NCERT Class 12 Physics Semiconductor Electronics Materials and Devices and Simple Circuits

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Semiconductor Electronics Materials And Devices And Simple Circuits Class 12 Physics NCERT

Class 12 Physics students should refer to the following NCERT Book chapter Semiconductor Electronics Materials And Devices And Simple Circuits in standard 12. This NCERT Book for Grade 12 Physics will be very useful for exams and help you to score good marks

Semiconductor Electronics Materials And Devices And Simple Circuits NCERT Class 12

Chapter Fourteen


14.1 INTRODUCTION Devices in which a controlled flow of electrons can be obtained are the basic building blocks of all the electronic circuits. Before the discovery of transistor in 1948, such devices were mostly vacuum tubes (also called valves) like the vacuum diode which has two electrodes, viz., anode (often called plate) and cathode; triode which has three electrodes – cathode, plate and grid; tetrode and pentode (respectively with 4 and 5 electrodes). In a vacuum tube, the electrons are supplied by a heated cathode and the controlled flow of these electrons in vacuum is obtained by varying the voltage between its different electrodes. Vacuum is required in the inter-electrode space; otherwise the moving electrons may lose their  energy on collision with the air molecules in their path. In these devices the electrons can flow only from the cathode to the anode (i.e., only in one direction). Therefore, such devices are generally referred to as valves. These vacuum tube devices are bulky, consume high power, operate generally at high voltages (~100 V) and have limited life and low reliability. The seed of the development of modern solid-state semiconductor electronics goes back to 1930’s when it was realised that some solidstate semiconductors and their junctions offer the possibility of controlling the number and the direction of flow of charge carriers through them. Simple excitations like light, heat or small applied voltage can change the number of mobile charges in a semiconductor. Note that the supply and flow of charge carriers in the semiconductor devices are within the solid itself, while in the earlier vacuum tubes/valves, the mobile electrons were obtained from a heated cathode and they were made to flow in an evacuated space or vacuum. No external heating or large evacuated space is required by the semiconductor devices. They are small in size, consume low power, operate at low voltages and have long life and high reliability. Even the Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) used in television and computer monitors which work on the principle of vacuum tubes are being replaced by Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors with supporting solid state electronics. Much before the full implications of the semiconductor devices was formally understood, a naturally occurring crystal of galena (Lead sulphide, PbS) with a metal point contact attached to it was used as detector of radio waves.

In the following sections, we will introduce the basic concepts of semiconductor physics and discuss some semiconductor devices like junction diodes (a 2-electrode device) and bipolar junction transistor (a 3-electrode device). A few circuits illustrating their applications will also be described.


On the basis of energy bands According to the Bohr atomic model, in an isolated atom the energy of any of its electrons is decided by the orbit in which it revolves. But when the atoms come together to form a solid they are close to each other. So the outer orbits of electrons from neighbouring atoms would come veryclose or could even overlap. This would make the nature of electron motion in a solid very different from that in an isolated atom. Inside the crystal each electron has a unique position and no two electrons see exactly the same pattern of surrounding charges. Because of this, each electron will have a different energy level. These different energy levels with continuous energy variation form what are called energy bands. The energy band which includes the energy levels of the valence electrons is called the valence band. The energy band above the valence band is called the conduction band. With no external energy, all the valence electrons will reside in the valence band. If the lowest level in the conduction band happens to be lower than the highest level of th  valence band, the electrons from the valence band can easily move into the conduction band. Normally the conduction band is empty. But whenit overlaps on the valence band electrons can move freely into it. This is the case with metallic conductors.

If there is some gap between the conduction band and the valence band, electrons in the valence band all remain bound and no free electrons are available in the conduction band. This makes the material an insulator. But some of the electrons from the valence band may gain external energy to cross the gap between the conduction band and the valence band. Then these electrons will move into the conduction band. At the same time they will create vacant energy levels in the valence band where other valence electrons can move. Thus the process creates the possibility of conduction due to electrons in conduction band as well as due to vacancies in the valence band.

Let us consider what happens in the case of Si or Ge crystal containing N atoms. For Si, the outermost orbit is the third orbit (n = 3), while for Ge it is the fourth orbit (n = 4). The number of electrons in the outermost orbit is 4 (2s and 2p electrons). Hence, the total number of outer electrons in the crystal is 4N. The maximum possible number of electrons in the outer orbit is 8 (2s + 6p electrons). So, for the 4N valence electrons there are 8N available energy states. These 8N discrete energy levels can either form a continuous band or they may be grouped in different bands depending upon the distance between the atoms in the crystal (see box on Band Theory of Solids). The lowest energy level in the conduction band is shown as EC and highest energy level in the valence band is shown as EV. Above EC and below EV there are a large number of closely spaced energy levels, as shown in Fig. 14.1. The gap between the top of the valence band and bottom of the conduction band is called the energy band gap (Energy gap Eg). It may be large, small, or zero, depending upon the material. These different situations.

