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A voltage that develops across the junction due to uncovered immobile ions on both sides of the junction. Ions are uncovered due to the diffusion of carriers across the junction.
"The barrier voltage is the amount of electromotive force required to start current through the P-N junction. Barrier voltages for silicon typically range from 0.5 - 0.7 volts. Barrier voltages for germanium typically range from 0.2 - 0.3 volts. "