The Wide World of Semiconductors
In This Chapter
Peeking inside a semiconductor
Fusing two or more semiconductors to make diodes and transistors
Letting current flow this way, but not that way, with diodes
Understanding transistor action
Using transistors as teeny-tiny switches
Giving signals a boost with transistors
Semiconductors are at the heart of nearly every major electronic system that exists today, from the programmable pacemaker to the space shuttle. It’s amazing to think that teeny-tiny semiconductors are responsible for triggering enormous advances in modern medicine, space exploration, industrial automation, home entertainment systems, communications, and a slew of other industries.
Semiconductor diodes and transistors can be made to conduct or block electric current — depending on how you control them electrically. They make it possible to allow current to flow ...