What Is A Semiconductor?


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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It is a material that has some characteristics of a conductor of electricity due to electron flow but it is not totally a conductor, meaning it is half-insulator and half-conductor.
E Jacobson Profile
E Jacobson answered
A semiconductor is a conductor (of electricity) which is not a full conductor. Most metals can conduct electricity. So they are known as conductors. Other materials such as wood, plastic, glass etc do not conduct electricity very well. These are insulators. Semiconductors lie in between these two types of materials.

That is to say they do conduct electricity, just not very well or only in certain circumstances. This is very useful in electronic devices. For example some semiconductors carry electricity only if light falls on them, so they can be used in light sensitive equipment.

Diodes are made from two different types of semiconductors as a combination which can conduct currents in only one direction. Transistors are also made up of semiconductors. However, the best known semiconductor is probably silicon which forms the basis for many electronic components, through silicon being used in the formation of tiny integrated circuits, known as 'silicon chips'.

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