p-type semiconductor

p-type semiconductor

• When a small amount of trivalent impurity is added to a pure semiconductor it is called p-type semiconductor.

• The addition of trivalent impurity provides large number of holes in the semiconductor crystals.

• Example: Gallium, Indium or Boron etc. Such impurities which produce p-type semiconductors are known as acceptor impurities because the holes created can accept the electrons in the semi conductor crystal.

To understand the formation of p-type semiconductor, consider a pure silicon crystal with an impurity say gallium added to it as shown in figure 1.7.

• We know that silicon atom has 4 valence electrons and Gallium has 3 electrons. When Gallium is added as impurity to silicon, the 3 valence electrons of gallium make 3 covalent bonds with 3 valence electrons of silicon.

• The 4th valence electrons of silicon cannot make a covalent bond with that of Gallium because of short of one electron as shown above. This absence of electron is called a hole. Therefore for each gallium atom added one hole is created, a small amount of Gallium provides millions of holes.

Due to thermal energy, still hole-electron pairs are generated but the number of holes are very large compared to the number of electrons. Therefore, in a p-type semiconductor holes are majority carriers and electrons are minority carriers. Since the current conduction is predominantly by hole( + charges) it is called as p-type semiconductor( p means +ve)