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•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.
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)
producing more free electrons than holes or vice versa. 4 . • However.• They have very few "free electrons" because their atoms are closely grouped together in a crystalline pattern called a "crystal lattice“. 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. their ability to conduct electricity can be greatly improved by adding certain "impurities" to this crystalline structure thereby. •These impurities are called donors or acceptors depending on whether they produce electrons or holes.
It has four valence electrons in its outer most shell which it shares with its adjacent atoms in forming covalent bonds. Figure 1 5 .The most commonly used semiconductor material by far is silicon. 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.
6 . the charge carrier are lost. it creates a hole (positive charge) within the lattice. •If a voltage is applied. or if the valence band electron ‘jumps’ to fill neighboring hole. it’s neutralizes the positive charge. and creates new hole at different location. Thus. •Recombination – a free electron traveling in the immediate neighborhood of a hole will recombine with the hole to form a covalent bond.•Whenever the free electron leaves the lattice structure. •Whenever the hole is present. then both the electron and the hole can contribute to a small current flow.
other electrons can hop between lattice positions to fill the vacancies left by the freed electrons. 7 . That is. 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. the electrons which have been freed from their lattice positions into the conduction band can move through the material.Semiconductor current The current which will flow in an intrinsic semiconductor consists of both electron and hole current. In addition.
•It can be observed that the fifth valence electron is not in the valence band. such as silicon . The free electron can cause current to flow. •Because one electron is “donates” from every pentavalent atom. Figure 2 8 . when doped with pentavalent elements like arsenic. •When antimony is used in doping. pentavalent impurity is known as a donor. antimony or phosphorus .N-type Semiconductor •N-type materials are formed when an intrinsic material. the combination of atomic structure formed is as shown in Figure 2. •N-type semiconductor has more electrons than holes. The effect of adding an element with valency 5 to an element with valency 4 will cause the extra electron to be free electron.
it leaves a hole in its position.P-Type Semiconductor •P-type materials are formed by doping the trivalent elements such as aluminium. in an intrinsic semiconductor. For this reason. the combination of an atomic structure formed as Figure . •When an electron moves to fill the hole. trivalent impurity is known as an acceptor. bonds to boron with valence of 3. •Thus. The hole is ready to accept a free electron. Figure 3 9 . holes are the majority carrier while electron are the minority carrier. Silicon with a valence of 4. • When boron is used for doping. •This combination results in 7 electron valence electrons and a hole in the valence orbit. in P-type materials. boron or indium.
A diode ideally conducts in only one direction. 10 .Diodes The diode is a 2-terminal device.
Diode Characteristics Conduction Region Non-Conduction Region • • • • The voltage across the diode is 0 V The current is infinite The forward resistance is defined as RF = VF / IF The diode acts like a short • • • • All of the voltage is across the diode The current is 0 A The reverse resistance is defined as RR = VR / IR The diode acts like open 11 .
p-n Junctions One end of a silicon or germanium crystal can be doped as a ptype material and the other end as an n-type material. 12 . The result is a p-n junction.
13 . 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 result is the formation of a depletion region around the 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).
Diode Operating Conditions A diode has three operating conditions: • No bias • Forward bias • Reverse bias 14 .
Diode Operating Conditions No Bias • • • No external voltage is applied: VD = 0 V No current is flowing: ID = 0 A Only a modest depletion region exists 15 .
The electrons in the n-type material are attracted toward the positive terminal of the voltage source.Diode Operating Conditions Reverse Bias External voltage is applied across the p-n junction in the opposite polarity of the p. 16 . • • • The reverse voltage causes the depletion region to widen.and n-type materials. The holes in the p-type material are attracted toward the negative terminal of the voltage source.
and n-type materials.Diode Operating Conditions Forward Bias External voltage is applied across the p-n junction in the same polarity as the p. • • • The forward voltage causes the depletion region to narrow. The electrons and holes have sufficient energy to cross the p-n junction. 17 . The electrons and holes are pushed toward the p-n junction.
18 . and forward bias conditions.Actual Diode Characteristics Note the regions for no bias. Carefully note the scale for each of these conditions. reverse bias.
Majority and Minority Carriers Two currents through a diode: Majority Carriers • The majority carriers in n-type materials are electrons. Minority Carriers • The minority carriers in n-type materials are holes. • The majority carriers in p-type materials are holes. 19 . • The minority carriers in p-type materials are electrons.
7 V • germanium diode ≅ 0.3 V 20 .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. The forward bias voltage required for a: • gallium arsenide diode ≅ 1. This energy comes from the external voltage applied across the diode.2 V • silicon diode ≅ 0.
The point where the load line and the characteristic curve intersect is the Q-point. The maximum ID equals E/R. which identifies ID and VD for a particular diode in a given circuit. and the maximum VD equals E.Load-Line Analysis The load line plots all possible combinations of diode current (ID) and voltage (VD) for a given circuit. 21 .
Series Diode Configurations Constants • Silicon Diode: VD = 0.7 V) • VR = E – VD • ID = IR = IT = VR / R 22 .7 V (or VD = E if E < 0.7 V • Germanium Diode: VD = 0.3 V Analysis (for silicon) • VD = 0.
Series Diode Configurations Reverse Bias Diodes ideally behave as open circuits Analysis • VD = E • VR = 0 V • ID = 0 A 23 .
7 V V D1 D2 O V = 9.Parallel Configurations V = 0.33kΩ I D1 =I D2 = 28 mA 2 = 14 mA 24 .3 V R E−V D = 10 V − .7 V D =V = V = 0.7 V = 28 mA I = R R .
Other Types of Diodes Zener diode Light-emitting diode Diode arrays 25 .
Common Zener voltages are between 1.Zener Diode A Zener is a diode operated in reverse bias at the Zener voltage (VZ).8 V and 200 V 26 .
27 . The forward bias voltage is usually in the range of 2 V to 3 V. These can be in the infrared or visible spectrum.Light-Emitting Diode (LED) An LED emits photons when it is forward biased.
Common Anode A variety of combinations exist.Diode Arrays Multiple diodes can be packaged together in an integrated circuit (IC). Common Cathode 28 .
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. 29 .
636Vm 30 .318Vm Full-wave: Vdc = 0. Full-wave rectification produces a greater DC output: • • Half-wave: Vdc = 0.Full-Wave Rectification The rectification process can be improved by using a full-wave rectifier circuit.
636Vm 31 .Full-Wave Rectification Bridge Rectifier • • Four diodes are connected in a bridge configuration VDC = 0.
636Vm 32 .Full-Wave Rectification Center-Tapped Transformer Rectifier Requires • Two diodes • Center-tapped transformer VDC = 0.
Diode Clippers 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) 33 .
Clampers A diode and capacitor can be combined to “clamp” an AC signal to a specific DC level. 34 .
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