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Engineering Physics by S. Mani Naidu

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8.1 Introduction

Based on electrical conductivity, materials are divided into conductors, insulators and semiconductors. Usually, metals are good conductors of electricity and all dielectrics are insulators. The electrical conductivity of semiconductors lie in between metals and dielectrics. Good examples for semiconductor are germanium and silicon. These elements belong to IV group in the periodic table. At 0 K, these elements are insulators, whereas at room temperatures they possess certain amount of conductivity. Pure germanium and silicon are called intrinsic semiconductors. By adding a small quantity of either III group or V group element atoms as impurity into pure Ge or Si, the electrical conductivity of the material increases. This impure ...

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