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Basic of semiconductors and diodes

Basic semiconductor P-type semiconductor N-type semiconductor Semiconductor current flows P-N junction Diode basics Diode operating systems I-V Characteristics of Diodes Load line analysis Diodes in series and parallel configurations Application of diodes in rectifier, clampers and clippers.

Basic of semiconductors and diodes • Basic semiconductor • P-type semiconductor • N-type semiconductor • Semiconductor

Learning outcomes :

  • 1. be able to explain basic principles underlying the physics of

semiconductor devices and PN junction

  • 2. be able to use circuit models of the semiconductor diode in circuits

  • 3. be able to use various circuit models of the semiconductor diode in

simple circuits.

  • 4. be able to explain the basic principle of operation of clipper, clamper

and rectifier.

Conductors are materials that have a low value of resistivity allowing them to easily pass an electrical current due to there being plenty of free electrons floating about within their basic atom structure.

Insulators on the other hand are the exact opposite of conductors. They are made of materials, generally non-metals, that have very few or no "free electrons" floating about within their basic atom structure because the electrons in the outer valence shell are strongly attracted by the positively charged inner nucleus.

Semiconductors materials such as silicon (Si), germanium (Ge) and gallium arsenide (GaAs), have electrical properties somewhere in the middle, between those of a "conductor" and an "insulator". They are not good conductors nor good insulators (hence their name "semi"- conductors)

They have very few "free electrons" because their atoms are closely grouped together in a crystalline pattern called a "crystal lattice“.

•

However, their ability to conduct electricity can be greatly improved by adding certain "impurities" to this crystalline structure thereby, producing more free electrons than holes or vice versa.

•

These impurities are called donors or acceptors depending on whether they produce electrons or holes. This process of adding impurity atoms to semiconductor atoms (the order of 1 impurity atom per 10 million (or more) atoms of the semiconductor) is called Doping.

The most commonly used semiconductor material by far is silicon. It has four valence electrons in its outer most shell which it shares with its adjacent atoms in forming covalent bonds. The structure of the bond between two silicon atoms is such that each atom shares one electron with its neighbor making the bond very stable.

The most commonly used semiconductor material by far is silicon . It has four valence electrons

Figure 1

• Whenever the free electron leaves the lattice structure, it creates a hole (positive charge) within

Whenever the free electron leaves the lattice structure, it creates a hole (positive charge) within the lattice.

Whenever the hole is present, or if the valence band electron ‘jumps’ to fill neighboring hole, it’s neutralizes the positive charge, and creates new hole at different location.

  • If a voltage is applied, then both the electron and the hole can contribute to a small current flow.

Recombination – a free electron traveling in the immediate neighborhood of a hole will recombine with the hole to form a covalent bond. Thus, the charge carrier are lost.

Semiconductor current
Semiconductor current
Semiconductor current The current which will flow in an intrinsic semiconductor consists of both electron andconduction band can move through the material. In addition, other electrons can hop between lattice positions to fill the vacancies left by the freed electrons. This additional mechanism is called hole conduction because it is as if the holes are migrating across the material in the direction opposite to the free electron movement. 7 " id="pdf-obj-6-4" src="pdf-obj-6-4.jpg">

The current which will flow in an intrinsic semiconductor consists of both electron and hole current. That is, the electrons which have been freed from their lattice positions into the conduction band can move through the material.

In addition, other electrons

can hop

between

lattice

positions

to

fill

the

vacancies left by the freed electrons. This

additional mechanism is called

hole

conduction because it is as if the holes are

migrating across

the

material

in

the

direction

opposite

to

the

free

electron

movement.

N-type Semiconductor

N-type materials are formed when an intrinsic material, such as silicon , when doped with pentavalent elements like arsenic, antimony or phosphorus . When antimony is used in doping, the combination of atomic structure formed is as shown in Figure 2. It can be observed that the fifth valence electron is not in the valence band. The effect of adding an element with valency 5 to an element with valency 4 will cause the extra electron to be free electron. The free electron can cause current to flow. Because one electron is “donates” from every pentavalent atom, pentavalent impurity is known as a donor. N-type semiconductor has more electrons than holes.

N-type Semiconductor • N-type materials are formed when an intrinsic material, such as silicon , when

Figure 2

P-Type Semiconductor

P-type materials are formed by doping the trivalent elements such as aluminium, boron or indium, in an intrinsic semiconductor. When boron is used for doping, the combination of an atomic structure formed as Figure . Silicon with a valence of 4, bonds to boron with valence of 3. This combination results in 7 electron valence electrons and a hole in the valence orbit. When an electron moves to fill the hole, it leaves a hole in its position. The hole is ready to accept a free electron. For this reason, trivalent impurity is known as an acceptor. Thus, in P-type materials, holes are the majority carrier while electron are the minority carrier.

