UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS DARTMOUTH

DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING
ECE 201 CIRCUIT THEORY 1
EXPERIMENT / PROJECT 1
DIODES AND DIODE CIRCUITS
INTRODUCTION TO THE PN JUNCTION DIODE
The PN Junction Diode is the basic electronic component. Combinations of the simple PN
Junction Diode are used to make more complex devices such as bipolar transistors (BJTs) field!
effect transistors ("#Ts) silicon!controlled!rectifiers ($C%s) and inte&rated circuits such as
operational amplifiers ('P ()P$).
The ph*sics behind the operation of a PN Junction Diode +ill be discussed in *our electronics
course. ( simple circuit model based upon the conditions of operation +ill be presented here.
CIRCUIT SYMBOL AND SIMPLE MODEL
The circuit s*mbol and terminal identifications for a t*pe ,N-../0P PN Junction Diode are
sho+n belo+.
D1
1N4007GP
The (node terminal is the P (or 1) side of the diode and the Cathode is the N (or !) side. The
2arro+3 is used to indicate the positive direction of conventional current flo+ throu&h the diode.
The volta&e drop across the diode has polarit* 1 on the (node ! on the Cathode.
The circuit model for the PN Junction Diode is the $in&le!Pole $in&le!Thro+ ('N 4 '"") $+itch.

