Phys. 29, 736 (1958), 30, 459 (1959)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 1.3
    J. Czochralski, Z. Phys. Chem. 92, 219 (1918); J.C. Brice, Crystal Growth Processes, Blackie (London) 1973Google Scholar
  4. 1.4
    P.H. Keck, M.J.E. Golay, Phys. Rev. 89, 1297 (1953)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 1.5
    M.A. Hermann, H. Sitter, Molecular Beam Epitaxy Springer - Verlag Heidelberg, 1989Google Scholar
  6. 1.6
    C.T. Foxon, B.A. Joyce, in R.A. Stradling, P.C. Klipstein, (eds.), Growth and Characterization of Semiconductors, ( Hilger Bristol ) (1990), p. 35Google Scholar
  7. 1.7
    J.M. Meese, Neutron Transmutation Doping in Semiconductors, ( Plenum, New York 1979 )CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 1.8
    G. Mandel, Phys. Rev. 134, A1073 (1964)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karlheinz Seeger
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.ViennaAustria
  2. 2.Institut für MaterialphysikUniversitätViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations