One of the bands of allowed energies separated by forbidden regions which arise in a solid when the energy levels of the individual atoms combine. The individual electrons are considered to belong to the crystal as a whole rather than to a particular atom. The energy bands are the consequence of the motion of the electron in the periodic potential of the crystal lattice. A solid for which a number of the bands are completely filled and the others empty, is an insulator provided the energy gaps are large. If one band is incompletely filled or the bands overlap then metallic conduction is possible. For semiconductors, there is a small energy gap between the filled and empty band and intrinsic conduction occurs when some electrons acquire sufficient energy to surmount the gap.

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