Chemistry Quick Facts

Element Properties

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Periodic Table

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& Patents


Semiconductor Materials
Physical Properties, Chemical Properties and General Information

Name Molecular Formula
Band Gap* /
Energy Gap*
Use & Application
Elemental Semiconductors
Silicon Si As P Sb Al B Ga In 1.12 eV (indirect, narrow) computer chips, transistors, solar cells, semiconductor detectors, alloying, silicones
Germanium Ge As P Sb Bi Li Al B Ga In Tl 0.661 eV (indirect, narrow) infrared detectors, camera lenses, microscope objective lenses, high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells for space applications, radiation detectors, alloying, chemotherapy
Diamond C N P B 5.46 (wide) electrical insulators, prevention of silicon and other semiconductors from overheating, possible use for microchips or heat sink in electronics; drill bits and engraving tools
Compound Semiconductors
Gallium Arsenide GaAs S Se Si Ge Sn Te C Si Ge Zn Sn 1.424 eV (direct, narrow) microwave frequency integrated circuits (MMICs), infrared light-emitting diodes, laser diodes, solar cells
Indium Phosphide InP S, Si, Sn, Ge C Hg Zn Cd Si Cu Be Mg Ge Mn 1.344 eV (direct, narrow) high-power and high-frequency electronics; optoelectronics devices like laser diodes
Gallium Phosphide GaP Sp Se Te Li Ge Si Sn Li Ge C Si Be Cd Mg Zn 2.26 eV (indirect, wide) light-emitting diodes (LED)
Indium Arsenide InAs Se, S, Te, Ge, Si, Sn, Cu Sn Ge Si Cd Zn 0.354 eV (narrow) infrared detectors, diode lasers
Gallium Antimonide GaSb Te Se S Si Ge Zn 0.726 eV (narrow) infrared detectors, infrared LEDs, lasers, transistors
Aluminium Nitride AlN C, Ge, Se C, Hg 6.2 eV (wide) optical storage media, high thermal conductivity electronic substrates, surface acoustic wave sensors (SAW's); potential application for deep ultraviolet optoelectronics
Boron Nitride BN Si C S Be 6.2 eV (wide) cubic boron nitride: ultraviolet LEDs, abrasive tools; hexagonal boron nitride: high-temperature lubricants
Indium Antimonide InSb Se, S, Te Cd Zn Cr Cu 0.17 eV (narrow) infrared detectors, thermal imaging cameras, FLIR systems, infrared homing missile guidance systems, infrared astronomy
Indium Nitride InN     0.7 eV (narrow) potential application in solar cells and high speed electronics
Gallium Nitride GaN Si Mg Zn 3.4 eV (direct, wide) optoelectronic, high-power and high-frequency devices, solar cell arrays for satellites
Alloy Semiconductors
Aluminium Gallium Arsenide AlxGa1-xAs     1.42 - 2.16 eV (direct) barrier material in GaAs based heterostructure device - quantum well infrared photodetector (QWIP)


Semiconductors that have an indirect bandgap are inefficient at emitting light.

Semiconductors that have an direct bandgap are good light emitters.

A wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor is a semiconductor with an energy band gap wider than about 2 eV, suitable for microwave devices.

A narrow bandgap semiconductor is a semiconductor with an energy bandgap narrower than about 2 eV suitable for tunnel devices and infrared technology.

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Last updated: April 2011
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