[[GlossaryDefinition::1. A band gap is the distance between the valence band of electrons and the conduction band. Essentially, the band gap represents the minimum energy that is required to excite an electron up to a state in the conduction band where it can participate in conduction. The lower energy level is the valence band, and thus if a gap exists between this level and the higher energy conduction band, energy must be input for electrons to become free. The size and existence of this band gap allows one to visualize the difference between conductors, semiconductors, and insulators.]]
2. In solid-state physics, a band gap, also called an energy gap or bandgap, is an energy range in a solid where no electron states can exist. In graphs of the electronic band structure of solids, the band gap generally refers to the energy difference (in electron volts) between the top of the valence band and the bottom of the conduction band in insulators and semiconductors. It is the energy required to promote a valence electron bound to an atom to become a conduction electron, which is free to move within the crystal lattice and serve as a charge carrier to conduct electric current. If the valence band is completely full and the conduction band is completely empty, then electrons cannot move in the solid; however, if some electrons transfer from the valence to the conduction band, then current can flow (see carrier generation and recombination). Therefore, the band gap is a major factor determining the electrical conductivity of a solid. Substances with large band gaps are generally insulators, those with smaller band gaps are semiconductors, while conductors either have very small band gaps or none, because the valence and conduction bands overlap.
http://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Band_gap (1.); https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Band_gap (2.)
Author: Simon Waterstradt