What does semiconductor mean?

What is a Semiconductor?

A semiconductor is not a man-made object but is a name given to natural substances such as silicon and germanium. If a material has semiconducting properties it will allow an electric current to flow through it, but in a way that can be controlled. And it is this ability to control the electric flow that is the difference between semiconductors and elements that are said to be full conductors, like copper.

Scientists are able to alter the function of semiconductors by adding impurities which will change their “conductance” – how electric current flows through them. This practice, known as “doping”, means that superconductors can be used for a variety of different purposes, and they are now part of components which can be found in most electronic devices, such as transistors and computer memory.

Semiconductors are broadly split into two varieties depending on the amount of electrons required: N-type have an excess, and P-Type have a shortage.

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