Creating a semiconductor and the gases that make it happen


Gases have been a key enabler of the electronics industry since the first commercial transistors and integrated circuits were produced in the mid-twentieth century.

Properties unique to gases have made them the desired materials to build ever more complex devices: easy to transport and store; easy to dispense with precision and accuracy; and most importantly, easier to control desired chemical reactions at the molecular level.

At the core of almost all electronic devices are semiconductors. These are materials that have electrical conducting properties lying between conductors, which allow electrons to freely move, and insulators, which prevent the movement of electrons. The most familiar semiconductor material is elemental silicon, and by adding small amounts of other elements and/or placing it in an electric field, we can regulate the number of electrons moving at any time.

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