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Tunnel Diode

Tunnel Diode

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Published by Naveed Ramzan

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Published by: Naveed Ramzan on Jun 22, 2012
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11/27/2012

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TUNNEL DIODE
1.
 
INTRODUCTION
 A
tunnel
diodeor 
Esaki diode
is a type of semiconductor diode which iscapable of very fast operation The tunnel diode s basically a pn junction with heavy dopingof p type and n type semiconductor materials .tunnel diode is doped 1000 times as heavilyas a conventional diode, It was invented in August 1957 byLeo Esakiwhen he was withTokyo Tsushin Kogyo, now known asSony. These diodes have a heavilydoped p–n   junctiononly some 10 nm (100 Å) wide ,Practical tunnel diodes operate at a few miliamperes and a few tenths of a volt, makingthem low-power devices.Tunnel diodes are also relativelyresistan ttonuclear radiation,as compared to other  diodes. This makes them well suited to higher radiation environments, such as thosefound in space applications. Tunnel diodes are usually made fromgermanium, but can also be made ingallium  arsenideandsiliconmaterials. They can be used asoscillators,amplifiers,frequency  convertersanddetectors2.
AIM
To acquaint students about the tunnel diode.3.
SEQUENCE
a.
introduction
b.
aim
c.
Technical comparisons
d.
Physical operation
e.
 Advantages
f.
 Applications
 
4.
TECHNICAL COMPARISONS
 A rough approximation of the VI curve for a tunnel diode, showing the negativedifferential resistance regionIn a conventional semiconductor diode, conduction takes place while the p–n junction isforward biased and blocks current flow when the junction is reverse biased. This occursup to a point known as the “reverse breakdown voltage” when conduction begins (oftenaccompanied by destruction of the device). In the tunnel diode, the dopant concentrationin the p and n layers are increased to the point where the
reverse breakdownvoltage
becomes
zero
and the diode conducts in the reverse direction.This heavy doping produces an extremely narrow depletion zone similar to that in theZener diode for a tunnel diode. Also because of the heavy doping, a tunnel diodeexhibits an unusual current-voltage characteristic curve as compared with that of anordinary junction diode.However, when forward-biased, an odd effect occurs called “quantum mechanicaltunnelling” which gives rise to a region where an
increase
in forward voltage isaccompanied by a
decrease
in forward current..”..Figure 1 - Characteristic curve of a tunnel diode compared to that of a standard PN junction.
 
The three most important aspects of this characteristic curve are (1) the forward currentincrease to a peak (I
P
) with a small applied forward bias, (2) the decreasing forwardcurrent with an increasing forward bias to a minimum valley current (I
V
), and (3) thenormal increasing forward current with further increases in the bias voltage. The portionof the characteristic curve between I
P
and I
V
is the region of negative resistance.tunneling is defined as: “The movement of valence electrons from the valence energy band to the conductionband with little or no applied forward voltage is called tunneling
ENERGY BAND DIAGRAM
.Figure 1A shows the equilibrium energy level diagram of a tunnel diode with no biasapplied. Note in view A that the valence band of the P-material overlaps the conductionband of the N-material. The majority electrons and holes are at the same energy level inthe equilibrium state. If there is any movement of current carriers across the depletionregion due to thermal energy, the net current flow will be zero because equal numbers of current carriers flow in opposite directions. The zero net current flow is marked by a "0"on the current-voltage curve illustrated in view B.Figure 1 A. - Tunnel diode energy diagram with no bias.

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