Semiconductors are used in a huge range of electrical circuits. They allow the flow of electrons in a material to be controlled, such as when controlling a current. Semi conductors have had a huge impact on the modern world and you will find a semi conductor at the heart of microprocessor chips, transistors and anything which is computerised or which uses radio waves.
Today most semiconductors chips are manufactured from silicone and you may well have heard expressions such as silicon valley and the silicon economy. Silicon is at the heart of any electronic device.
One of the simplest examples of a semi conductor device is a diode and this is the perfect starting point for anyone who wants to understand how semi conductors work. The diode is a device which blocks electrical current in one direction whilst still allowing electrical flow in the other direction. Diodes can be used in a number of ways and one of the simplest is in a battery. Batteries often contain a diode that will protect the electrical device if you were to insert the batteries in the wrong way. The diode will simply block the current from leaving the battery if it is reversed and inserted incorrectly.