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A semiconductor has electrical conductivity between that of a conductor and an insulator. Semiconductors differ from metals in their characteristic property of decreasing electrical resistivity with increasing temperature. Semiconductors can also display properties of passing current more easily in one direction than the other, and sensitivity to light. Because the conductive properties of a semiconductor can be modified by controlled addition of impurities or by the application of electrical fields or light, semiconductors are very useful devices for amplification of signals, switching, and energy conversion.