semiconductor

  

Definition

Crystalline element (such as germanium or silicon) or compound (such as gallium arsenide or indium phosphide) that is between a conductor (such as a metal) and an insulator (such as glass) in its ability to conduct electric current. This ability can be selectively controlled by doping the material with an impurity (such as aluminum or boron) and/or by running another current through the material at a different axis. Semiconductors are used in making solid state electronic devices such as diodes, rectifiers, transistors, and integrated circuits (computer and memory chips).

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