Difference Between p Type and n Type Semiconductor

The various factors like doping element, nature of doping element, the majority and minority carriers in the p-type and n-type semiconductor. The density of electrons and holes, energy level and Fermi level, the direction of movement of majority carriers, etc. are considered in explaining the difference between p-type and n-type semiconductors.

The difference between a p-type semiconductor and n-type semiconductor are given below in tabulated form.

BASIS OF DIFFERENCEp TYPE SEMICONDUCTORn TYPE SEMICONDUCTOR
Group of Doping ElementIn P type semiconductor III group element is added as doping element.In n type semiconductor V group element is added as doping element.
Nature of Doping ElementImpurity added creates vacancy of electrons (holes) called as Acceptor Atom.Impurity added provides extra electrons and is known as Donor Atom.
Type of impurity addedTrivalent impurity like Al, Ga, In etc. are added.Pentavalent impurity like P, As, Sb, Bi etc. are added.
Majority CarriersHoles are majority carriersElectrons are majority carriers
Minority CarriersElectrons are minority carriersHoles are minority carriers
Density of Electrons and HolesThe hole density is much greater than the electron density.
nh >> ne
The electron density is much greater than the hole density.
ne >> nh
Energy levelThe acceptor energy level is close to the valence band and away from the conduction band.The donor energy level is close to the conduction band and away from the valence band.
Fermi levelFermi level lies between acceptor energy level and the valence band.Fermi level lies between donor energy level and the conduction band.
Movement of Majority carriersMajority carriers move from higher to lower potential.Majority carriers move from lower to higher potential.

The p-type semiconductor is formed when the Trivalent impurity is added to the pure semiconductor. Similarly, when a Pentavalent impurity is added to the pure semiconductor n-type semiconductor is obtained.

Difference Between p-Type and n-Type Semiconductor

  • In a p-type semiconductor, the III group element of the periodic table is added as a doping element, whereas in n-type the V group element is the doping element.
  • Trivalent impurity like Aluminium, Gallium and Indium is added in the p-type semiconductor, while in n-type semiconductor Pentavalent impurity like Arsenic, Antimony, Phosphorus, Bismuth, etc. are added.
  • The impurity added in p-type semiconductor provides extra holes known as Acceptor atom, whereas in n-type semiconductor impurity provides extra electrons and termed as Donor atom.
  • In a p-type semiconductor, the majority carriers are holes, and minority carriers are electrons. In the n-type semiconductor, electrons are majority carriers, and holes are minority carriers.
  • The electron density is much greater than the hole density in the n-type semiconductor denoted as ne >> nh whereas, in p-type semiconductor the hole density is much greater than the electron density nh >> ne.
  • In a n-type semiconductor, the donor energy level is close to the conduction band and away from the valence band. In the p-type semiconductor, the acceptor energy level is close to the valence band and away from the conduction band.
  • The Fermi level of the n-type semiconductor lies between donor energy level and the conduction band while the Fermi level of the p-type semiconductor lies between the acceptor energy level and the valence band.
  • Majority carriers move from higher to lower potential in p-type whereas, in n-type, the majority carriers move from lower to the higher potential.

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