Introduction to Energy Bands in silicon:
Before we start with energy bands in silicon, let us know about energy bands.The energy band of any solid is a structure which describes the allowed and the forbidden values of energies for that solid. The energy band is a function of the diffracted quantum mechanical electron waves which are present in a periodic crystal lattice which have a specific crystal system and specific Bravais lattice.
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Reason behind formation of energy band in elements like silicon
As the electrons of any single isolated atom occupy several atomic orbitals which are in the form of set energy level that are discrete. If a molecule is formed by several atoms, which are brought together, the atomic levels of the atoms split and form a coupled oscillation. Similarly if a large number of atoms of the order of 1020 or more are brought together in the form of a solid, the atomic levels are very large in number and the energy difference between the two energy levels is very small which give rise to a continuous band of the energy levels.
Description of Energy Bands in Silicon
The Fermi level is one of the important levels in the energy band of any material because it determines the nature of the material i.e. the material is conductor or insulator or the semiconductor. The silicon is a semiconductor material and for it the Fermi level is exists essentially in the halfway between the valence and the conduction bands of the silicon. In silicon at 0 K temperatures there is no conduction of electron but at finite temperatures the electrons moves from valence band to the conduction band and the number of electrons which reaches the conduction band contributes for the flow of current in silicon and this current can be modeled by Fermi function.
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Conclusion for Energy Bands in Silicon
There are some intervals in the energy bands which contain no levels or the orbitals these interval forms the energy band gaps. The energy bands of any material determine several characteristics like the electronic and the optical properties of the material.