Problem: We will see in Chapter 12 that semiconductors are materials that conduct electricity better than nonmetals but not as well as metals. The only two elements in the periodic table that are technologically useful semiconductors are silicon and germanium. Integrated circuits in computer chips today are based on silicon. Compound semiconductors are also used in the electronics industry. Examples are gallium arsenide, GaAs; gallium phosphide, GaP; cadmium sulfide, CdS; cadium selenide, CdSe.Workers in the semiconductor industry refer to "II-VI" and "III-V" materials, using Roman numerals; can you identify which compound semiconductors are II-VI and which are III-V?

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We are asked to identify which compound semiconductors are II-VI and which are III-V.


Recall that semiconductors are materials that conduct electricity better than nonmetals but not as well as metals.  The only two elements in the periodic table that are technologically useful semiconductors are silicon and germanium.

  • Both of these elements are under Group IV - corresponding to four valence electrons.


Compound semiconductors are composed of two (2) elements that give an average of the total valence electrons that is similar to that of an elemental semiconductor which is four. 


To identify compound semiconductors correctly we will check which Group in the Periodic Table the elements in each compound belong:

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Problem Details

We will see in Chapter 12 that semiconductors are materials that conduct electricity better than nonmetals but not as well as metals. The only two elements in the periodic table that are technologically useful semiconductors are silicon and germanium. Integrated circuits in computer chips today are based on silicon. Compound semiconductors are also used in the electronics industry. Examples are gallium arsenide, GaAs; gallium phosphide, GaP; cadmium sulfide, CdS; cadium selenide, CdSe.

Workers in the semiconductor industry refer to "II-VI" and "III-V" materials, using Roman numerals; can you identify which compound semiconductors are II-VI and which are III-V?