P-Type Semiconductor • P-type materials are formed by doping the trivalent elements such as aluminium ,

Figure 3

Diodes
Diodes

The diode is a 2-terminal device.

A diode ideally conducts in only one direction.

Diodes The diode is a 2-terminal device. only one direction. 10
Diodes The diode is a 2-terminal device. only one direction. 10
Diode Characteristics
Diode Characteristics
Conduction Region
Conduction Region
Diode Characteristics Conduction Region Non-Conduction Region • The voltage across the diode is 0 V •
Non-Conduction Region
Non-Conduction Region
Diode Characteristics Conduction Region Non-Conduction Region • The voltage across the diode is 0 V •

The voltage across the diode is 0 V

All of the voltage is across the diode

The current is infinite

The current is 0 A

The forward resistance is defined as

The reverse resistance is defined as

R F = V F / I F The diode acts like a short

R R = V R / I R The diode acts like open

p-n Junctions
p-n Junctions

One end of a silicon or germanium crystal can be doped as a p- type material and the other end as an n-type material.

p-n Junctions One end of a silicon or germanium crystal can be doped as a p

The result is a p-n junction.

p-n Junctions One end of a silicon or germanium crystal can be doped as a p
p-n Junctions
p-n Junctions

At the p-n junction, the excess conduction-band electrons on the n-type side are attracted to the valence-band holes on the p-type side.

The electrons in the n-type material migrate across the junction to the p-type material (electron flow).

The electron migration results in a negative charge on the p-type side of the junction and a positive charge on the n-type side of the junction.

p-n Junctions At the p-n junction, the excess conduction-band electrons on the n -type side are
p-n Junctions At the p-n junction, the excess conduction-band electrons on the n -type side are
p-n Junctions At the p-n junction, the excess conduction-band electrons on the n -type side are

The result is the formation of a depletion region around the junction.

p-n Junctions At the p-n junction, the excess conduction-band electrons on the n -type side are

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Diode Operating Conditions
Diode Operating Conditions

A diode has three operating conditions:

No bias

Forward bias

Reverse bias

Diode Operating Conditions
Diode Operating Conditions
No Bias
No Bias

No external voltage is applied: V D = 0 V

No current is flowing: I D = 0 A

Only a modest depletion region exists

Diode Operating Conditions No Bias • No external voltage is applied: V = 0 V •
Diode Operating Conditions
Diode Operating Conditions
Diode Operating Conditions Reverse Bias External voltage is applied across the p-n junction in the opposite
Reverse Bias
Reverse Bias

External voltage is applied across the p-n junction in the opposite polarity of the p- and n-type materials.

Diode Operating Conditions Reverse Bias External voltage is applied across the p-n junction in the opposite

The

reverse

voltage

causes

the

depletion region to widen.

 

The electrons in the n-type material are attracted toward the positive terminal of the voltage source.

The holes in the p-type material are attracted toward the negative terminal of the voltage source.

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Diode Operating Conditions
Diode Operating Conditions
Forward Bias
Forward Bias

External voltage is applied across the p-n junction in the same polarity as the p- and n-type materials.

Diode Operating Conditions Forward Bias External voltage is applied across the p-n junction in the same
Diode Operating Conditions Forward Bias External voltage is applied across the p-n junction in the same

The forward voltage causes the depletion region to narrow.

The electrons and holes are pushed toward the p-n junction.

The

electrons

and

holes

have

sufficient

energy

to

cross

the

p-n

junction.

Actual Diode Characteristics
Actual Diode Characteristics

Note the regions for no bias, reverse bias, and forward bias conditions.

Carefully note the scale

for

each

conditions.

of

these

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Majority and Minority Carriers
Majority and Minority Carriers

Two currents through a diode:

Majority Carriers
Majority Carriers

The majority carriers in n-type materials are electrons.

The majority carriers in p-type materials are holes.

Minority Carriers
Minority Carriers

The minority carriers in n-type materials are holes.

The minority carriers in p-type materials are electrons.

Forward Bias Voltage
Forward Bias Voltage

The point at which the diode changes from no-bias condition to forward-bias condition occurs when the electrons and holes are given sufficient energy to cross the p-n junction. This energy comes from the external voltage applied across the diode.

