What would an IV curve of a bulk semiconductor (i-type/n-type/p-type) look like if I do a typical voltage sweep?


1 Answer 1


A bulk semiconductor behaves like a resistor, with the current directly proportional to the applied voltage.

The value of the resistance depends on the band gap of the material in question and its temperature, which determines the number of charge carriers (electrons or holes) that are in the conduction band. Higher band gaps and/or lower temperatures mean that fewer charge carriers are free to move, making the resistance higher — in some cases, high enough to be considered an insulator.

Doping (of either type) can make more charge carriers available, reducing the resistance as compared to undoped (intrinsic) material.

  • \$\begingroup\$ so ohmic behavior? \$\endgroup\$
    – Sparkler
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 22:13
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Sparkler correct. In fact you can make resistors on silicon using just the doped substrate. You just have to be careful to ensure that you form an ohmic contact with the semiconductor when forming a metal contact though (otherwise you form schottky diodes at the metal/semi junction!) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 22:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TomCarpenter: though those are quite expensive (area wise) which is why you more often find load transistors. \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 20:10

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