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Chapter 1 Electrons and Holes

in Semiconductors
1.1 Silicon Crystal Structure

Unit cell of silicon crystal is


cubic.

Each Si atom has 4 nearest


neighbors, as the diamond
structure. [C or diamond
and Ge are the same]

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-1
Silicon Wafers and Crystal Planes

The standard notation


z z z

for crystal planes is


y y y based on the cubic
x x
unit cell.
(100) x (011) (111)

Silicon wafers are


usually cut along the
(100) plane with a flat
or notch to help orient
Si (111) plane the wafer during IC
fabrication.
Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-2
1.2 Bond Model of Electrons and Holes
Silicon crystal in
a two-dimensional
representation.

1.1 eV

When an electron breaks loose and becomes a conduction


electron, a hole is also created.
Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-3
Dopants in Silicon

As (or P), a Group V element, introduces conduction electrons and creates


N-type silicon, and is called a donor.
B, a Group III element, introduces holes and creates P-type silicon,
m0 q4
and is called an acceptor. Hydrogen: E = = 13.6 eV
Donors and acceptors are known ion
80 h
2 2

as dopants. Dopant ionization

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-4
GaAs, III-V Compound Semiconductors, and Their Dopants

Si replace small Ga as a donor,


Ge replace As as an acceptor.
GaAs has the same crystal structure as Si.
GaAs, GaP, GaN are III-V compound semiconductors, important for
optoelectronics (LED, laser, 4.13 or high speed device 6.3.2).
Wich group of elements are candidates for donors? acceptors?
S, Se replace As as donor, group II (Zn) replaces Ga as acceptor.
Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-5
1.3 Energy Band Model

Energy states of Si atom (a) expand into energy bands of Si crystal (b).
The lower bands are filled and higher bands are empty in a semiconductor.
The highest filled band is the valence band.
The lowest empty band is the conduction band .

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-6
1.3.1 Energy Band Diagram

Energy band diagram shows the bottom edge of conduction band,


Ec , and top edge of valence band, Ev .
Ec and Ev are separated by the band gap energy, Eg .

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-7
Measuring the Band Gap Energy by Light Absorption

Eg can be determined from the minimum energy (h) of


photons that are absorbed by the semiconductor.
Bandgap energies of selected semiconductors

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-8
1.3.2 Donor and Acceptor in the Band Model

Ionization energy of selected donors and acceptors in silicon

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-9
1.4 Semiconductors, Insulators, and Conductors

Totally filled bands and totally empty bands do not allow


current flow. (Just as there is no motion of liquid in a
. totally empty bottle.)
totally filled or
Metal conduction band is half-filled.
Semiconductors have lower Eg 's than insulators and can be
doped.
Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-10
1.5 Electrons and Holes

Both electrons and holes tend to seek their lowest


energy positions.
Electrons tend to fall in the energy band diagram.
Holes float up like bubbles in water,. electrons as water drops.

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-11
1.5.1 Effective Mass
The electron wave function is the solution of the three
dimensional Schrodinger wave equation
2
2 + V ( r ) =
2m 0
The solution is of the form exp( k r)
k = wave vector = 2/electron wavelength
For each k, there is a corresponding E.

q d 2 E F
accelerati on = 2 2
=
dk m
2
effective mass 2
d E / dk 2
Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-12
1.5.1 Effective Mass

In an electric field, E, an electron or a hole accelerates.

electrons

holes

Electron and hole effective masses

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-13
1.5.2 How to Measure the Effective Mass

Cyclotron Resonance Technique

Centripetal force = Lorentzian force

mn v 2
= qvB
r
fcr is the Cyclotron resonance frequency.
qBr
v= It is independent of v and r.
mn Electrons strongly absorb microwaves of
v qB
f cr = = that frequency. (MW, 2.54 GHz)
2r 2mn By varying B until a peak in absorption fcr,
mn can be found.
Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-14
1.6 Density of States

number of states in E 1
Dc ( E ) 3
E volume eV cm

8mn 2mn (E Ec )
Dc ( E )
h3
8m p 2m p (Ev E ) Derived in Appendix I
Dv ( E ) 3
h
Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-15
1.7 Thermal Equilibrium and the Fermi Function
1.7.1 An Analogy for Thermal Equilibrium

There is a certain probability for the electrons in the


conduction band to occupy high-energy states under
the agitation of thermal energy.

