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Semiconductor image

Equipment provided in session

Semiconductor image

Beaker to be filled with various substances of different temperatures. A semiconductor is submerged and its response to temperature noted.

Semiconductor image

How the wires are put into the circuit box

Semiconductor image

Different semiconductors

Semiconductor Devices

In this session you will have:

Learnt about semiconductors


Investigated the current-voltage characteristics of diodes


Experimentally determined the energy gap of silicon


Developed further Excel skills


Semiconductors are materials which have a conductivity which lies between conductors (generally metals) and insulators (such as most ceramics). Semiconductors can be pure elements, such as silicon or germanium, or compounds based on gallium and cadmium.

The continuing development of computing and miniaturisation of devices are all based on the production of high purity silicon. Silicon based materials dominate the semiconductor industry and are in almost all electronic devices such as computers and calculators, but a number of other compounds are also used extensively. These include gallium arsenide (GaAs) as lasers in CD players and gallium nitride (GaN) which is used to produce blue light emitting diodes. Due to their role in the fabrication of electronic devices, semiconductors are an important part of our lives. Imagine life without electronic devices; there would be no TVs, no computers, no video games, and less advanced medical equipment!

Fig 1. Semiconductor diode


The script for this experiment can be found in the lab script book or on DUO.