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Compound semiconductor

A Compound Semiconductor is a semiconductor compound composed of elements from two or more different groups of the periodic table. For e.g. III-V semiconductors are composed of elements from group 13 (B, Al, Ga, In) and from group 15 (N, P, As, Sb, Bi). The range of possible formulae is quite broad because these elements can form binary (two elements, e.g. GaAs), ternary (three elements, e.g. InGaAs) and quaternary (four elements, e.g. InGaAsP). It is worth noting that SiGe is technically an alloy while SiC is a compound since its elements are chemically bound.

Additional recommended knowledge

See the list of semiconductor materials for compound families and examples.


Metalorganic Vapor Phase Epitaxy or MOVPE is the most popular deposition technology for the fomation of compound semiconducting thin films for devices. It uses ultrapure metalorganics and/or hydrides as precursors source materials in an ambient gas such as hydrogen.

Other techniques of choice are Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE), Hydride Vapour Phase Epitaxy (HVPE), Liquid Phase Epitaxy (LPE), Metalorganic Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MOMBE) and Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD), etc.

An interesting online resource for compound semiconductors and their fabrication, (Britney's Guide to Semiconductor Physics), is also available as reference material for semiconductor scientists and non-scientists.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Compound_semiconductor". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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