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PN-junction electrostatics

In this chapter you will learn about pn junction electrostatics: Charge density, electric field and electrostatic potential existing inside the diode under equilibrium and steady state conditions.

You will also learn about: Poisson’s Equation Built-In Potential Depletion Approximation Step-Junction Solution

1

**PN-junction fabrication
**

PN-junctions are created by several processes including:

1. Diffusion 2. Ion-implantation 3. Epitaxial deposition

**Each process results in different doping profiles
**

2

1

4 2 .Ideal step-junction doping profile 3 Equilibrium energy band diagram for the pn junction ⎛ E − Ei ⎞ n = ni exp ⎜ F ⎟ ⎝ kT ⎠ ⎛ E − EF ⎞ p = ni exp ⎜ i ⎟ ⎝ kT ⎠ EF = same everywhere under equilibrium Join the two sides of the band by a smooth curve.

Vbi) is equal to −(1/q)(∆EC). uncovering ionized dopant atoms. So. V = − (1/q) (EC–Eref). potential difference between the two sides (also called built-in voltage. V = − 1 (EC − Eref ) q E = 1 dEC 1 dEi = q dx q dx ρ = charge density ε = Ks εo ρ dE = dx ε 5 Conceptual pn-junction formation p and n type regions before junction formation Holes and electrons will diffuse towards opposite directions. 6 3 . This will build up an electric field which will prevent further movement of carriers.Electrostatic variables for the equilibrium pn junction Potential.

the net electron current and hole current will be zero.The built-in potential. electrons from the n-side and holes from the p-side will diffuse leaving behind charged dopant atoms. Vbi When the junction is formed. 7 Equilibrium conditions Under equilibrium conditions. E-field NA = 1017 cm−3 hole diffusion current net current = 0 hole drift current electron diffusion current opposite to electron flux electron drift current opposite to electron flux 8 ND = 1016 cm−3 net current = 0 4 . In other words. The net result is the build up of an electric field from the positively charged atoms to the negatively charged atoms.e. When steady state condition is reached after the formation of junction (how long this takes?) the net electric field (or the built in potential) will prevent further diffusion of electrons and holes. from the nside to p-side. i. Remember that the dopant atoms cannot move! Electrons will leave behind positively charged donor atoms and holes will leave behind negatively charged acceptor atoms.. there will be drift and diffusion currents such that net electron and hole currents will be zero.

measured in Volts. Vbi. is numerically equal to the “shift” in the bands expressed in eV. Vbi The built-in potential. Vbi = (1/q) {(Ei − EF)p-side + (EF − Ei)n-side } kT ⎛ p ⎞ kT ⎛ n ⎞ ln ⎜ ⎜n ⎟ ⎟ + q ln ⎜ ⎜n ⎟ ⎟ q ⎝ i⎠ ⎝ i⎠ pp nn ⎞ kT ⎛ ⎟ = ln ⎜ ⎜ n2 ⎟ q ⎝ i ⎠ where pp = hole − concentration on p − side = and nn = electron − concentration on n − side An interesting fact: pp pn = ⎛ q Vbi ⎞ nn = exp ⎜ ⎜ kT ⎟ ⎟ np ⎝ ⎠ 10 5 .The built-in potential. Vbi p-side EC Ei EV EC Ei EV ⎛ p⎞ Ei − EF = kT ln ⎜ ⎟ ⎜n ⎟ ⎝ i⎠ q Vbi = (Ei − EF)p-side + (EF − Ei)n-side n-side EF ⎛n⎞ EF − Ei = kT ln ⎜ ⎜n ⎟ ⎟ ⎝ i⎠ 9 The built-in potential.

Majority and minority carrier concentrations p-side NA ND n-side pp nn np −xp xn pn x 11 Built-in potential as a function of doping concentration for an abrupt p+n or n+p junction 12 6 .

ND = 1016 cm–3 NA = 1017 cm–3 Calculate majority carrier concentration in n-side and p-side. 14 7 . Vbi = pp nn kT ⎛ ln ⎜ ⎜ n2 q ⎝ i ⎛ ⎞ ⎞ ⎟ = kT ln ⎜ N A N D ⎟ ⎜ n2 ⎟ ⎟ q i ⎝ ⎠ ⎠ Plug in the numerical values to calculate Vbi. 13 Example 1 A p-n junction is formed in Si with the following parameters. Assume nn = ND = 1016 cm−3 and pp = NA= 1017 cm−3. Vbi. Calculate the built-in voltage.Depletion approximation dE ρ = Poisson equation dx Ks ε0 ⎧ q ⎪ =⎨ ( N D − N A ) for − xp ≤ x ≤ xn ⎪ ⎩ K sε0 = 0 everywhere else We assume that the free carrier concentration inside the depletion region is zero.

nn = “effective ND” = 1016 cm-3. Plug in the numerical values to calculate Vbi. Vbi.Example 2 A pn junction is formed in Si with the following parameters. 15 8 . Calculate the built-in voltage. ND = 2 × 1016 cm–3 NA = 1 × 1016 cm–3 NA = 3 × 1017 cm–3 ND = 2 × 1017 cm–3 Calculate majority carrier concentration in n-side and p-side. pp = “effective NA” = 1017 cm–3 ⎛ ⎞ pp nn ⎞ kT ⎛ ⎟ = kT ln ⎜ N A N D ⎟ Vbi = ln ⎜ ⎜ n2 ⎟ ⎜ n2 ⎟ q q i ⎝ i ⎠ ⎝ ⎠ Here NA and ND are “effective” or net values.

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