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-16
Appendix II. Probability of a State at E being Occupied
There are g1 states at E1, g2 states at
E2 There are N electrons, which
constantly shift among all the states
but the average electron energy is
fixed at 3kT/2.
There are many ways to distribute
N among n1, n2, n3.and satisfy the
3kT/2 condition.
The equilibrium distribution is the distribution that
maximizes the number of combinations of placing n1 in g1
slots, n2 in g2 slots. :
ni/gi =

EF is a constant determined by the condition n i =N


Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu)
1.7.2 Fermi FunctionThe Probability of an Energy State
Being Occupied by an Electron
1 Ef is called the Fermi energy or
f (E) = ( E E f ) / kT the Fermi level.
1+ e
Boltzmann approximation:
E
(
EE f ) kT
f (E) e
(
EE f ) kT f (E) e E E f >> kT
Ef + 3kT

Ef + 2kT

( )
E
f

E f E kT E E f << kT
f (E) 1 e
Ef + kT
Ef

Ef kT
Ef 2kT There is only one Fermi
Ef 3kT
( )
E f E kT
level in a system at thermal
f (E) 1 e

f(E) equilibrium
0.5 1

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-18
1.8 Electron and Hole Concentrations
1.8.1 Derivation of n and p from D(E) and f(E)
top of conduction band
n= f ( E ) Dc ( E )dE
Ec

8mn 2mn ( ) kT

EE f
n= E Ec e dE
h3 Ec

8mn 2mn (Ec E f ) kT E Ec ( E Ec ) kT


=
h 3
e 0
E E c e d ( E Ec)

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-19
Electron and Hole Concentrations
Nc is called the effective
( Ec E f ) / kT
n = Nce density of states (of the
conduction band) .
2mn kT
32
It is as if all the energy states in the
N c 2 conduction band effectively squeezed

2
h into a single energy level, Ec, which can
hold Nc electrons ( cm-3) and the
probability that an energy states at EC is
( E f Ev ) / kT
p = Nve occupied.

2m p kT
32 Nv is called the effective
N v 2 2 density of states of the
h valence band.

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-20
Remember: the closer Ef moves up to E c , the larger n is;
the closer Ef moves down to Ev , the larger p is.
For Si, Nc = 2.8 x1019 cm-3 and Nv = 1.04 x1019 cm-3 .

Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-21


Figure 1.20 Schematic band diagram, density of states, FermiDirac distribution, and carrier distributions
versus energy.

Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-22


Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-23
1.8.2 The Fermi Level and Carrier Concentrations
Where is Ef for n =1017 cm-3? And for p = 1014 cm-3?
( Ec E f ) / kT
Solution: (a) n = N c e

( )
Ec E f = kT ln (N c n ) = 0.026 ln 2.8 1019 / 1017 = 0.146 eV

(b) For p = 1014cm-3, from Eq.(1.8.8),


(
E f Ev = kT ln ( N v p ) = 0.026 ln 1.04 1019 / 1014 = 0.31 eV )

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-24
1.8.2 The Fermi Level and Carrier Concentrations

( Ec E f ) / kT
n = Nce
E f = Ec kT ln ( N c n )

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-25
1.8.3 The np Product and the Intrinsic Carrier Concentration
( Ec E f ) / kT ( E f Ev ) / kT
Multiply n = N c e and p = Nve

( Ec Ev ) / kT E g / kT
np = N c N v e = Nc Nve

Indep. of EF
np = ni
2
Doped or un-doped

E g / 2 kT
ni = N c N v e

In an intrinsic (undoped) semiconductor, n = p = ni .


ni is the intrinsic carrier concentration, ~1010 cm-3 for Si.

