Semiconductor

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A semiconductor is a solid material whose electrical conductivity falls in between conductors and insulators. Its conductivity can be controlled by adding impurities (a specific amount of other materials) to the semiconductor.

Silicon is the most important commercial semiconductor, though many others are used. They can be made into transistors, which are small amplifiers.

Transistors are used in computers, mobile phones, digital audio players and many other electronic devices.

Like other solids, the electrons in semiconductors can have energies only within certain bands (i.e. ranges of energy levels) between the energy of the ground state, corresponding to electrons tightly bound to the atomic nuclei of the material, and the free electron energy, which is the energy required for an electron to escape entirely from the material.

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