Semiconductor vs Conductor: An Easy to Understand Guide

semiconductor vs conductor
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Have you ever wondered about the differences between conductors and semiconductors?

These two metals can seem similar in application. But, their different properties make them useful for different applications. If you’re curious about these two metals, you’ve come to the right place!

First, let’s look at conductors since these are metals that conduct electric current. Then, we’ll take a closer look at semiconductors. It’s time to dig into the details and discover semiconductor vs conductor.

Read on!

Electrical Conductivity

Semiconductors and conductors are two special materials with important roles in electrical conductivity. Learning what makes them different helps us understand how electricity works in different things.


Imagine conductors as the wide-open highways for electricity. These materials make it incredibly easy for electric current (the flow of electricity) to move through them.

Think of them as super smooth and uncongested roads. Electrons, the tiny charged particles responsible for carrying electricity, can zoom along these materials without any obstacles.

The main thing that makes conductors special is that they have lots of free electrons. In conductors, electrons are like a big crowd, and they can move around very easily within the material. Common conductors, like copper and aluminium, are famous for their excellent conductivity.

To put it simply, think of a conductor as an electron freeway. Electrons can move freely, like cars on a well-maintained highway.

This property makes conductors perfect for things like electrical wiring in buildings. It ensures that the power reaches where it needs to go with minimal loss along the way.


Now, let’s talk about semiconductors. Picture semiconductors as roads with occasional obstacles.

Electrons can still flow through semiconductors, although not as easily as they can via conductors. They require a push to overcome these impediments, which is generally in the form of additional energy, such as heat or voltage.

Silicon and germanium are two common semiconductor materials. These materials are similar to “smart” materials in electronics in that we can regulate them to turn on and off and perform various functions. They’re similar to versatile performers in the computer business, taking on many roles as needed.

In simple terms, think of a semiconductor as a road with some speed bumps. Electrons can still travel along this road, but they need a little extra energy to overcome those bumps. This ability to control and manipulate semiconductors is what makes them so important in the tech industry.

Energy Band Gap

The energy band gap allows for precise control over the movement of electrons. This makes them essential for devices like transistors and computer chips. But, how do conductors and semiconductors differ in band gap?


Conductors are a bit like roads without toll booths. They don’t have an energy band gap at all. In other words, there are no barriers or restrictions on the energy levels at which electrons can exist in conductors. Electrons can freely move across all energy levels in these materials.

Imagine the energy levels in conductors as a wide-open highway without any toll booths or checkpoints. Electrons can travel freely across the entire energy spectrum. This is why conductors have such high electrical conductivity.


Semiconductors, on the other hand, have something called an energy band gap. Think of this as a toll booth on the Electron highway.

Electrons must pay an energy fee to cross this gap, which is like a barrier. They move from a lower energy level called the valence band to a higher energy level known as the conduction band.

Visualize this energy band gap as a gate that can be opened or closed. When electrons get enough energy, often through heat or voltage, they can jump across the gap and join the conduction band. This is when electric current can flow through the semiconductor.

The size of this energy band gap determines how easily electrons can jump it. Smaller band gaps mean it’s easier for electrons to jump, resulting in higher conductivity. Larger band gaps need more energy, leading to lower conductivity.

This property is crucial because it allows us to control semiconductors’ behavior. By adjusting the band gap, we can make semiconductors do different things in electronic devices.

Temperature Sensitivity

Semiconductors and conductors are two materials that react differently to temperature changes. Knowing these differences is important for making good electronic devices.


Conductors are like roads that don’t care about the weather. They maintain their smooth, efficient conductivity across a wide range of temperatures. Whether it’s freezing cold or scorching hot, conductors remain consistent in their ability to conduct electricity.

Think of a conductor as a road that stays well-paved and functional, no matter what the weather is like. It always allows electrons to flow, making it a reliable choice for carrying electricity. This consistent conductivity is valuable in various electronic components available at Direct Components Inc.


Semiconductors are sensitive to temperature changes. When it gets hotter, more electrons gain the energy needed to jump the energy band gap and move into the conduction band. This results in increased conductivity.

Imagine a semiconductor as a road with obstacles (the energy barriers). As the temperature rises, these obstacles become easier to overcome, and more electrons can get through. This makes the material a better conductor of electricity.

Conversely, when it gets colder, fewer electrons can jump the band gap, reducing conductivity. So, temperature plays a big role in how semiconductors perform.

To sum it up, conductors are like reliable roads that work well in any weather. Meanwhile, semiconductors are like roads with speed bumps. These become easier to navigate when it gets hot and more challenging when it’s cold. This temperature sensitivity is essential to how semiconductors behave in electronic devices.

Semiconductor vs Conductor: Delve Deeper Into the World of Electronics Today

Understanding semiconductor vs conductor is crucial in our constantly evolving technological world. It is an important concept in science and technology. By grasping the basics of these two types of materials, we can make informed decisions and keep up with the fast-paced world of technology.

Whether you’re a student or a professional, knowing the distinction can greatly benefit you. So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring the world of conductors and semiconductors today!

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