The Semiconductors, such together Germanium, Silicon, Carbon, Selenium, etc. Space the products which space neither conductors nor insulators. The conductivity the these materials lies in between or middle of the conductivity the conductors and also insulators. Semiconductors have some useful properties and also are generally used for the ready of solid-state tools like the diode, transistor, etc.

You are watching: Is germanium a conductor or insulator

Although the valence tape of this substances is practically filled and the conduction tape is almost empty as in situation of insulators, but the forbidden energy gap between the valence band and also the conduction tape is very small (nearly 1 electron volt) as displayed in the number below:

Therefore, an electrical field, smaller sized than insulators and also greater than conductors is compelled to push the valence electron to the conduction band. Couple of of the electrons cross the conduction band also at room temperature as several of the heat power are imparted to the valence electrons.

As the temperature increases, an ext and more number that valence electrons cross end to the conduction band and the conductivity of the material increases. Thus, these materials have a an unfavorable temperature coefficient the resistance.

Commonly supplied Semiconductor Materials

There room a big number the Tetravalent materials accessible such together carbon in the diamond stat, silicon, germanium and also grey tin. The minimum energy required because that breaking the covalent bond in these materials is 7, 1.12, 0.75 and also 0.1 electron volt respectively.

Carbon in diamond state behaves favor as one insulator having actually forbidden power gap of 7 eV. Grey tin having a forbidden power gap that 0.1 eV behaves like a conductor. Therefore, Germanium and Silicon have an power gap of 0.75 and also 1.12 eV respectively, are taken into consideration most an ideal for semiconductor materials.

The 2 semiconductor materials are discussed below:


Germanium was discovered in 1886. It is one earth element recovered native the ash of details coaks or from the flue dust the zinc smelters. The recovered germanium is in the form of germanium dioxide powder. It is climate converted into pure germanium.

The atomic structure that germanium is shown below:

Its atom number is 32. It has 32 protons in the nucleus and 32 electrons dispersed in the four orbits roughly the nucleus. The number of electrons in the first, second, third and fourth orbit is 2, 8, 18 and 4 respectively. It is clear that the germanium has four valence electrons. The assorted germanium atom are hosted together through covalent bond as presented in the number below.

The energy band diagram the Germanium is presented below.

The forbidden power gap (i.e. The gap between the valence band and conduction band) in this material is really small. Hence, very tiny energy is sufficient to lift the electrons from the valence tape to the conduction band.


Silicon is the element accessible in many of the common rocks. Actually, sand is silicon dioxide. It is treated chemically and reduced come pure silicon, which deserve to be supplied for the preparation of digital devices.

The figure listed below shows the atomic framework of silicon.

Its atomic number is 14. Therefore, it has 14 protons in the nucleus and 14 electrons dispersed in the three orbits approximately the nucleus. The number of electrons in the first, 2nd and third orbit is 2, 8 and also 4 respectively. The assorted silicon atom are organized together through covalent bonds as presented in the figure below.

The energy tape diagram of the silicon material is presented below.


The forbidden energy gap in this material is quite small. It likewise needs tiny energy to lift the electrons from the valence tape to the conduction band.

Therefore, even at room temperature, a minute quantity of valence electron is lifted come the conduction band and also constitute existing conduction if a high electric field is applied. However, in ~ room temperature, the variety of electrons lifted come the conduction tape in the situation of silicon is quite less than germanium.

See more: Distance From Atlanta Ga To Panama City Fl Orida), Distance Between Atlanta, Ga And Panama City, Fl

This is the reason why silicon semiconductor tools are preferred over germanium devices.