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When an electron from the n-type side fills a hole on the p-type side, it fills the valence shell. For reference, consider this video: https://youtu.be/7ukDKVHnac4?t=230. I learned in chemistry that atoms like this. So why do the electrons continue into neighboring holes if they are already part of a filled valence shell? I understand that part of it is from the electric potential of the battery attracting the electrons into neighboring holes. Is that it?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Simplifications of what really need quantum mechanics to understand properly tend not to work too well. You may have to be content with some very hand-wavy approximations. Just to adjust your expectations down before you get too frustrated with the unsatisfactory answers to come. \$\endgroup\$ – Neil_UK Apr 16 at 8:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Electrons are dislocated in any kind of conductor, that's what makes the magic of electrical current possible. They are like a pile of paper dropped to the ground in a breeze. If you are lucky and your ground has some holes or bumps in it, you may be able to catch some sheets (electrons) there. \$\endgroup\$ – Janka Apr 16 at 9:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Compared to the mass of an electron, the electric fields are much stronger. \$\endgroup\$ – analogsystemsrf Apr 16 at 10:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Remember that each side of the diode is electrically neutral; if you add an electron to a valence shell (which fills the shell), it is no longer electrically neutral so an electric field exists. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Smith Apr 16 at 15:03

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