What is solid-state? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Electronics glossary:

Solid-state refers to electronic components, devices, and systems based entirely on the semiconductor . The expression was especially prevalent in the late 1950s and early 1960s, during the transition from vacuum tube technology to the semiconductor diode and transistor . More recently, the integrated circuit ( IC ), the light-emitting diode ( LED ), and the liquid-crystal display ( LCD ) have evolved as further examples of solid-state devices.

In a solid-state component, the current is confined to solid elements and compounds engineered specifically to switch and amplify it. Current flows in two forms: as negatively charged electrons, and as positively charged electron deficiencies called holes. In some semiconductors, the current consists mostly of electrons; in other semiconductors, it consists mostly of holes. Both the electron and the hole are called charge carriers.

An example of a non-solid-state component is a cathode-ray tube ( CRT ). In this device, electrons flow freely through a vacuum from an electron gun, through deflecting and focusing fields, and finally to a phosphorescent screen.

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • aluminum battery

    - Aluminum batteries run longer on a charge than lithium ion batteries and are safer in use. Stanford researchers have created an aluminum-graphite battery for mobile devices, the electric grid and f... (WhatIs.com)

  • optoisolator (optical coupler or optocoupler)

    - An optoisolator (also optical coupler or optocoupler) is a component that uses light to transfer electrical signals between circuits to keep them electrically isolated from each other, preventing s... (SearchNetworking.com)

  • ampere hour (Ah or amp hour)

    - An ampere hour (abbreviated Ah, or sometimes amp hour) is the amount of energy charge in a battery that will allow one ampere of current to flow for one hour. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Electronics

    - Terms related to electronics, including definitions about electrical components and words and phrases about computers, laptops parts, digital cameras, televisions and home appliances.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.