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A Test Fixture for Evaluation of Small Signal

Diode Impedance

Nicholas DiFabio
Wentworth Institute of Technology
12/9/2014

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Contents
List of Figures ................................................................................................................................................. i
List of Tables .................................................................................................................................................. i
Abstract ......................................................................................................................................................... 1
Synopsis ........................................................................................................................................................ 1
Background on Light Emitting Diodes ........................................................................................................... 1
Experimental Setup ....................................................................................................................................... 2
Procedure...................................................................................................................................................... 4
Results ........................................................................................................................................................... 5
Red LED ..................................................................................................................................................... 5
Green LED ................................................................................................................................................. 6
Yellow LED ................................................................................................................................................. 7
Blue LED .................................................................................................................................................... 8

List of Figures
Figure 1 - Bench View of Experimental Setup............................................................................................... 3
Figure 2 - Close up of Experimental Circuit................................................................................................... 4
Figure 3 - IV Curve for Red LED ..................................................................................................................... 5
Figure 4 - dV/dI for Red LED .......................................................................................................................... 6
Figure 5 - IV Curve for Green LED ................................................................................................................. 6
Figure 6 - dV/dI for Green LED ...................................................................................................................... 7
Figure 7 - IV Curve for Yellow LED ................................................................................................................. 7
Figure 8 - dV/dI for Yellow LED ..................................................................................................................... 8
Figure 9 - IV Curve for Blue LED .................................................................................................................... 8
Figure 10 - dV/dI for Blue LED ....................................................................................................................... 9

List of Tables
Table 1 - LED Characteristics. Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-emitting_diode. ................. 1
Table 2 - Voltage Drops for Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue LEDs. .................................................................. 2

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Abstract
A LabVIEW test fixture is developed for automatic evaluation of the small signal impedance of red,
green, yellow, and blue LEDs.

Synopsis
As is well known, the IV characteristics of common LEDs depend upon the color. This interface in
LabVIEW automatically measures and displays the IV characteristics of these LEDs, and computes for
display the small signal impedance, dV/dI, of these devices.

Background on Light Emitting Diodes
The Wikipedia entry for light emitting diodes provides valuable information on the characteristics of
different diodes. The following table displays the most pertinent information:
Table 1 - LED Characteristics. Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-emitting_diode.

Color

Wavelength [nm]

Voltage
drop [ΔV]

Semiconductor material

Infrared

λ > 760

ΔV < 1.63

Gallium arsenide (GaAs)
Aluminium gallium arsenide (AlGaAs)

610 < λ < 760

Aluminium gallium arsenide (AlGaAs)
Gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP)
1.63 < ΔV < 2.03
Aluminium gallium indium phosphide (AlGaInP)
Gallium(III) phosphide (GaP)

Orange

590 < λ < 610

Gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP)
2.03 < ΔV < 2.10 Aluminium gallium indium phosphide (AlGaInP)
Gallium(III) phosphide (GaP)

Yellow

570 < λ < 590

Gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP)
2.10 < ΔV < 2.18 Aluminium gallium indium phosphide (AlGaInP)
Gallium(III) phosphide (GaP)

Green

500 < λ < 570

Traditional green:
Gallium(III) phosphide (GaP)
Aluminium gallium indium phosphide (AlGaInP)
[70]
1.9 < ΔV < 4.0 Aluminium gallium phosphide (AlGaP)
Pure green:
Indium gallium nitride (InGaN) / Gallium(III)
nitride (GaN)

Blue

450 < λ < 500

2.48 < ΔV < 3.7 Zinc selenide (ZnSe)
Indium gallium nitride (InGaN)

Red

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Silicon carbide (SiC) as substrate
Silicon (Si) as substrate—under development
Violet

400 < λ < 450

2.76 < ΔV < 4.0 Indium gallium nitride (InGaN)

Purple

Multiple types

Dual blue/red LEDs,
2.48 < ΔV < 3.7 blue with red phosphor,
or white with purple plastic

Ultraviolet λ < 400

3.1 < ΔV < 4.4

Diamond (235 nm)[71]
Boron nitride (215 nm)[72][73]
Aluminium nitride (AlN) (210 nm)[74]
Aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN)
Aluminium gallium indium nitride (AlGaInN)—down to
210 nm[75]

Pink

Multiple types

ΔV ~ 3.3[76]

Blue with one or two phosphor layers:
yellow with red, orange or pink phosphor added
afterwards,
or white phosphors with pink pigment or dye over
top.[77]

White

Broad spectrum

ΔV = 3.5

Blue/UV diode with yellow phosphor

This experiment is concerned with red, green, yellow, and blue LEDs. Taken from Table 1 above, the
following table lists the voltage drop of red, green, yellow, and blue LEDs:
Table 2 - Voltage Drops for Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue LEDs.

Color Voltage drop [ΔV]
Yellow 2.10 < ΔV < 2.18
Green 1.9[70] < ΔV < 4.0
Blue

2.48 < ΔV < 3.7

Red

1.63 < ΔV < 2.03

This information was taken into consideration for this experiment

Experimental Setup
The following equipment and software was used to perform this experiment:

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Wentworth Agilent Software
LabVIEW Software
Breadboard
Leads
Power supply
Digital multi-meter
Red, Green, Blue, Yellow LEDs
1K resistor

The following images display the experimental setup:

Figure 1 - Bench View of Experimental Setup

As seen in the above image, the components were arranged on a breadboard. The system was powered
using a power supply and measured using a digital multi meter. The following image shows a close up of
the circuit:

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Figure 2 - Close up of Experimental Circuit

This image shows the 1K resistor connected in series to the blue diode. The leftmost red lead is
supplying power, the middle lead is measuring voltage, and the black lead is serving as a ground.

Procedure
The following procedure was repeated for the blue, red, green, and yellow diodes:
1.
2.
3.
4.

The diode was connected to the circuit as shown in Figure 2
Appropriate connectors were attached
Using the LabVIEW software, voltage to the circuit was swept from 1 to 11
The IV characteristics and dV/dI information was recorded and screenshots were taken

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Results
The following screenshots show the results of the tests:

Red LED

Figure 3 - IV Curve for Red LED

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Figure 4 - dV/dI for Red LED

Green LED

Figure 5 - IV Curve for Green LED

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Figure 6 - dV/dI for Green LED

Yellow LED

Figure 7 - IV Curve for Yellow LED

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Figure 8 - dV/dI for Yellow LED

Blue LED

Figure 9 - IV Curve for Blue LED

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Figure 10 - dV/dI for Blue LED

Conclusion
This data suggests that LEDs do in fact behave like diodes. They have a voltage below which they are
‘off.’ After they turn ‘on,’ they behave like diodes, having a constant voltage drop.