14.2 and discussed below:

Case I: This refers to a situation, as shown in Fig. 14.2(a). One can have a  metal either when the conduction bandis partially filled and the balanced band is partially empty or when the conduction and valance bands overlap. When there is overlap electrons from valence band can easily move into the conduction band. This situation makes a large number of electrons available for electrical conduction. When the valence band is partially empty, electrons from its lower level can move to higher level  making conduction possible. Therefore, the resistance of such materialsis low or the conductivity is high.


We shall take the most common case of Ge and Si whose lattice structure is shown in Fig. 14.3. These structures are called the diamond-like structures. Each atom is surrounded by four nearest neighbours. We know that Si and Ge have four valence electrons. In its crystalline structure, every Si or Ge atom tends to share one of its four valence electrons with each of its four nearest neighbour atoms, and also to take share of one electron from each such neighbour. These shared electron pairs are referred to as forming a covalent bond or simply a valence bond. The two shared electrons can be assumed to shuttle back-andforth between the associated atoms holding them together strongly. Figure 14.4 schematically shows the 2-dimensional representation of Si or Ge structure shown in Fig. 14.3 which overemphasises the covalent bond. It shows an idealised picture in which no bonds are broken (all bonds are intact). Such a situation arises at low temperatures. As the temperature increases, more thermal energy becomes available to these electrons and some of these electrons may break–away (becoming free electrons contributing to conduction). The thermal energy effectively ionises only a few atoms in the crystalline lattice and creates a vacancy in the bond as shown in Fig. 14.5(a). The neighbourhood, from which the free electron (with charge –q) has come  out leaves a vacancy with an effective charge (+q ). Thisvacancy with the effective positive electronic charge is called a hole. The hole behaves as an apparent free particle with effective positive charge.


14.1 In an n-type silicon, which of the following statement is true:

(a) Electrons are majority carriers and trivalent atoms are the dopants.

(b) Electrons are minority carriers and pentavalent atoms are the dopants.

(c) Holes are minority carriers and pentavalent atoms are the dopants.

(d) Holes are majority carriers and trivalent atoms are the dopants.

14.2 Which of the statements given in Exercise 14.1 is true for p-type semiconductos.

14.3 When a forward bias is applied to a p-n junction, it

(a) raises the potential barrier.

(b) reduces the majority carrier current to zero.

(c) lowers the potential barrier.

(d) None of the above.

14.4 For transistor action, which of the following statements are correct:

(a) Base, emitter and collector regions should have similar size and doping concentrations.

(b) The base region must be very thin and lightly doped.

(c) The emitter junction is forward biased and collector junction is reverse biased.

(d) Both the emitter junction as well as the collector junction are forward biased.

14.5 For a transistor amplifier, the voltage gain

(a) remains constant for all frequencies.

(b) is high at high and low frequencies and constant in the middle frequency range.

(c) is low at high and low frequencies and constant at mid frequencies.

(d) None of the above.

14.6 In half-wave rectification, what is the output frequency if the input frequency is 50 Hz. What is the output frequency of a full-wave rectifier for the same input frequency.

14.7 For a CE-transistor amplifier, the audio signal voltage across the collected resistance of 2 kΩ is 2 V. Suppose the current amplification factor of the transistor is 100, find the input signal voltage and base current, if the base resistance is 1 kΩ.

14.8 Two amplifiers are connected one after the other in series (cascaded). The first amplifier has a voltage gain of 10 and the second has a voltage gain of 20. If the input signal is 0.01 volt, calculate the output ac signal.

14.9 A p-n photodiode is fabricated from a semiconductor with band gap of 2.8 eV. Can it detect a wavelength of 6000 nm?

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Chapter 1 Electric Charges and Fields
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Chapter 2 Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance
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Chapter 3 Current Electricity
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Chapter 4 Moving Charges and Magnetism
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Chapter 5 Magnetism and Matter
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Chapter 6 Electromagnetic Induction
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Chapter 7 Alternating Current
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Chapter 8 Electromagnetic Waves
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Chapter 9 Ray Optics and Optical Instruments
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Chapter 10 Wave Optics
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Chapter 11 Dual Nature of Radiation and Matter
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Chapter 12 Atoms
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Chapter 13 Nuclei
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Chapter 14 Semiconductor Electronics Materials Devices and Simple Circuits
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Chapter 15 Communication Systems
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Part I Answers and Solutions
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Part II Answers and Solutions
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Part II Appendix
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Part II BiblioGraphy
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