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Density of Charge Carriers

Due to thermal collisions, an electron can take up or release energy. Thus, occasionally a valence electron takes up energy and the bond is broken. The electron goes to the conduction band and a hole is created. Occasionally, an electron from the conduction band loses some energy, comes to the valence band, and fills up a hole. Thus, new electron–hole pairs are formed as well as old electron–hole disappear. A steady-state situation is reached and the number of electron–hole pairs takes a nearly constant value. For silicon at room temperature (300 K), the number of these pairs is about 7 × 1015 m3. For germanium, this number is about 6 × 1019/m3.

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