Semiconductor: - Solids having intermediate range of conductivity, i.e. from 10–6 to 104 ohm–1 m–1 are called semiconductors. Semiconductors are of following two types:
(i) n – type of semiconductors
(ii) p – type of semiconductors
(i) n – type semiconductors – Semiconductors formed after doping with electron rich impurities to increase their conductivity are called n-type of semiconductors.
Silicon and germanium, each has four valence electrons as they belong to 14th group of periodic table. Arsenic and phosphorous belong to 15th group of periodic table and they have valence electrons equal to 5. When silicon or germanium is doped with phosphorous or arsenic, four electrons of phosphorous or arsenic out of five; make covalent bonds with four electrons of silicon or germanium leaving one electron free; which increases the electrical conductivity of silicon or germanium.
Since the electrical conductivity of silicon or phosphorous is increased because of negatively charged particle (electron), thus this is known as n-type of semiconductor.
(ii) p – type of semiconductor - Semiconductors formed by the doping with electron deficient impurities; to increase their conductivity; are called p-type semiconductors. In p - type of semiconductors, conductivity increase because of formation of electron holes.
Example - Electrical conductivity of silicon or germanium is doped with elements, such as Boron, Aluminium or Gallium having valence electrons equal to 3. Three valence electrons present in these elements make covalent bonds with three electrons present in valence shell out of four of silicon or germanium leaving one electron delocalized. The place from where one electron is missing is called electron hole or electron vacancy.
When the silicon or germanium is placed under electrical field, electron from neighbouring atom fill the electron hole, but in doing so another electron hole is created at the place of movement of electron. In the influence of electrical filed electron moves toward positively charge plate through electron hole as appearing the electron hole as positively charged and are moving towards negatively charged plate.