Semiconductor devices


Semiconductor devices are the type of devices that involves an electric circuit which balances its quality of being a moderate level of conductor and insulator. These devices have several distinct advantages’ that make them useful in daily terms, mainly their cost efficiency, reliability and compactness.

  • Recently this device has become popular over the years manufacturing different electronic gadgets. The semiconductors exhibit an effective combination of conductivity and insulation. The electrical conductivity of these devices is low at the room temperature as compared to the conductor however these devices are efficiently conductible as compared to the insulators.

Semiconductor devices

Semiconductor devices are considered to be an effective balance between conductors and insulators. As opined by Golio (2022), these devices do not display high electrical conductivity as compared to the conductors but are better in terms of conductance as compared to the insulators. The functionality of these devices can be explained better through an example.

CPU is a device that contains multiple transistors in it and they contain semiconductor material that helps in the effective flow of current, this flow is managed by a switch, if the switch is turned on then the flow of current is allowed and if it is turned off there is no flow of current through the device.

This signifies the property of semiconductor devices which permits the only partial flow of current through it.

In semiconductors, the change is carried by electrons and holes. The positively charged particles present in the body are carried by holes and the negatively charged particles are carried by electrons. The holes and electrons have an equal magnitude. However, they have different polarities.

Semiconductors: properties

Semiconductor devices are able to conduct electricity under certain ideal circumstances. According to Rodrigues et al. (2020) in semiconductors, there are certain attributes associated with it, for example, the conductivity of semiconductors increases with rising temperature. The electrons and holes flow through a semiconductor and this leads to a reduced amount of power loss in the devices.

In case the devices are doped, the efficiency of the devices also increases. There is a certain set of properties associated with the devices that state that the resistance in devices decreases if the temperature is increased. These devices display a vast range of current and voltage handling capabilities.

Semiconductor devices: types

There are two key substrata of the semiconductor devices, namely, the three-terminal devices and the two-terminal devices. These two categories subdivide the semiconductors into two broad sections (electronicshub 2022).

  • The two-terminal semiconductors include the usage of a distinct type of material that only has a single positive-negative (p-n) junction.

  • In three-terminal devices, on the other hand, ‘positive-negative-positive or P-N-P junctions are found.

Figure 1: types of semiconductor devices

Semiconductor devices: examples

The semiconductor devices do not display prominent qualities of conductors or insulators. Therefore, these devices are called semiconductor devices. Some of the key examples of such devices include op-amps, resistors, capacitors and transistors (elprocus 2022).

These devices are preferred in different households and industrial applications for their cost efficiency and compactness. These devices are used in sensors, power and lightemitting devices and are also used in lasers. These devices are also useful for different purposes, for example, communication, data-processing and also controlling pieces of equipment used for industrial purposes.

Furthermore, these devices are classified based on their classification of two-terminal and three-terminal devices, most prominent two-terminal semiconductor devices include photocells, solar cells, phototransistors etc.

Key examples of three-terminal semiconductor devices include bipolar transistors, Field-effect transistors, TRIAC, IGBT, Thyristor, silicon-controlled rectified etc.

Figure 2: symbols of semiconductor devices

Semiconductor devices: applications

Semiconductor devices are used over a large range of applications because of their associated benefits in terms of cost efficiency and compact nature. These devices are widely used in both household and industrial applications (opentextbc 2022). These devices are used in designing the logic gates and digital circuits used in various devices. These devices are also used in microprocessors (rank 2022).

Semiconductor devices are also utilized in analog circuits for example amplifiers and oscillators. These semiconductor devices are also used in high voltage appliances and their related applications. These devices are highly convenient in manufacturing microelectronic circuits.

Figure 3: microprocessor


Semiconductor devices are called such because they are neither prominent conductors nor insulators. These devices maintain a balance between both the properties of conductors and insulators and allow partial passage to the flow of electricity through them.

These devices are most common to be found in various modern pieces of equipment associated with communication and building circuits. These devices are known to be highly cost-efficient and are viable in terms of compact build and thus these are popular in household and industrial applications as well.

These devices are further classified into two and three-terminal semiconductors and their associated properties. The holes and electrons present in the semiconductors are responsible for the flow of charge in these devices.


Q1. What are the various applications of semiconductor devices?

Ans: Semiconductor devices are used in various household and industrial devices. These devices are used in designing various kinds of digital circuits and analogue circuits. These devices are also used in high voltage applications and microprocessors.

Q2. What are the key examples of two-terminal and three-terminal semiconductor devices?

Ans: Solar cells and photocells are classified as two-terminal devices. Bipolar and field-effect transistors, silicon-controlled rectifiers and thyristors are some of the major examples of three-terminal semiconductor devices.

Q3. What are the different types of transistors?

Ans: The transistors are further classified into bipolar junction and field-effect transistors. The first is created by using two differently configured p-n junctions and the field-effect transistor works on the principle of conductivity which can further be altered in the presence of an electric field.

Q4. What is the purpose of holes and electrons in semiconductors?

Ans: Electrons and holes are responsible for carrying electronic charges into devices. The holes are responsible for carrying positively charged particles and electrons carry negatively charged particles. These two have different polarities and similar magnitude.

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022

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