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McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a substance occupying an intermediate position between metals and semiconductors with regard to electrical properties. A characteristic feature of semimetals is a weak overlapping of the valence band and conduction band. This indicates that semimetals remain conductors of electric current down to a temperature of absolute zero and yet have a low (compared to metals) concentration of current carriers—approximately 1018-1020 cm-3. Semimetals include Bi, Sb, As, and graphite.

Current carriers in semimetals exhibit high mobility and low effective mass. These properties make semimetals the most suitable substances for use in observing size effects, semimetal-dielec-tric phase transitions in strong magnetic fields, and many other phenomena.


Fizika metallov. Vol. 1: Elektrony. Edited by J. Ziman. Moscow, 1972. (Translated from English.)
Lifshits, I. M., M. Ia. Azbel’, and M. I. Kaganov. Elektronnaia teoriia metallov. Moscow, 1971.
Fal’kovskii, L. A. “Fizicheskie svoistva vismuta.” Uspekhi fizicheskikh nauk, 1968, vol. 94, issue 1, p. 3.
Larson, D. C. “Razmernye effekty v elektroprovodnosti tonkikh metal-licheskikh plenok i provolok”. In Fizika tonkikh plenok, vol. 6. Moscow, 1973. (Translated from English.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Here, we will provide a brief introduction to phonon transport in TE materials, which are mostly semiconductors, semimetals, or alloys.
Bi is a semimetal with unique physical properties, including long charge carrier mean-free path (~1 micron at room temperature) [27], huge magnetoresistance [24], or quantum confinement effects in nanostructures with dimensions of tens of nanometers [28].
Weyl semimetals also resemble atom-thick sheets of carbon called graphene, Balents says.
Relative to electrical conductivity, graphite is a "semimetal" [29, p.57].
germanium A shiny, gray semimetal. Germanium was used to build semiconductor devices before manufacturers started using silicon.
Abstracts: Graphene, or single-layered graphite, with its high crystallinity and interesting semimetal electronic properties, has emerged as an exciting two-dimensional material showing great promise for nanoscale device fabrication.
Graphene is a degenerate semimetal that may become important for electronic devices due to high carrier mobility (3) and because it is only a monolayer thick.
If one looks at the overall conductivity [3], for all intents and purposes, this material is an insulator in the native undoped state, as the conductivity is very low for a metal or semimetal (nA or less).
WE1C-4: Semimetal Semiconductor Junctions for Low Noise Zero-bias Rectifiers
The Weyl fermions, which were observed in synthetic crystals of a semimetal called tantalum arsenide, exhibit some similar electronic properties to those found in the crystals used in the latest study, but lacked their chiral traits.
The boron, the only semimetal andthree-center two electron (3c-2e) bonds, can easily react with small molecules such as CH4, NH3, C2H2,N2, CO, H2 to form new compounds, which have been explored by isolated matrix technique and photoelectron spectra [1, 2].