The operation of the PN Junction diode is as follo+s. 5f the external circuit provides a volta&e
across the diode (a condition called B5($5N0) that forces conventional current throu&h the diode
to flo+ in the direction of the arro+ in the diode s*mbol ("'%6(%D B5($) the diode behaves as
a C7'$#D s+itch (or short circuit) as sho+n belo+.
D1
1N4007GP
1
(node (() Cathode (8)
5ext
5ext
'n the other hand if the external circuit biases the diode in a direction to force the current
throu&h the diode to flo+ (0(5N$T the arro+ in the s*mbol (%#9#%$# B5($) the diode
behaves as an 'P#N s+itch (open circuit) sho+n here.
D1
1N4007GP
A SIMPLE DIODE APPLICATION
The circuit sho+n belo+ is kno+n as a :alf!6ave %ectfier. ( sinusoidal volta&e is applied to the
series!connected diode and resistor. 6hen the input volta&e (the upper +aveform) is on its
positive half c*cle the current +ill be in the direction of the arro+ in the diode s*mbol the diode
acts as a short!circuit and the source volta&e appears across the resistor (the lo+er +aveform).
6hen the input volta&e is on its ne&ative half!c*cle the current +ould tr* to flo+ in the direction
opposite to the arro+ in the diode s*mbol. The diode +ill act a an open s+itch the current +ill be
e;ual to <ero and there +ill be no volta&e across the resistor as evidenced b* the +aveforms
sho+n above. 5n order to satisf* 897 the input volta&e appears +ith reverse polarit* across the
diode. 5n practice there is a maximum value of this volta&e kno+n as the P59 (Peak 5nverse
9olta&e) that the diode can +ithstand +ithout breakin& do+n.
2
5ext
5ext
LIGHT-EMITTING DIODES (LED!
(nother t*pe of diode that has a +ide variet* of applications is the 2li&ht!emittin&!diode3 or 7#D.
This diode is made from specific material +hich causes visible li&ht to be emitted +hen the diode
is for+ard!biased and conduction& current. The 7#D behaves as an open!circuit +hen it=s under
reverse bias. The circuit s*mbol and terminal identifications for the 7#D are sho+n belo+.
LED1
( simple series circuit as sho+n here can demonstrate the operation of the 7#D. 5n the circuit
dia&ram on the left the s+itch is open no current flo+s and the 7#D is not illuminated. 6hen
the s+itch is closed as in the circuit dia&ram on the ri&ht current flo+s in the for+ard direction
and the 7#D is illuminated.
LED1
V1
12 V
RL"#"$"%&
470'
J1
()* + O
LED2
V2
12 V
RL"#"$"%&1
470'
J2
()* + C
The inclusion of the -/. > resistor is to protect the 7#D from excessive for+ard current (usuall*
not more than ?. m(). 5n practice the 7#D has a for+ard volta&e drop of ,.@ 4 ?.. 9 dependin&
upon the material used in fabrication. The the limitin& resistor usuall* ran&es from ??. 4 -/. >
dependin& upon the applied volta&e. 5t should be noted that man* 7#Ds have a 2built!in3 series
resistor. Check the diode spec sheet for complete information and ratin&s.
A CIRCUIT ACCESSORY COMPONENT , THE PIE-O-ELECTRIC BU--ER
( common circuit accessor* component is the pie<o!electric bu<<er. The circuit s*mbol for a
commercial $'N(7#%T ?..:< bu<<er is sho+n belo+.
U1
SONALERT
200 H.
3
(node Cathode
The s*mbol for a more &eneric bu<<er is sho+n here.
U1
BU--ER
200 H.
These devices emit a tone of ?.. :< +hen connected to the proper suppl* volta&e. (lthou&h
there are no polarit* desi&nations on the circuit s*mbol most of these devices are polarit*
sensitive. "or the )ulti$im s*mbols the upper terminal is the 1 terminal. 5n &eneral there are
polarit* markin&s on a 2real!+orld3 device.
5n most cases these devices are rated at A 9DC but actuall* operate over a +ider volta&e ran&e
t*picall* from B!,C 9DC. 6hen usin& the devices in )ulti$im check the ratin&s and make
adDustments to the model(s) as needed. Esuall* *ou need to adDust the volta&e ratin& to the
particular suppl* volta&e in *our circuit. 5f the bu<<er still does not sound the current ratin& must
be lo+ered. $ome trial!and!error (and patience) mi&ht be needed.
"inall* the fre;uenc* of the device ma* be adDusted. T*pical fre;uencies for devices used in
alarm situations are ,.A 8:< and ?./ 8:< 4 these fre;uencies usuall* &et *our attention and
become irritable if not silenced.
( simple bu<<er circuit is sho+n here. 5f *ou are tr*in& this in )ulti$im no adDustments to the
model need to be made.
U1
BU--ER
200 H.
V1
12 V
J1
()* + B
4
EXPERIMENT / PROJECT /1
DC VOLTAGE POLARITY CHEC(ER
PROBLEM STATEMENT/ SPECIFICATIONS
Desi&n a circuit +hich +ill check the polarit* of an applied volta&e of ,? 9DC.
5f the volta&e is applied +ith proper polarit* the circuit should respond b* li&htin& a 0reen 7#D. 5f
the volta&e is applied +ith the +ron& polarit* have the circuit respond b* li&htin& a %ed 7#D and
soundin& a bu<<er.
The bu<<er +ill operate on an* DC volta&e from B to ,C volts at a current of ,. m(. The 7#Ds
have a volta&e drop of ,.@ 9 and should have a protection resistor installed in series to limit the
current to ?. m( in order to prevent burnout.
(s part of the desi&n process *ou must use )ulti$im soft+are to simulate *our desi&ned circuit.
LABORATORY PROCEDURE/ RESULTS
Construct the circuit +hich *ou desi&ned. Pa* attention to the polarit* of the 7#Ds and
Bu<<er. Test *our circit to see if it performs accordin& to theproblem specifications. 5f it does
demonstrate it to either the instructor or the T(.
5f *our first desi&n does not +ork accordin& to specs *ou should make +hatever
modifications that *ou think are necessar* and tr* a&ain. 6hen *ou have a +orkin& circuit
demonstrate it to either the instructor or the T(.
#ach student should submitF
, complete circuit dia&ram of the ori&inal desi&n
, complete circuit dia&ram of the final desi&n only if modifications
were needed
, )ulti$im simulation of *our final circuit
, Technical Description that explains ho+ the circuit functions.

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