electronic component

what are electronic components

Electronic components are the parts used in electronic devices such as computers. The components change electric current so it can carry information. Types of electronic components include diodes, transistors, and integrated circuits, all of which you can read about below. However, to understand how these components work, you first need to know about semiconductors. Thats because electronic components consist of semiconductorssometimes millions of them!

diode

A diode is an electronic component that consists of a p-type and an n-type semiconductor placed side by side, as shown in the Figure 1.2. When a diode is connected by leads to a source of voltage, electrons flow from the n-type to the p-type semiconductor. This is the only direction that electrons can flow in a diode. This makes a diode useful for changing alternating current to direct current.

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semiconductors

A semiconductor is a solid crystal, consisting mainly of silicon. It gets its name from the fact that it can conduct current better than an electric insulator but not as well as an electric conductor. As you can see in the Figure 1.1, each silicon atom has four valence electrons that it shares with other silicon atoms in the crystal. A semiconductor is formed by replacing a few silicon atoms with other atoms, such as phosphorus or boron, which have more or less valence electrons than silicon. This is called doping, and its what allows the semiconductor to conduct electric current. Q: Why wouldnt a pure silicon crystal be able to conduct electric current? A: Electric current is a flow of electrons. All of the valence electrons of silicon atoms in a pure crystal are shared with other silicon atoms, so they are not free to move and carry current. There are two different types of semiconductors: n-type and p-type. An n-type (negative-type) semiconductor consists of silicon and an element such as phosphorus that gives the silicon crystal extra electrons. You can see this in the Figure 1.1. An n-type semiconductor is like the negative terminal of a battery. A p-type (positive-type) semiconductor consists of silicon and an element such as boron that gives the silicon positively charged holes where electrons are missing. This is also shown in the Figure 1.1. A p-type semiconductor is like the positive terminal of a battery.

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integrated circuit

An integrated circuitalso called a microchipis a tiny, flat piece of silicon that consists of layers of many electronic components such as transistors. You can see an integrated circuit in the Figure 1.4. Look how small it is compared with the finger its resting on. Although the integrated circuit is tiny, it may contain millions of smaller electronic components. Current flows extremely rapidly in an integrated circuit because it doesnt have far to travel. Integrated circuits are used in virtually all modern electronic devices to carry out specific tasks.

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transistor

A transistor consists of three semiconductors, either p-n-p or n-p-n. Both arrangements are illustrated in the Figure (through the base). Then a much larger current can flow through the transistor from end to end (from collector to emitter). This means that a transmitter can be used as a switch, with pulses of a small current turning a larger current on and off. A transistor can also be used to increase the amount of current flowing through a circuit.

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instructional diagrams

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questions

types of electronic components include

a) diodes.

b) transistors.

c) integrated circuits.

-->  d) all of the above

a semiconductor is a solid crystal of boron or phosphorus.

a. true

-->  b. false

an n-type semiconductor

a) contains boron.

b) has extra electrons.

c) is like the negative terminal of a battery.

-->  d) two of the above

a diode

-->  a) contains two semiconductors.

b) changes current from dc to ac.

c) contains only n-type semiconductors.

d) two of the above

an integrated circuit may consist of millions of smaller electronic components.

-->  a. true

b. false

diagram questions

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