Conductors & Insulators
This particular aspect of physics describes the very important part of semi-conductor devices, “Conductors, semi-conductors and insulators. Now-a-days all the electronic devices which we use are based on the controlled flow of electrons. Before 1948, mostly the electronic devices were made of vacuum tubes (also called valves) like the diode valve which has two electrodes; anode (often called plate) and cathode, triode valve which has three electrodes (i.e. plate, cathode and grid); tetrode valve having four electrodes (i.e. plate, cathode and two grids) and pentode valve having five electrodes (i.e. plate, cathode and three grids). In these vacuum tubes, the electrons are provided by heating the cathode using low tension battery and controlled flow of electrons is achieved by varying the voltage between its different electrodes. A vacuum is created between interelectrodes so that the moving electrons may not lose their energy on collision with air molecules can flow only in one direction (i.e. from cathode to anode), hence they are called as valves. The vacuum tubes are bulky, operating at high voltages (more than 100 V), consume more power, having limited life and low reliability.
In 1930, it was realized that some solid-state semi-conductors and their junctions can be helpful of controlling the number and direction of flow of charge carries through them. The discovery of semiconductor junction, i.e. junction diodes and transistors, replaced the vacuum tubes as they are small in size, operate at low voltage, and consume small power, having long life and high reliability. The semiconductor junctions led to the discovery of integrated circuits which have revolutionized the electronic industry as they have been used in the working of television and computer which are very commonly used in our daily life.
In this particular aspect we shall learn the basic concepts of semiconductors and their applications.
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