Before beginning a general discussion of electronic devices and the more complex aspects of semiconductors and other electronic materials, it is helpful to have an idea of their physics, especially their electronic structure. This chapter provides a partial review of the physics of solids. The nature of materials is determined by the interaction of their valence electrons with their charged nuclei and core electrons. This determines how elements react with each other, what structure the solid prefers, its optoelectronic properties and all other aspects of the material. The following sections describe the general method for understanding and modeling the energies of bands of electronic states in solids. A more detailed discussion of semiconductor bonding is provided in Chapter 5.


Wave Function Conduction Band Valence Band Effective Mass Free Electron 


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