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Lecture 2

EBB 215

2015

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

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.

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.

+e

e +

e

e +

+

--

+

+

+ +

+ +

+

- -

- --

--

charge carrier:

Depletion region

Nd positive

charge

Na negative

charge

- - -

+

+ +

+

+

--

Space

charge

region

Charged Carriers

Depletion

region

- - -

+ +

+

+

Diffusion

force on

holes

E field

Diffusion force

on electrons

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

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?

the Fermi Level when the two materials

are at thermal equilibrium?

throughout.

diagram for the n and p type

to show the invariance of the

Fermi Level a equilibrium!

DIFFERENT TYPES ARE IN CONTACT .

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

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.

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

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

= 9.65 x 109cm-3

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

(C/cm3)

+eNd

-xp

x

xn

xp

xn

-eNa

P

Depletion region

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

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

d 2

( x)

dE ( x)

2

dx

dx

eN a

eN a

( x)

E

dx

dx

x C1

eN d

eN d

( x)

E

dx

dx

x C2

In the p region

eN a

E

(x xp) xp x 0

In the n region

eN d

E

( xn x ) 0 x xn

E

-xp

xn

Emax

produced from this plot.

And E can be seen

reducing as we go from

the junction to xpor xn

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

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

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

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.

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