Diode Circuits 3Each of these equations is just an I vs V
equation and can be plotted on a graph.Equation 4 is a linear equation and its plot is called the load line. It can easily be plottedby selecting values for V
and calculating I. For example, the two intercepts; V
= 0 and I= 0 are convenient choices. The equation 5 is the diode I vs V characteristic for the diode.It is usually obtained from a curve tracer in the laboratory. Both of these equations areplotted on the same graph in Figure 3. The operating point for the circuit is where thetwo plots cross.51
V RI e
d V V
Figure 3. Plots for graphical solution
One problem with the graphical solution above is that the voltage scale is so large thatprecision in determining diode voltage is difficult. In many cases, the diode characteristicis plotted with a much lower maximum voltage than the voltage source in the circuit. Inthis case, the voltage intercept is off the scale and it is more difficult to plot the load line.This situation is easily handled by substituting in a fixed value of voltage in the load lineequation and solving for the current. An example is shown in Figure 4. The maximumvoltage on the diode characteristic plot is 2 Volts with the source voltage 5 Volts and aresistance of 1K
Solving the load equation
5 23 which gives us the current at V
= 2 volts at the right hand end of the load line on the plotin Fig. 4.
Figure 4. Diode Characteristic and Graphical Solution
CIRCUIT MODELSThe graphical method presented in the previous section is one possible method of solution of circuits with diodes. For obvious reasons, this method will get very tediousand time consuming for more complex circuits. What we would like to do is to find away to solve the circuits analytically; with equations. We do this by using circuit modelswhich are combinations of ideal circuit elements that behave the same or almost the sameas the actual device. We then solve the circuit using standard methods of circuit analysis.