Introduction to Semiconductor Devices
A semiconductor material is a device that allows the passage of electric current through it. Consider the device CPU, it consists of many number of transistors within it and these transistors contains the semiconductor material which allows the passage of current and all these are controlled by a switch. Here in a transistor the passage of current is controlled by the actions based on the state of switch whether it is on or off. Hence such device which allow the current to pass through them partially are called as Semiconductor Devices.
Semiconductor devices are said to be neither good insulators nor good conductors, hence the name Semi Conductors. Some of the examples of semiconductor devices includes op-amps, resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, etc.
These devices are widely used in many of the applications due to their reliability, compactness, low cost. As a discrete component, semiconductor are used as optical sensors, power devices, light emitters, and also including the solid-state lasers. They also have large range of current as well as voltage handling capacities, with the current ratings ranging from few nano-amperes i.e (10−9 ampere) up-to more than about 5,000 voltage and ampere ratings which extends above 100,000 volts. Semiconductor devices supply themselves in integrating into complex and readily are manufacturable into microelectronic circuits. They also find a good scope in future in forming key components for majority of electrical and electronic instruments and systems in various fields such as communications, data-processing, consumer, and also in industrial-control equipments.
Let us study in detail about some of the semiconductor devices along with their applications in various fields.
Types of Semiconductor Devices
Semiconductor devices are classified accordingly whether they are two-terminal or three- terminal devices and sometimes for terminal devices. The two-terminal devices includes Diode, Zener diode, Laser diode, Schottky diode, Light-emitting diode (LED), Photocell, Phototransistor, Solar cell and etc.
Some of the examples of three terminal semiconductor devices include Bipolar transistor, IGBT, Field-effect transistor, Silicon-controlled rectifier, TRIAC, Thyristor, etc.
- Diode- A diode is a semiconductor device that comprises of single p-n junction. P-n junctions are usually formed by joining up of p-type and n-type semiconductor materials. This formation is due to the reason that n-type region has the higher number of electron concentration whereas the p-type region has a higher number of hole concentration, hence the electrons get diffused from the n-type region to the p-type region. Hence this phenomenon is used in generating light.
- Transistors- Transistors are of two types bipolar junction transistor and field effect transistor. The bipolar junction transistor is achieved by the formation of two p-n junctions in two different configurations like n-p-n or p-n-p. In this type of transistor, the three regions formed are named as emitter, collector and base or the middle region.
The field effect transistor works on the principle of conductivity and the conductivity can be altered by the presence of an electric field.
Applications of Semiconductor Devices
- Semiconductor devices are used in the designing of logic gates and digital circuits.
- These are used in microprocessors
- They are used in analog circuits such as oscillators and amplifiers.
- Used in high voltage applications.
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