The various electrical and electronics components and many other types of electronic devices use a semiconductor, rather than a conductor. A semiconductor is one type of material like Si (silicon), that has some of the properties, that has some properties of both the conductors and also insulators. In fact, they have termed a whole valley in California after it. In its clean state, Si behaviors an electric current poorly.But, if we add soils like phosphorus or boron to the Si, it conducts. When you add phosphorus, it becomes an “n”-type semiconductor similarly, we add boron, it becomes a “p”-type semiconductor. A P-type semiconductor has fewer electrons than a pure semiconductor and an N-type semiconductor has more electrons than pure semiconductors.When the regions comprising phosphorus and boron are next to each other in Si, you have a PN-junction. The flow of current is only in one direction across a PN-junction.
What are Semiconductors and Conductors?
All the electronic components like diodes, transistors, integrated circuits, etc. used in present electronics that are made using a range of semiconductors. The main property of a semiconductor is given away by its term – it ‘conducts a little bit’. A semiconductor will carry electric current, but not as simple as a usual conductor.
Some components are intrinsic semiconductors. The semiconductor properties happen in these materials certainly. However, most of the semiconductor materials used in electronic devices are extrinsic. This means that left to themselves, they are outstanding insulators. These materials are switched into semiconductors by doping them with slight amounts of foreign atoms. The No.of doping atoms you want to add is very minor. If you left all the doping atoms in the set of a transistor and detached the bulk of the material you’d be missing with a vacuum better than occurs between the planets of the solar system.
Most of the conductors used in electronic devices are metals like aluminum, copper, and steel. These are materials obeys Ohm’s law and have very low resistance. Therefore, they can carry electric currents from place to place without wasting a lot of power. As a result, metals are beneficial as connecting wires to transmit electrical signals from place to place. They help ensure that most of the power of signals reaches its target instead of heating up the wires in between!
In fact, though it sounds odd, current resistors are also made of conductor materials. But, they use very thin parts of the conductor which don’t permit current too easily.
Why are we using Semiconductors in Electronics, Rather than Conductors
Semiconductors need less power and it can function at very low voltage. Previously mathematical operation and computation electronics were carried out with “vacuum tube technology”.So with the beginning of transistor semiconductors in the year 1947 have played a vast role in the mathematical process and computation electronically.
- The semiconductors need less area.
- It can fit in your cell phone and tablet etc.
- All the operation of electronics such as an oscillator, amplification, mathematical operation can be executed by the semiconductor device such as diodes, transistor etc.
- Semiconductors are everywhere and today most of the semiconductors are made from the Silicon element.
One can capable of controlling the current flow by changing the voltage at another terminal is one extreme benefit of the semiconductor in electronics.
- Semiconductor is an insulator
- There are both the intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors
- The charge carriers in a semiconductor carry due to the action of doping are called an intrinsic semiconductor.
- In an extrinsic semiconductor, charge carriers grow not only by doping but also with temperature.
- Most of the time we use extrinsic semiconductors
- A semiconductor like BJT is either PNP or NPN extensively used in amplifier circuits. In real time, we use NPN transistor, because in N-region of a semiconductor majority charge carriers is electrons as we require extra current to be produced, as a result, desired or faithful output or amplification is done.
Difference between Semiconductors and Conductors
|Conductivity||The conductivity of a semiconductor is moderate||The conductivity of the conductor is very high|
|Resistivity||It has moderate resistivity||It has a very low resistivity|
|Forbidden Gap||It has forbidden gap||It has no forbidden gap|
|Temperature Coefficient of Resistance||Semiconductor has a negative temperature coefficient of resistance||The conductor has a positive temperature coefficient of resistance|
|Electrons Availability||There are a moderate number of electrons available for conduction||There are a large number of electrons available for conduction|
|Examples||Silicon, Germanium||Metal, Aluminium, Copper|
Thus, this is all about why are we using semiconductors in electronics, rather than conductors.We hope that you have got a better understanding of this concept.Furthermore, any doubts regarding this concept or to implement any electrical and electronic projects, please give your feedback by commenting in the comment section below. Here is a question for you, what is the difference between a semiconductor and a conductor?