Germanium occupies a special place in the history of semiconductor electronics in that it was used to make the first transistor, and so paved the way towards the sophisticated integrated circuits of today. The main reason for the interest in and use of germanium is that, of all the semiconductors, it is one of the easiest to grow in a high purity, single crystal form, two properties which are essential for the fabrication of diodes and transistors. Once silicon of good quality became available, devices were able to operate at higher temperatures. More recently, the development of the compound semiconductors, such as gallium arsenide, has led to even more exciting possibilities. Now there are many materials available, each of which has particular advantages and the engineer must decide which will best meet his requirements.
KeywordsGallium Arsenide Saturation Current Minority Carrier Lifetime Intrinsic Resistivity Single Crystal Form
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