Silicon as a Semiconductor-An Overview

Silicon is the most popular and widely used of the semiconductors.    There are many factors which have made silicon the material of choice in the world of electronics.

Some of the advantages are

  1. Silicon is abundant.  Hence, it is also economical.  The extraction process form its ore is cheaper when compared to other materials. 
  2. It is strong and easy to handle.
  3. It forms a nice stable oxide.
  4. Doping is easy.  Both P type materials and N type materials can be formed.
  5. It can be easily cut into wafers.
  6. It has good mechanical strength. Hence, designing circuits in silicon is easy.
  7. Silicon has fewer free electrons in room temperature.  This means that the collector cut-off current in transistor is lower than in other semiconductor materials, such as Germanium.