Why Do We Use Semiconductors Instead of Conductors in Electronic Circuit Design

Basically, semiconductors and conductors are mainly used in different types of electrical and electronic components. A semiconductor is one kind of material similar to Silicon, and it has some properties of both the insulators as well as conductors. The electric current behavior in the silicon is very poor. However, if we include some soils to Si like boron or phosphorus, then it conducts. But its behavior mainly depends on the added soils. When we add phosphorus soil to silicon, then it becomes an n-type semiconductor. Similarly, when we add Boron to Si, then it becomes a p-type semiconductor. The amount of electrons in a p-type semiconductor is few than a pure semiconductor whereas an n-type semiconductor has more electrons.

What are Semiconductors and Conductors?

All the components used in modern electronics are designed with semiconductors. The basic property of semiconductor is, it conducts less. A semiconductor will not carry electrical current easily like a normal conductor. Some of the materials use intrinsic semiconductors, and the semiconducting properties will happen in these materials. But, most of the materials used in modern electronics are extrinsic. These can be turned into semiconductors by doping them with tiny amounts of unknown atoms. But the number of atoms required to add for doping is very small.

Semiconductors and Conductors
Semiconductors and Conductors

The conductors which are mostly used in modern electronics are metals which include steel, aluminum, and copper. These materials follow Ohm’s law as well as have a very small resistance. Thus, they can transmit electric current from one place to another place without dissolving a lot of currents.

As a result, these are helpful while connecting wires for transmitting current from one place to another place. They assist in ensuring that most of the electrical current achieves its target as an alternative of heat up the connecting wires in between! Even though it makes an odd sound, current resistors are also finished with conductor materials. But, they employ very slight conductor parts which don’t let the current flow too simply.

Band Models of Semiconductors and Conductors

A semiconductor is mainly an insulator. But, the gap of energy is lesser when we contrasted to insulators. The valence band is somewhat thermally occupied at the temperature of the room, while the conduction band is somewhat unoccupied. Because electrical transmission is openly linked to the number of electrons within the transmission band (approximately empty) as well as to the holes in the valence band (completely occupied). It can be estimated that the electrical conductivity of an intrinsic semiconductor will be extremely little.

Band Models of Semiconductors and Conductors

In the band model of the conductor, the valence band is not completely in use with electrons, otherwise, the full valence band overlaps through the blank conduction band. Generally, both states happen at a time, the flow of electrons can move in the incompletely packed valence band otherwise within the two overlapping bands. In these, there is no gap for band among the valence as well as conduction.

Difference between Semiconductors and Conductors

The difference between semiconductors, as well as conductors, mainly includes its characteristics like conductivity, Resistivity, Forbidden gap, Temperature coefficient, Conduction, Conductivity value, Resistivity value, Current flow, Number of current carriers at normal temperature, Band overlap, 0 Kelvin Behavior, Formation, Valence Electrons, and its Examples.

  • The resistivity of the conductor is low, whereas semiconductor is moderate.
  • The conductivity of the conductor is high, whereas semiconductor is moderate.
  • The conductor has a large number of electrons for transmission, whereas semiconductor has a very little number of electrons for transmission.
  • The temperature coefficient of a conductor is positive, whereas semiconductor has negative.
  • The conductor doesn’t have forbidden gap whereas semiconductor has forbidden gap.
  • The resistivity value of the conductor is less than 10-5 Ω-m so it is negligible, whereas semiconductor has among the values of conductors & insulators i.e. 10-5 Ω-m-to-105 Ω-m.
  • The amount of current carriers at the usual temperature in the conductor is very high, whereas in semiconductors it is low.
  • The Conductivity value of the conductor is very high 10-7mho/m, whereas semiconductor has among those of insulators and conductors that are 10-13mho/m to 10-7mho/m.
  • The flow of current in a conductor is due to free electrons, whereas in semiconductors due to holes as well as free electrons.
  • The formation of the conductor can be done by metallic bonding, whereas in semiconductor it can be formed by covalent bonding.
  • The 0-kelvin behavior of conductor acts as a superconductor, whereas in semiconductor acts like an insulator.
  • The valence electrons in a conductor are one in the outermost shell, whereas in semiconductor it is four.
  • The band overlap in a conductor is both the valence and conduction bands are overlapped, whereas in semiconductor both bands are divided with an energy space of 1.1eV
  • The main examples of conductors are copper, silver, mercury, and aluminum, whereas semiconductor examples are silicon and germanium.

Thus, this is all about the comparison between semiconductors and conductors. The electrical conductors are materials or objects that permit the current flow in one direction otherwise more directions. The good conductors are mainly copper, aluminum and iron.  Semiconductors are solid substances that have electrical conductivity. This property makes it appropriate for the electrical current control.

From the above information, finally, we can conclude that the conductor has zero resistance, whereas, in semiconductors, there is a possibility of controlling the flow of current in semiconductors. This property is made utilized for designing the real-time electronic circuit requirements with semiconductors. Here is a question for you, what are the applications of semiconductors and conductors?

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