Chapter 2: Glossary

Name

Acceptor

An atom which is likely to take on one or more electrons when placed in a crystal

Bandgap

The range of energies between existing energy bands where no energy levels exist

Compensation

The process of adding donors and acceptor to a crystal

Conduction band

Lowest empty or partially filled band in a semiconductor

Conductivity

The ratio of the current density to the applied electric field

Continuity equation

Equation which states that the rate of change of a density of particles equals the net flux of particles coming in

Crystal

A solid which consists of atoms placed in a periodic arrangment

Crystalline

Made of one or multiple crystals

Density of states

The density of electronic states per unit energy and per unit volume

Diffusion

Motion of particles caused by thermal energy

Diffusion length

Average distance minority carriers travel in a quasi-neutral region before they recombine

Donor

An atom which is likely to give off one or more electrons when placed in a crystal

Drift

Motion of carriers caused by an electric field

Energy band

A collection of closely spaced energy levels

Generation

Process by which electron-hole pairs are generated

Hole

Particle associated with an empty electron level in an almost filled band

Impurity

A foreign atom in a crystal

Intrinsic carrier density

The density of electrons and holes in an intrinsic semiconductor

Intrinsic semiconductor

A semiconductors free of defects or impurities

Ionization

The process of adding or removing an electron to/from an atom thereby creating a charged atom (i.e. ion)

Mass action law

The law which describes the relation between the densities of species involved in a chemical reaction

Mobility

The ratio of the carrier velocity to the applied electric field

Recombination

Process by which electron-hole pairs are removed

Resistivity

The ratio of the applied voltage to the current

Saturation Velocity

Maximum velocity which can be obtained in a specific semiconductor

Valence band

Highest filled or almost filled band in a semiconductor