The previous two problems dealt with pure semiconductors, also called intrinsic semiconductors. Useful semiconductor devices are instead made from doped semiconductors, which contain substantial numbers of impurity atoms. One example of a doped semiconductor was treated in Problem 7.5. Let us now consider that system again. (Note that in Problem we measured all energies relative to the bottom of the conduction band, ϵc. We also neglected the distinction between g0 and g0c this simplification happens to be ok for conduction electrons in silicon.)

(a) Calculate and plot the chemical potential as a function of temperature, for silicon doped with 1017 phosphorus atoms per cm3 (as in Problem). Continue to assume that the conduction electrons can be treated as an ordinary ideal gas.

(b) Discuss whether it is legitimate to assume for this system that the conduction electrons can be treated as an ordinary ideal gas, as opposed to a Fermi gas. Give some numerical examples.

(c) Estimate the temperature at which the number of valence electrons excited to the conduction band would become comparable to the number of conduction electrons from donor impurities. Which source of conduction electrons is more important at room temperature?

Problem:

Consider a system consisting of a single impurity atom/ion in a semiconductor. Suppose that the impurity atom has one “extra” electron compared to the neighbouring atoms, as would a phosphorus atom occupying a lattice site in a silicon crystal. The extra electron is then easily removed, leaving behind a positively charged ion. The ionized electron is called a conduction electron because it is free to move through the material; the impurity atom is called donor, because it can “donate” a conduction electron. This system is analogous to the hydrogen atom considered in the previous two problems except that the ionization energy is much less, mainly due to the screening of the ionic charge by the dielectric behavior of the medium.

(a) Write down a formula for the probability of a single donor atom being ionized. Do not neglect the fact that the electron, if present, can have two independent spin states. Express your formula in terms of the temperature the ionization energy I, and the chemical potential of the “gas” of ionized electrons.

(b) Assuming that the conduction electrons behave like an ordinary ideal gas (with two spin states per particle), write their chemical potential in terms of the number of conduction electrons per unit volume, Nc/V.

(c) Now assume that every conduction electron comes from an ionized donor atom. In this case the number of conduction electrons is equal to the number of donors that are ionized. Use this condition to derive a quadratic equation for Nc in terms of the number of donor atoms (Nd), eliminating µ. Solve for Nc using the quadratic formula. (Hint: It’s helpful to introduce some abbreviations for dimensionless quantities. Try x = Nc/ Nd, t = kT / I, and so on.)

(d) For phosphorus in silicon, the ionization energy is 0.044 eV. Suppose that there are 1017 P atoms per cubic centimeter. Using these numbers, calculate and plot the fraction of ionized donors as a function of temperature. Discuss the results.

Physics Electricity and Magnetism (Professor Perdekamp) : Week 1 Notes Prelecture: Coulomb’s Law Electric Charge Gravity Electric Charge What is charge Electric charge is responsible for electric forces. Two kinds of electric charge: positive and negative Two kinds of electric force: attractive and repulsive Note: this is in contrast to gravitat