Energy & Green Tech

Oxygen breathes new life into solar cell research

Scientists in Australia and the United States have been able to 'upconvert' low energy light into high energy light, which can be captured by solar cells, in a new way, with oxygen the surprise secret ingredient. The results ...

Business

Taiwan chip giant TSMC to build $12bn US plant

Taiwanese computer chip giant TSMC announced Friday it will spend $12 billion on a state-of-the-art semiconductor foundry in the United States, creating thousands of jobs.

Electronics & Semiconductors

A new transverse tunneling field-effect transistor

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have recently fabricated a transverse tunneling field-effect transistor. This is a semiconductor device that can be used to amplify or switch electrical power or signals, operating ...

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Semiconductor

A semiconductor is a material that has a resistivity value between that of a conductor and an insulator. The conductivity of a semiconductor material can be varied under an external electrical field. Devices made from semiconductor materials are the foundation of modern electronics, including radio, computers, telephones, and many other devices. Semiconductor devices include the transistor, solar cells, many kinds of diodes including the light-emitting diode, the silicon controlled rectifier, and digital and analog integrated circuits. Solar photovoltaic panels are large semiconductor devices that directly convert light energy into electrical energy. In a metallic conductor, current is carried by the flow of electrons. In semiconductors, current can be carried either by the flow of electrons or by the flow of positively-charged "holes" in the electron structure of the material.

Silicon is used to create most semiconductors commercially. Dozens of other materials are used, including germanium, gallium arsenide, and silicon carbide. A pure semiconductor is often called an “intrinsic” semiconductor. The conductivity, or ability to conduct, of semiconductor material can be drastically changed by adding other elements, called “impurities” to the melted intrinsic material and then allowing the melt to solidify into a new and different crystal. This process is called "doping".

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