Electronic band structure
Configuration of allowed and disallowed electron states. Crystals (structures consisting of regularly repeating units) typically have “energy bands” in which an electron may have any energy within a continuous, or nearly continuous, energy range. Energy bands are separated by “band gaps” which specify a range of energies which are impossible for an electron in that system to have.
A variety of models and mathematical tools can be used to determine the nature of a particular crystalline material’s electronic band structure from the basic principles of quantum mechanics. For discussion here, we will concern ourselves only with the highest-energy fully or partially occupied band (“valence band”) and lowest-energy unoccupied band (“conduction band”).
In an insulator, the ground state consists of a fully occupied valence band and an empty conduction band. The random excitations due to ambient temperatures are not sufficient to add enough energy...
- Ashcroft, N.W. and Mermin, N.D., 1972. Solid State Physics. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar