You are on page 1of 31

P-N JUNCTION

Lecture 2
EBB 215

(Dr Zainovia Lockman)


2015

The Depletion Region

The Basic Structure of a pn Junction

So far we have been considering the properties of


semiconductor materials: electron and hole concentration,
band diagram, Fermi level determination, conductivity and
current.
We are now considering what would happen when p type
and n type semiconductor are brought into contact with one
another.
A pn junction is a single crystal semiconductor material
which one region is doped with acceptor impurity atoms to
form p region and the adjacent region is doped with donor
atoms to from the n region. The interface separating them
is the junction.
p

Diffusion of Carriers

Once a junction is created, diffusion of carriers will happen


across the junction. To explain this, let us consider a step
junction.
A step junction is a junction with uniform doping
concentration on both the p and n regions and there is an
abrupt change in doping at the junction.
Since there is a concentration gradient across the junction,
the carriers from n will diffuse to p and likewise p to n:
electrons are diffusing to the p region from the n region and
holes are diffusing to the n region from the p region.
The carriers are the majority carriers.
If there is no external connections to the semiconductor,
then the diffusion process cannot continue indefinitely.

The donor and acceptor atoms

Recall that the electrons from n type material come from dopant
atoms. Once the atoms have been ionised to produce free
electrons, the dopant atoms become positively charged. And once
the electrons have all diffuse away to the p region, the positively
charged donor atoms will be left behind.
Donor atoms CANNOT move.
Similarly, holes from acceptor atoms will diffuse away to the n
region leaving behind negatively charged acceptro atoms. These
atoms cannot move either.
The diffused electrons and holes will annihilate each other when
they meet each other.

Ionised acceptor atom (-ve charged)

Holes diffuse to the n region

+e

e +
e
e +

Electrons diffuse to the n region


+

Ionised donor atom (+ve charged)

Ionised acceptor atom (-ve charged)

This will create


--

+
+

+ +

+ +
+

- -

- --

--

A region with lack of mobile


charge carrier:
Depletion region

The Space Charge Region


Nd positive
charge

Na negative
charge
- - -

+
+ +
+
+

--

Space
charge
region

The Electric Field and Forces acting on


Charged Carriers
Depletion
region

- - -

+ +
+
+

-E-field force on holes

Diffusion
force on
holes

E field

Diffusion force
on electrons

E-field force on electrons

The Force Acting on Charged Particles


The diffusion force acts on the charged
particles.
In the same time, electric field in the space
charged region produces another force on the
electrons and holes which is in opposite
direction
In thermal equilibrium, the diffusion force and
the E-field exactly balance each other
No charged carriers can move in the depletion
region as the net effect

Zero Applied Bias


If there is no bias (no voltage) applied to
the junction, the junction is in thermal
equilibrium
If the junction is in thermal equilibrium,
what happened to the Fermi level?

What do you think? What happened to


the Fermi Level when the two materials
are at thermal equilibrium?

The Fermi Level is CONSTANT


throughout.

Sketch the band energy


diagram for the n and p type
to show the invariance of the
Fermi Level a equilibrium!

Isolated Energy Band Diagrams

WHEN THE 2 SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS OF


DIFFERENT TYPES ARE IN CONTACT .

Upon contract between the two materials (p and n) electrons


flow from the n to the p because there are more free
electrons in the n than in the p.
As the electrons move towards the p region. They leave
behind the ionised donor atoms (positively charged) that are
locked to the semiconductor lattice
At the same time holes flow from the p region to the n region
and leave negatively charged atoms. This separation of
changes set up and electric field.
An equilibrium condition is reached whereby the Fermi Level
will be continuous across the sample

Energy Band Diagram at Equilibrium:

Built in Potential Barrier

A potential barrier is created at the space


charge region (depletion region)
Electrons from n will see this as an obstruction
for it to move to p region
The barrier is called a built in potential barrier,
Vb
The built in potential maintains equilibrium
between majority carrier electrons in n and
minority carrier electrons in p.
And the majority carrier holes in p and minority
carrier holes in p.

Built in Potential Barrier Vb


The built in field at the junction alters the
band.
It cannot be measured.
The Vb only maintains equilibrium
because of this voltage formed, no
current can flow across the depletion
region. Vb can be expressed by the
following equation:

kT N a N d
Vb
ln 2
q ni

C A L C U L AT I O N

Given a p-n junction with n-type Si consisted of


dopants, ND=1014 cm-3. If ni = 9.65 x 109cm-3, calculate.
po which will be assumed to be the same as NA)
Then determine the built in potential of this junction.
Constants: k and T

Solution:
Use

kT N a N d
Vb
ln 2
q ni

Built in potential

Dopants concentration:
P-type: NA
N-type: ND

Intrinsic carrier concentration: ni


= 9.65 x 109cm-3

The Electric Field

Since there is a separation of positive and


negative space charge densities, an
electric field is built up in the depletion
region

Assume abrupt
junction.
Assume space
charge region
ends in the n
region at xn and at
xp in the p region

xp

xn

The Space Charge Density, (C/cm3)


(C/cm3)

+eNd

-xp

x
xn

xp

xn

-eNa
P
Depletion region

Three properties of Junction: (charge


distribution/density at junction), E (electric
field) and (potential) can be determined by
Poissons equation
Volume charge density

Electric
Field

Potential

d 2
( x)
dE ( x)

2
dx

dx
Permittivity of semiconductor

Rewrite the Poisson


Equation:

The distribution
of charges at the
junction

(C/cm3)
+eNd

-xp

xn

-eNa

-xp<x<0

(x) =-eNa

0<x<xn
(x) =eNd

If we integrate Poisson's
equation we will get electric
field value at the junction.
Use these boundaries for the
integration.

The integration E

Use Poisson's equation to get electric field:

d 2
( x)
dE ( x)

2
dx

dx

Integrate the charge density to get E: for p region (e = q)

eN a
eN a
( x)
E
dx
dx
x C1

And integrate charge density at the n region

eN d
eN d
( x)
E
dx
dx
x C2

We can set E = 0 at x =-xp and at x=xn

In the p region
eN a
E
(x xp) xp x 0

In the n region
eN d
E
( xn x ) 0 x xn

The Plot of Electric Field


E

-xp

xn

Emax

Maximum E value can be


produced from this plot.
And E can be seen
reducing as we go from
the junction to xpor xn

The Second Integration


Consider an n region. The potential or voltage can be
obtained by integrating the field, E:

( x) E ( x)dx
eN d

eN d

( xn x)dx

x
'
( x)
( xn. x ) C2

2
Given
eN a 2
C
xp
2 s
'
2

eN d

eN a 2
x
( x)
( xn. x )
xp

2
2 s

The Plot of Electric Potential

Vb

-xp
The potential through the
junction shows the quadratic
dependence on distance both in
the p region and the n regions,
depending on the dopant
concentration the potential in
the p region can recedes to zero
or a very small value.

xn

The potential in the n region is


seen to be quadratic i.e. a curve
as shown in the next slide
would be expected.
Apparently, when x = xn then V
= built in potential.

As a Summary

P-n junction made


Depletion region formed
Built in potential defined
Set boundaries and charge distribution plot
Poisson's equation to define the depletion
region
From the equation:
First integration gives electric field
Second integration gives potential
From the second integration we can have another
equation for built in potential

Self Assessment
A wafer of n-type Si is given to you. The wafer is then
subjected to p-type doping in an ion implantation
chamber with very high concentration of p-type doping.
How does the depletion region of this junction will look
like?
Describe the characteristics of the space charge region.
State the Poission equation and use it to explain these
characteristics.

One Sided Junction