Why do we use semiconductors instead of conductors in electronics fabrication?

Many have already mentioned that electronics can use both conductors and semiconductors in different parts of their circuitry. But if you look at a processor, then you might be asking why we use conductors to make transistors.

Control is the key. To perform logic functions, transistors must be capable of giving us two distinct outputs. That is, they must be able give us either “1” (on), or “0” (off). This is possible because semiconductors allow for this to occur in a very elegant way. A small “gate voltage”, which can be applied to the semiconductor material, can transform it from being insulating to being conducting. This MOSFET is an example:


The “gate” can apply voltage to turn the transistor on or off; when the voltage is applied, it creates small channels between the source of the transistor and the drain, which allows current to flow. The channel will close if the gate voltage drops below the required level. In this case, the semiconductor acts like an insulator, preventing current from flowing between the source/drain. This allows a single transistor to output either a “1”, or “0” state depending on the voltage applied. This level of control is not possible with a regular conductor, especially if the gate voltage is very low. Doped semiconductors are a great choice for electronics engineering. They can switch between insulating or conductive properties by using one material.


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