Please wait...
1800-212-7858 (Toll Free)
9:00am - 8:00pm IST all days


Thanks, You will receive a call shortly.
Customer Support

You are very important to us

For any content/service related issues please contact on this toll free number


Mon to Sat - 11 AM to 8 PM

CBSE - XII Science - Chemistry - The Solid State

Silicon is an insulator but silicon doped with phosphorous acts as a semiconductor.Give reason.

Asked by Pramesha Biswas 9th August 2012, 10:49 PM
Answered by Expert


Semiconductors materials such as silicon (Si), germanium (Ge) and gallium arsenide (GaAs), have electrical properties somewhere in the middle, between those of a "conductor" and an "insulator". They are not good conductors nor good insulators (hence their name "semi"-conductors). They have very few "fee electrons" because their atoms are closely grouped together in a crystalline pattern called a "crystal lattice". However, their ability to conduct electricity can be greatly improved by adding certain "impurities" to this crystalline structure thereby, producing more free electrons than holes or vice versa. 
Silicon has four valence electrons in its outermost shell which it shares with its neighbouring silicon atoms to form full orbital's of eight electrons. The structure of the bond between the two silicon atoms is such that each atom shares one electron with its neighbour making the bond very stable. Substituting a phosphorus atom (with five valence electrons) for a silicon atom in a silicon crystal leaves an extra, unbonded electron that is relatively free to move around the crystal.
Answered by Expert 10th August 2012, 8:15 AM

Rate this answer

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

You have rated this answer /10

Report an issue
Your answer has been posted successfully!