While it’s not true that Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity, he did perform one or more experiments using a kite and a key.
Since that time in the mid-1700s, we’ve gotten much better at manipulating electricity so that we can use it in almost any way we want to. Much of the magic behind electrical devices involves a conductor, a semiconductor, or both.
Are you wondering if they’re basically the same or not? Keep reading to learn all about the differences between a semiconductor vs. conductor.
What Is a Conductor?
Simply put, a conductor is any type of material that electricity can flow through. The flow can end up being in one direction or multiple directions. Some conductive materials include copper, gold, aluminum, and iron, among others.
Best of all, you can cause an electrical flow with just a tiny potential difference. This is due to the free electrons that come from metal bonding. As any reliable conductor guide will tell you, it’s important to remember that conductivity decreases when temperature increases.
Conductivity fluctuation due to temperature is one of the main reasons electronics need cooling fans. That way, the electronics can run at full capacity for as long as possible.
It’s worth noting that any impurities in the material will decrease its ability to conduct electricity. This is why it’s important to seek out the purest materials possible and to maintain their purity during a given production process, for instance.
What Is a Semiconductor?
Semiconductor guides emphasize that there’s one major difference between a semiconductor and a full-on conductor. It has to do with the level of conductivity. A conductor can handle the flow of electricity no matter what, whereas semiconductors require certain conditions.
This is due to the fact that semiconductors have a low number of free electrons. Examples of semiconductors include gallium arsenide, silicon, and germanium, among others. If you want a semiconductive material to work, then don’t forget the crucial semiconductor tip of increasing the energy difference.
Unlike a true conductor, semiconductors need heat to increase their conductive capabilities. Another way you can boost the effectiveness of a semiconductor material is by introducing impurities into it. This helps by decreasing the resistance against a potential electrical flow.
Be sure to get your semi conductor from a reliable source so you know the quality is as high as can be.
Now You Can Decide Between a Semiconductor Vs. Conductor
Now that you’ve learned all about the differences between a semiconductor vs. conductor, you can pick the material that’ll best fit your purposes. You can also combine these materials to create many useful products.
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