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The semiconductor materials are either elementary such as silicon and germanium or compound such as gallium arsenide. Silicon is the most used semiconductor for discrete devices and integrated circuits.

However, other metalloids like antimony and tellurium are not used as semiconductors. Is it because they are too expensive to extract or is there another reason for this?

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    $\begingroup$ Astatine is highly radioactive and unstable, most stable isotope half life about 8hrs. Not a desirable characteristic for a semiconductor $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Feb 19, 2018 at 22:45
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    $\begingroup$ It's not important if sth is metalloid, important is its bandgap. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Feb 19, 2018 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ Alright, Astatine is out of the picture, but what about the others? @Waylander $\endgroup$
    – dr.drizzy
    Feb 19, 2018 at 23:02
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    $\begingroup$ The ones you mention aren’t semiconductors. Carbon is a wide band gap semiconductor, with limited doping options. Tin and lead are semi metals and metals. Not much else to say... $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 19, 2018 at 23:18

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The statement, "metalloids like [a]ntimony and [t]ellurium are not used as semiconductors", is untrue:

That said, there are various reasons why these semiconductors have not replaced silicon, which is plentiful, usable to beyond 400 K, resistant to degradation by air, and has an established fabrication technology, for the majority of electronic uses. GaAs, GaN, SiC and other semiconducting compounds are being used increasingly, though, for high-speed electronics, high-temperature devices and lasers.

See the Wikipedia list of semiconducting elements and compounds... it's longer than you might expect.

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    $\begingroup$ While bismuth telluride is indeed used in thermoelectrics, it is a compound. Neither Bi nor Te is itself a semiconductor (like neither Ga nor As are, individually, semiconductors). $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 20, 2018 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ A recent paper on the thermodynamics of the Bi-Te system is sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/… - three line compounds and a broad phase field in addition to the elements. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:46
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    $\begingroup$ Te-Bi, as @JonCuster states, is not a single element. However, various literature cites it as either an alloy or an intermetallic compound of definite proportions. In either case, it shouldn't be in the answer and has been removed. BTW, Bi and Te can be used for semiconductor devices. $\endgroup$ Feb 20, 2018 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ What about other elements in the C Si Ge priodic table column, like Sn Pb? I've seen no usage of such elements as semi-conductors. Are there some? $\endgroup$
    – Xenos
    Aug 30, 2019 at 8:05
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    $\begingroup$ AFAIK, they conduct too well to be used as semiconductor (though they're superconductors), but compounds such as PbS and PbSe are used in IR photodetectors. lasercomponents.com/de-en/ir-components/ir-detectors/…, as well as Sn compunds: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/advs.201900751 $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2019 at 19:01

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