Physics Group - II (3110018)

BE | Semester-1   Winter-2019 | 02-01-2020

Q2) (a)

Define Intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductor.

Intrinsic semiconductor: A semiconductor in an extremely pure form is known as an intrinsic semiconductor.

  • In an intrinsic semiconductor, even at room temperature, hole-electron pairs are created. When electric field is applied across an intrinsic semiconductor, the current conduction takes place by two processes, namely; by free electrons and holes.
  • The free electrons are produced due to the breaking up of some covalent bonds by thermal energy. At the same time, holes are created in the covalent bonds.
  • Under the influence of electric field, conduction through the semiconductor is by both free electrons and holes.
  • Therefore, the total current inside the semiconductor is the sum of currents due to free electrons and holes.
Extrinsic semiconductor:If we are adding a small amount of suitable impurity to a semiconductor. It is then called impurity or extrinsic semiconductor.
  • The purpose of adding impurity is to increase either the number of free electrons or holes in the semiconductor crystal.
  • As we shall see, if a pentavalent impurity (having 5 valence electrons) is added to the semiconductor, a large number of free electrons are produced in the semiconductor.
  • On the other hand, addition of trivalent impurity (having 3 valence electrons) creates a large number of holes in the semiconductor crystal.
  • Depending upon the type of impurity added, extrinsic semiconductors are classified into:
    1. n-type semiconductor
    2. p-type semiconductor