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By J. Jenkins, W. Ashhurst, W. H. Jarvis

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Extra info for Basic Principles of Electronics. Semiconductors

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As every electron arriving in the conduction band must leave a hole behind in the valency band, the electron and hole densities are equal in a perfectly pure semiconductor crystal (see Fig. 3). A free electron wandering about in the crystal may encounter a broken bond or hole, and recombine with it, and so two charge carriers would then be lost for the process of conduction. As 31 BASIC PRINCIPLES OF ELECTRONICS, VOL. 2 opposed to this recombination, absorption of energy by a bond from the lattice vibrations of the crystal could result in the generation of a hole-electron pair.

1 relates the electrical conductivity of various metals with the energy gap Wg. 1 Conductivity σ (mho m""1) Energy gap W9 (eV) 28 Pb Sn 5X106 5X10* 0 008 Si C (diamond) 2-1 3X10-* 10 - " 0-75 1-21 Ge 5-2 ^, 0 ! I I I l X l l A i Ca l T/ . I I I I I I I ! I ! I I . Ne Mg (Si) S i Cr . N | F | Na \ Al \ P | CI \ K ! Sc j V , Fe , NI A J L Zn (pe) (Se) Kr Sr Zr Mo Ru Pd Cd i ^ Sn (je Xe Ba Ce Nd Sm FIG. 1. Graph of first ionization potential against atomic number. (Courtesy of Alan Holden) C (B) .

The compound semiconductors CdTe, CdSe, and CdS are very suitable. Taking CdTe as an example, 43 BASIC PRINCIPLES OF ELECTRONICS, VOL. 2 Conduction _ band • Electron ■ Lr tf °Hole Photon Valency band J ^ Photon /^ FIG. 3. 1 that the energy gap is 1-45 eV = 1-45X 1·6Χ10~19 joule. If, then, a photon arrives with energy greater than this, conduction occurs. The energy of a photon is given by E = hv where h = Planck's constant, 6-625 X 10~34 joule-sec, and v, the frequency of the light, is equal to c, its velocity divided by wavelength λ.

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