The forward bias voltage required for a:

gallium arsenide diode 1.2 V

silicon diode 0.7 V

germanium diode 0.3 V

Load-Line Analysis
Load-Line Analysis

The load line plots all possible combinations of diode current (I D ) and voltage (V D ) for a given circuit. The maximum I D equals E/R, and the maximum V D equals E.

The point where the load line and the characteristic curve intersect is the Q-point, which identifies I D and V D for a particular diode in a given circuit.

Load-Line Analysis The load line plots all possible combinations of diode current ( I ) and
Series Diode Configurations
Series Diode Configurations

Constants Silicon Diode: V D = 0.7 V Germanium Diode: V D = 0.3 V

Analysis (for silicon)

V

D

= 0.7 V

(or V D = E if

E < 0.7 V)

V R = E – V D I D = I R = I T = V R / R

Series Diode Configurations Constants • Silicon Diode: V = 0.7 V Germanium Diode: V = 0.3
Series Diode Configurations
Series Diode Configurations
Reverse Bias
Reverse Bias

Diodes ideally behave as open circuits

Analysis V D

= E

V R = 0 V

I D = 0 A

Series Diode Configurations Reverse Bias Diodes ideally behave as open circuits Analysis • V • =
Parallel Configurations
Parallel Configurations

V

D

= 0.7 V

V

D1

=

V

D2

=

V

O

= 0.7 V

V

R

= 9.3 V

I

R

=

E

V

D

=

10 V

.7 V

R

.33kΩ

= 28 mA

I

D1

=

I

D2

28 mA

=

2

= 14 mA

Parallel Configurations V D = 0.7 V V D1 = V D2 = V O =
Other Types of Diodes
Other Types of Diodes

Zener diode Light-emitting diode Diode arrays

Zener Diode
Zener Diode

A Zener is a diode operated in reverse bias at the Zener voltage (V Z ).

Common Zener voltages are between 1.8 V and 200 V

Zener Diode A Zener is a diode operated in reverse bias at the Zener voltage (V
Light-Emitting Diode (LED)
Light-Emitting Diode (LED)

An LED emits photons when it is forward biased. These can be in the infrared or visible spectrum. The forward bias voltage is usually in the range of 2 V to 3 V.

Light-Emitting Diode (LED) An LED emits photons when it is forward biased. These can be in
Diode Arrays
Diode Arrays

Multiple diodes can be packaged together in an integrated circuit (IC).

Diode Arrays Multiple diodes can be packaged together in an integrated circuit (IC). A variety of

A variety of combinations exist.

Common Anode Common Cathode
Common Anode
Common Cathode
Half-Wave Rectification Applications:
Half-Wave Rectification
Applications:

The diode only conducts when it is forward biased, therefore only half of the AC cycle passes through the diode to the output.

Half-Wave Rectification Applications: The diode only conducts when it is forward biased, therefore only half of
Half-Wave Rectification Applications: The diode only conducts when it is forward biased, therefore only half of
Full-Wave Rectification
Full-Wave Rectification

The rectification process can be improved by using a full-wave rectifier circuit.

Full-wave rectification produces a greater DC output:

Full-Wave Rectification The rectification process can be improved by using a full-wave rectifier circuit. Full-wave rectification

Half-wave: V dc = 0.318V m Full-wave: V dc = 0.636V m

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Full-Wave Rectification
Full-Wave Rectification
Full-Wave Rectification Bridge Rectifier • Four diodes are connected in a bridge configuration • V =
Bridge Rectifier
Bridge Rectifier

Four diodes are connected in a bridge configuration

V DC = 0.636V m

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Full-Wave Rectification
Full-Wave Rectification
Full-Wave Rectification Center-Tapped Transformer Rectifier Requires Two diodes Center-tapped transformer • • V DC = 0.636V
Center-Tapped Transformer Rectifier Requires Two diodes Center-tapped transformer • • V DC = 0.636V m 32
Center-Tapped Transformer Rectifier
Requires
Two diodes
Center-tapped transformer
V DC = 0.636V m
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Diode Clippers
Diode Clippers
Diode Clippers The diode in a series clipper “clips” any voltage that does not forward bias

The diode in a series clipper “clips” any voltage that does not forward bias it:

A reverse-biasing polarity

A forward-biasing polarity less than 0.7 V (for a silicon diode)

Diode Clippers The diode in a series clipper “clips” any voltage that does not forward bias
Clampers
Clampers

A diode and capacitor can be combined to “clamp” an AC signal to a specific DC level.

Clampers A diode and capacitor can be combined to “clamp” an AC signal to a specific

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