An example of a semiconductor is silicon.
- a substance, as germanium or silicon, whose conductivity is poor at low temperatures but is improved by minute additions of certain substances or by the application of heat, light, or voltage: used in transistors, rectifiers, etc.
- chip (noun)
- Any of various solid crystalline substances, such as germanium or silicon, having electrical conductivity greater than insulators but less than good conductors, and used especially as a base material for computer chips and other electronic devices.
- An integrated circuit or other electronic component containing a semiconductor as a base material.
semiconductor - Computer Definition
A material that is neither a good conductor of electricity nor a good insulator, but has properties of electrical conductivity somewhere between the two. Silicon and germanium are good semiconductor materials. Dopants such as arsenic and antimony sometimes are introduced during the manufacturing process to alter the performance characteristics of the semiconductor. See also conductor, dopant, and insulator.
A solid state material that can be electrically altered. Certain elements in nature, such as silicon, perform like semiconductors when chemically combined with other elements. Various optical materials can also change their state (see phase change disc). When electricity or light is applied to semiconductors, they change their state between conductive and non-conductive or reflective and non-reflective. The most significant semiconductor is the transistor, which in digital circuits works like an on/off switch. For analog applications, it may be an on/off switch as well, but is more likely used as an amplifier, taking in a low-voltage signal and outputting a higher voltage. See n-type silicon, doping, transistor concept and chip.