Don't miss an insight. Subscribe to Techopedia for free.



What Does Semiconductor Mean?

A semiconductor is a physical substance that is designed to manage and control the flow of current in electronic devices and equipment. It neither allows a freely flowing electric current nor repels it completely.


A semiconductor is in between a conductor and insulator and commonly used in the development of electronic chips, computing components and devices. It is generally created using silicon, germanium or other pure elements.

Techopedia Explains Semiconductor

A semiconductor is created after doping or adding impurities to the element. The conductance or inductance of the element depends on the type and intensity of the added impurities.

There are two basic types of semiconductors, as follows:

  • N-type semiconductor: Used when its conductance is higher or there is a large amount of free electrons
  • P-type semiconductor: Used when its inductance is higher and there are less free electrons

Common devices and components built by using a semiconductor include computer memory, integrated circuits, diodes and transistors.


Related Terms