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An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics$
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Robert H. Swendsen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199646944

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646944.001.0001

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Insulators and Semiconductors

Insulators and Semiconductors

Chapter:
(p.351) 29 Insulators and Semiconductors
Source:
An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics
Author(s):

Robert H. Swendsen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646944.003.0029

Electrons in a crystal provide the most important example of a Fermi-Dirac system in a periodic potential. Due to Bloch's theorem, gaps occur in the density of states in such systems. When the Fermi energy lies in one of the gaps in the density of states, the properties of the Fermi gas change dramatically, giving rise to the behaviour of insulators and semiconductors.

Keywords:   insulators, semiconductors, density of states, Bloch's theorem, Fermi energy, Fermi-Dirac system

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