What Does Dopant Mean?

Dopant is a term for a chemical that engineers use to create current paths for semiconductors and other technologies. A dopant is used in a process called "doping." Common doping agents include chromium and other similar substances. These are added to semiconductors or other hardware to produce a charged environment.


Techopedia Explains Dopant

One use of dopant and doping procedures is in the production of solid state electronics. Solid state hardware doesn’t have moving parts, but instead relies on two types of doping called n-type and p-type doping to carry current in specific ways. Negative, or n-type, doping typically involves the addition of phosphorous, arsenic or other agents to create free electrons. Positive, or p-type, doping often involves using boron or gallium to make holes in a molecular lattice and create a positive charge.

Doping is also used for the creation of some kinds of laser technologies. Another consumer product that benefits from doping is a light emitting diode (LED), the technology that enables new kinds of lights that lower fire risk by generating light electrically, without heat. All of these processes share a common underlying science where molecular charges help to direct current for functional results.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…