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Name:TristanKarloM.

Macadangdang
Course:BSSoftwareEngineering

HomeworkinEE3105
September9,2015

What is a Diode?
A Diode is the simplest two-terminal unilateral semiconductor device. It allows current to flow
only in one direction and blocks the current that flows in the opposite direction. The two terminals of
the diode are called as anode and cathode. The symbol of diode is as shown in the figure below.

The characteristics of a diode closely match to that of a switch. An ideal switch when open
does not conduct current in either directions and in closed state conducts in both directions. The
characteristic of a diode is as shown in the figure below.

Ideally, in one direction that is indicated by the arrow head diode must behave short circuited
and in other one that opposite to that of the direction of arrow head must be open circuited. By ideal
characteristics, the diodes is designed to meet these features theoretically but are not achieved
practically. So the practical diode characteristics are only close to that of the desired.

How Diodes work?


The diode operates when a voltage signal is applied across its terminals. The application of a
DC voltage to make the diode operate in a circuit is called as Biasing. As already mentioned above
the diode resembles to that of a one way switch so it can either be in a state of conduction or in a state
of non conduction. The ON state of a diode is achieved by Forward biasing which means that
positive or higher potential is applied to the anode and negative or lower potential is applied at the
cathode of the diode. In other words, the ON state of diode has the applied current in the same
direction of the arrow head. The OFF state of a diode is achieved by Reverse biasing which means
that positive or higher potential is applied to the cathode and negative or lower potential is applied at
the anode of the diode. In other words, the OFF state of diode has the applied current in the opposite
direction of the arrow head.
During ON state, the practical diode offers a resistance called as the Forward resistance.
The diode requires a forward bias voltage to switch to the ON condition which is called Cut-involtage. The diode starts conducting in reverse biased mode when the reverse bias voltage exceeds
its limit which is called as the Breakdown voltage. The diode remains in OFF state when no voltage is
applied across it.
A simple p-n juction diode is fabricated by doping p and n type layers on a silicon or
germanium wafer. The germanium and silicon materials are prefered for diode fabrication because:
They are available in high purity.
Slight doping like one atom per ten million atoms of a desired impurity can change the
conductivity to a considerable level.
The properties of these materials change on applying heat and light and hence it is important
in the devlopment of heat and light sensetive devices.
Reference:http://bit.ly/1LWx5UX