Encyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods

2015 Edition
| Editors: W. Jack Rink, Jeroen W. Thompson

Band Structure

  • Jeroen W. ThompsonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6304-3_50


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...

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  1. Ashcroft, N.W. and Mermin, N.D., 1972. Solid State Physics. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Physics and Applied Radiation SciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada