The three most important aspects of this characteristic curve are (1) the forward currentincrease to a peak (I
) with a small applied forward bias, (2) the decreasing forwardcurrent with an increasing forward bias to a minimum valley current (I
), and (3) thenormal increasing forward current with further increases in the bias voltage. The portionof the characteristic curve between I
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.