Proceedings of the IEEE

Semiconductor Science: The Fourth Generation

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The evolution of semiconductor science is entering what may be the final phase of its cyclical history. The first generation centered on the quantum physics of solids: the understanding of crystal structure, the development of band theory, and the study of electrons and holes. The second generation saw the commercial and technical application of these new physical concepts: transistors and integrated circuits. The third generation yielded the creation of man-made quantum systems and low-dimensional systems: inversion layers and quantum wells, superlattices, quantum wires, and quantum dots. This generation appears to be drawing to an end. We will discuss our work on low-dimensional systems as a part of this progression. There is a clear connection between the work done during the first generation and the creation of new semiconductor structures, novel band structures, and the associated fundamental excitations. We will also discuss the current directions in semiconductor research and speculate on the potential applications of semiconductor physics in the fourth generation. A generation that should, like the second, produce new technologies for commercial. © 1991 IEEE


01 Jan 1991


Proceedings of the IEEE