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-26
EXAMPLE: Carrier Concentrations
Question: What is the hole concentration in an N-type semiconductor
with 1015 cm-3 of donors?

Solution: n = 1015 cm-3.


2
ni 10 20 cm -3
p= 15 3 = 105 cm -3
n 10 cm

After increasing T by 60C, n remains the same at 1015 cm-3 while p


E / kT
increases by about a factor of 2300 because ni 2 e g .
Question: What is n if p = 1017cm-3 in a P-type silicon wafer?

Solution: ni
2
10 20 cm -3
n= 17 3 = 103 cm -3
p 10 cm

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-27
1.9 General Theory of n and p
EXAMPLE: Complete ionization of the dopant atoms
Nd = 1017 cm-3. What fraction of the donors are not ionized?
Solution: First assume that all the donors are ionized.

n = N d = 1017 cm 3 E f = Ec 146meV
45meV 146 meV
Ed Ec
Ef

Ev
1 1
Probability of not = = 0.04
1 ( E E ) / kT 1
being ionized 1+ e d f 1 + e((14645) meV ) / 26 meV
2 2
Therefore, it is reasonable to assume complete ionization, i.e., n = Nd .
Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-28
1.9 General Theory of n and p
Charge neutrality: n + Na = p + Nd

np = ni
2

1/ 2
N a N d N a N d 2

p= + + ni
2

2 2
1/ 2
N d N a N d N a 2

n= + + ni
2

2 2

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-29
1.9 General Theory of on n and p
I. N d N a >> ni (i.e., N-type) n = Nd Na
p = ni n
2

If N d >> N a , n = Nd p = ni N d
2
and

II. N a N d >> ni (i.e., P-type) p = Na Nd


n = ni
2
p

n = ni N a
2
If N a >> N d , p = Na and

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-30
EXAMPLE: Dopant Compensation
What are n and p in Si with (a) Nd = 61016 cm-3 and Na = 21016 cm-3
and (b) additional 61016 cm-3 of Na?
n = 41016 cm-3
(a) n = N d N a = 4 1016 cm 3 ++++++
......
Nd = 61016 cm-3
p = ni / n = 10 20 / 4 1016 = 2.5 103 cm 3
2

16 -3
. . . .N.a.=. .210
. . . cm

(b) Na = 21016 + 61016 = 81016 cm-3 > Nd


3 ......
p = N a N d = 8 10 6 10 = 2 10 cm
16 16 16 ++++++

Nd = 61016 cm-3

n = ni / p = 10 20 / 2 1016 = 5 103 cm 3
2
Na = 81016 cm-3
-------- ......
p = 21016 cm-3

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-31
1.10 Carrier Concentrations at Extremely High
and Low Temperatures
( Ec E f ) / kT
intrinsic regime n = Nce
E g / 2 kT
Slope = e E f = Ec kT ln ( N c n )
ln n

n = Nd
freeze-out regime
EF may rise above Ed
Slope = e
( Ec Ed ) / 2 kT non-ionized
1/T
High Room temp Cryogenic temp
temp
E g / 2 kT
high T: n = p = ni = Nc Nv e
1/ 2
low T: n =
N c N d ( Ec Ed ) / 2 kT
2 e

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-32
Infrared Detector Based on Freeze-out
To image the black-body radiation emitted by tumors
requires a photodetector that responds to hs around 0.1 eV.
In doped Si operating in the freeze-out mode, conduction
electrons are created when the infrared photons provide the
energy to ionized the donor atoms.
electron

photon Ec
Ed

Ev

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-33
1.11 Chapter Summary

Energy band diagram. Acceptor. Donor. mn, mp.


Fermi function. Ef .
( Ec E f ) / kT
n = Nce
( E f Ev ) / kT
p = Nve
n = Nd Na
p = Na Nd
np = ni
2

Modern Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits (C. Hu) Slide 1-34