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2 definitions found
 for semiconductor
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  semiconductor
      n 1: a substance as germanium or silicon whose electrical
           conductivity is intermediate between that of a metal and an
           insulator; its conductivity increases with temperature and
           in the presence of impurities [syn: semiconductor,
           semiconducting material]
      2: a conductor made with semiconducting material [syn:
         semiconductor device, semiconductor unit,
         semiconductor]

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  semiconductor
  
      A material, typically crystaline, which allows
     current to flow under certain circumstances.  Common
     semiconductors are silicon, germanium, gallium arsenide.
     Semiconductors are used to make diodes, transistors and
     other basic "solid state" electronic components.
  
     As crystals of these materials are grown, they are "doped"
     with traces of other elements called donors or acceptors
     to make regions which are n- or p-type respectively for the
     electron model or p- or n-type under the hole model.
     Where n and p type regions adjoin, a junction is formed which
     will pass current in one direction (from p to n) but not the
     other, giving a diode.
  
     One model of semiconductor behaviour describes the doping
     elements as having either free electrons or holes dangling
     at the points in the crystal lattice where the doping elements
     replace one of the atoms of the foundation material.  When
     external electrons are applied to n-type material (which
     already has free electrons present) the repulsive force of
     like charges causes the free electrons to migrate toward the
     junction, where they are attracted to the holes in the p-type
     material.  Thus the junction conducts current.
  
     In contrast, when external electrons are applied to p-type
     material, the attraction of unlike charges causes the holes to
     migrate away from the junction and toward the source of
     external electrons.  The junction thus becomes "depleted" of
     its charge carriers and is non-conducting.
  
     (1995-10-04)
  

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