What does semiconductor mean?

Definitions for semiconductor
ˈsɛm i kənˌdʌk tər, ˈsɛm aɪ-semi·con·duc·tor

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word semiconductor.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. semiconductor, semiconducting materialnoun

    a substance as germanium or silicon whose electrical conductivity is intermediate between that of a metal and an insulator; its conductivity increases with temperature and in the presence of impurities

  2. semiconductor device, semiconductor unit, semiconductornoun

    a conductor made with semiconducting material


  1. semiconductornoun

    A substance with electrical properties intermediate between a good conductor and a good insulator.


  1. Semiconductor

    A semiconductor is a material which has an electrical conductivity value falling between that of a conductor, such as copper, and an insulator, such as glass. Its resistivity falls as its temperature rises; metals behave in the opposite way. Its conducting properties may be altered in useful ways by introducing impurities ("doping") into the crystal structure. When two differently doped regions exist in the same crystal, a semiconductor junction is created. The behavior of charge carriers, which include electrons, ions, and electron holes, at these junctions is the basis of diodes, transistors, and most modern electronics. Some examples of semiconductors are silicon, germanium, gallium arsenide, and elements near the so-called "metalloid staircase" on the periodic table. After silicon, gallium arsenide is the second-most common semiconductor and is used in laser diodes, solar cells, microwave-frequency integrated circuits, and others. Silicon is a critical element for fabricating most electronic circuits. Semiconductor devices can display a range of useful properties, such as passing current more easily in one direction than the other, showing variable resistance, and having sensitivity to light or heat. Because the electrical properties of a semiconductor material can be modified by doping and by the application of electrical fields or light, devices made from semiconductors can be used for amplification, switching, and energy conversion. The conductivity of silicon is increased by adding a small amount (of the order of 1 in 108) of pentavalent (antimony, phosphorus, or arsenic) or trivalent (boron, gallium, indium) atoms. This process is known as doping, and the resulting semiconductors are known as doped or extrinsic semiconductors. Apart from doping, the conductivity of a semiconductor can be improved by increasing its temperature. This is contrary to the behavior of a metal, in which conductivity decreases with an increase in temperature. The modern understanding of the properties of a semiconductor relies on quantum physics to explain the movement of charge carriers in a crystal lattice. Doping greatly increases the number of charge carriers within the crystal. When a doped semiconductor contains free holes, it is called "p-type", and when it contains free electrons, it is known as "n-type". The semiconductor materials used in electronic devices are doped under precise conditions to control the concentration and regions of p- and n-type dopants. A single semiconductor device crystal can have many p- and n-type regions; the p–n junctions between these regions are responsible for the useful electronic behavior. Using a hot-point probe, one can determine quickly whether a semiconductor sample is p- or n-type.Some of the properties of semiconductor materials were observed throughout the mid-19th and first decades of the 20th century. The first practical application of semiconductors in electronics was the 1904 development of the cat's-whisker detector, a primitive semiconductor diode used in early radio receivers. Developments in quantum physics led in turn to the invention of the transistor in 1947 and the integrated circuit in 1958.


  1. semiconductor

    A semiconductor is a type of solid material whose electrical conductivity lies between that of a conductor and an insulator. Its conductive properties can be altered by introducing impurities or by exposure to heat, light, electric or magnetic fields. Semiconductors are fundamental to modern electronics and digital technologies, including transistors, solar cells, and microchips. Common examples include silicon and germanium.


  1. Semiconductor

    A semiconductor is a material which has electrical conductivity between that of a conductor such as copper and that of an insulator such as glass. Semiconductors are the foundation of modern electronics, including transistors, solar cells, light-emitting diodes, quantum dots and digital and analog integrated circuits. The modern understanding of the properties of a semiconductor relies on quantum physics to explain the movement of electrons inside a lattice of atoms. The increasing understanding of semiconductor materials and fabrication processes has made possible continuing increases in the complexity and speed of semiconductor devices, an effect known as Moore's Law. The conductivity of a semiconductor material increases with increasing temperature, behaviour opposite to that of a metal. Semiconductors can display a range of useful properties such as passing current more easily in one direction than the other, variable resistance, and sensitivity to light or heat. Because the conductive properties of a semiconductor material can be modified by controlled addition of impurities or by the application of electrical fields or light, devices made with semiconductors are very useful for amplification of signals, switching, and energy conversion.

Editors Contribution

  1. semiconductor

    Is a type of material that can conduct electricity.

    Semiconductors are used in a wide variety of electronic equipment and integrated circuits.

    Submitted by MaryC on May 23, 2016  

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How to pronounce semiconductor?

How to say semiconductor in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of semiconductor in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of semiconductor in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of semiconductor in a Sentence

  1. Peter Garnry:

    The biggest risks to the technology sector are regulation and global semiconductor disruption from an escalating trade war, at this point, the probabilities for both scenarios having major impacts on the technology sector in the short term are low.

  2. Roy Lee:

    Right now, China, Roy Lee and the European Union are all pursuing the so-called next generation semiconductor technologies, we understand the challenges are coming, and we need to keep The Communist leadership in Beijing in semiconductors through research and development, and most importantly, cultivating qualified talents that support Taiwan's success.

  3. Mark Zandi:

    You can not simply remove major wheat production, major food oil production, major fertilizer production, major oil production, major natural gas production, major production of [ semiconductor ] chips used in automobiles and think you're not going to get inflation, when it gets presented in the American news, you get this idea that if our stimulus checks had been lower, and if our wages had gone lower, that we wouldn't have this inflation. Nobody in the world accepts that as the viewpoint.

  4. Mike McCaul:

    I ’m glad the appropriations for the CHIPS Act made it on the Senate-passed USICA bill, the U.S. needs to provide the financial incentives to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing while restricting the capital and technology The CCP needs to gain control over this vital supply chain.

  5. General Motors:

    These most recent scheduling adjustments are being driven by temporary parts shortages caused by semiconductor supply constraints from international markets experiencing Covid-19-related restrictions, we expect it to be a near-term issue.

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"semiconductor." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/semiconductor>.

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