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  Semiconductor Physics, Part 1 
  Jan 21, 2003, 08:30am EST 


By: Dan Mepham

Our usual focus is to review products, talk about technology and the industry as a whole, but occasionally it’s nice to explore the technology that actually makes those products work. It's interesting to step back, and take a look at the physics that makes our marvelous technology possible.

To that end, we’re pleased to bring you this first installment in our series on basic semiconductor physics. This is obviously an extremely complicated and involved subject, so we’ll be providing the short, abridged version. Know in advance that all of the detail is absolutely not included in this article; to include the finite details would require hundreds of pages, as evidenced by the numerous textbooks available on the subject.

Further, this series assumes an understanding of basic chemistry, and a grasp of current basic atomic theory, such as the properties of protons, electrons, etc. If you haven’t been in a classroom in a while, and could use a refresher, here's a link to a great beginners' lesson from a fantastic website.

How Stuff Works - How Atoms Work

Without further delay, welcome to Part 1 of our series.

1. Introduction
2. Before the 'How', Ask Yourself 'Why?'
3. Crystal Structure, Forming the Bonds
4. Electron Energy Levels
5. Band Formation, Things Get Complicated
6. Electron Excitation, Making the Leap
7. Summary

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