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FEE202 Second Semester 2014/2015

Tutorial 2: Excess carriers in semiconductors

Q1. With Ef located 0, 4 eV above the valence band in a Si sample, what charge state
would you expect for most Ga atoms in the sample? What would be the predominant
charge state of Zn and Au? Note: By charge state we mean neutral, singly positive,
doubly negative, etc.
Q2. A Si sample is doped with 1016 cm3 Sb. What is the concentration of Zn atoms
required to exactly compensate this material?
Q3. Construct a semilogarithmic plot for GaAs doped with 2 1015 cm3 donor atoms and
having 4 1014 cm3 EHPs created uniformly at t = 0. Assume that n = p = 50 ns.
Q4. Calculate the recombination coefficient r for the low-level excitation described in Q3.
Assume that this value of r applies when the GaAs sample is uniformly exposed to a
steady-state optical generation rate gop = 1020 cm3 s1 EHPs. Find the steady-state
excess carrier concentration n = p.
Q5. A sample is doped with donors such that n0 = Gx for n0 >> ni and G is a constant.
Find the built-in electric field E (x).
Q6. A Si sample with 1015 cm3 donors is optically excited uniformly at room temperature
such that 1019 cm3 s1 EHPs are generated. Find the separation of the quasi-Fermi
levels and the change in the conductivity of the sample on turning on the illumination.
Electron and holes have equal lifetimes of 10 s and Dp = 12 cm2 s1 .
Q7. An n-type Si sample with Nd = 1015 cm3 is steadily illuminated such that gop =
1021 cm3 s1 EHPs. If n = p = 1 s for this excitation, calculate the separation in
the quasi-Fermi levels hence sketch a likely energy band diagram for this sample.
Q8. A Si bar doped with Nd = 1016 cm3 is 2 cm long and 0, 05 cm2 in cross-section area.
What will be the current that will flow when 10 V is applied across its length? If we
generate 1020 cm3 s1 EHPs uniformly, what will be the new current if n = p =
0, 1 ms? Assume the low-level excitation recombination coefficient does not change for
high-level excitation. If the applied voltage is now raised to 100 kV , what is the new
current? Assume p = 500 cm2 V 1 s1 but you may choose an appropriate value for
Q9. Design and sketch a photoconductor using a 5 m thick film of CdS assuming that
n = p = 1 s and Nd = 1014 cm3 . The dark resistance should be 10 M and
the device must fit in a square 0, 5 cm on a side so that some sort of folded or zigzag
pattern is in order. With an excitation of gop = 1021 cm3 s1 EHPs, what will be the
resistance change?
Q10. In a very long p-type Si bar with cross-section area 0, 5 cm2 and Na = 1017 cm3 ,
we inject holes such that the steady-state excess hole concentration is 5 1016 cm3
at x = 0. What is the steady-state separation between Fn and EC at x = 100 nm?
What is the hole current there? How much is the excess stored hole charge? Assume
p = 500 cm2 V 1 s1 and p = 0, 1 ns.

Q11. Assume that a photoconductor in the shape of a bar of length L and area A has a
constant voltage applied across it and it is illuminated such that gop cm3 s1 EHPs are
generated uniformly throughout. If n >> p , we can assume the optically induced
change in current I is dominated by the mobility n and the lifetime n for electrons.
Show that
I = qALgop
where C is the transit time of electrons drifting down the length of the bar.
Q12. The steady-state minority hole distribution in a semiconductor sample decays exponentially from the plane x = 0. Determine an expression for the hole quasi-Fermi level
Ei Fp (x) while pn (x) >> pn0 . On a band diagram, draw the variation of Fp (x). Be
careful: when the minority carriers are few i.e. pn ni , Fp is very far from Ef .
Q13. Boron is diffused into an intrinsic Si sample giving an exponential acceptor distribution. Sketch the equilibrium energy band diagram and show the direction of the
resulting electric field, for Na (x) >> ni . Repeat for the case of phosphorous diffusion
with Nd (x) >> ni .
Q14. The current required to feed the hole injection at x = 0 is obtained by evaluating
Jp (x) = qDp

= qDp p (x) = q p (x)

at x = 0. The result of this evaluation is

Ip (x = 0) = qADp


Show that this current can be calculated by integrating the charge stored in the steadystate hole distribution p (x) and then dividing by the average hole lifetime p . Explain
why this approach gives Ip (x = 0).
Q15. We wish to use the Haynes-Shockley experiment to calculate the hole lifetime p in
an n-type sample. Assume the peak voltage of the pulse displayed on the oscilloscope
screen is proportional to the hole concentration under the collector terminal at time td
and that the displayed pulse can be approximated as a Gaussian as

p (x, t) = 
4Dp t
2 Dp t
which decays due to recombination as exp (t/ p ). The electric field is varied and the
following data taken: For td = 200 s, the peak is 20 mV ; for td = 50 s, the peak is
80 mV . What is p ?

Q16. Consider a GaAs sample with ni = 106 cm3 at 300 K doped with 1015 cm3 donor
atoms. The sample is illuminated with the 514, 5 nm line of an argon laser. For GaAs
at this wavelength, = 104 cm1 . Calculate and plot the steady-state excess electron

profile n (x) in the region within 5 m of the surface for photon fluxes of 1015 , 1017
and 1019 cm2 s1 using the low-level excitation assumptions and directly solving

gth + gop = r n0 p0 + r (n0 + p0 ) n + (n)2

For this problem, assume n = p = 1 s and neglect diffusion.

Q17. For the sample in Q16. calculate and plot the steady-state excess electron concentration profile in the region within 5 m of the surface for a photon flux of 1019 cm2 s1
using the low-level excitation assumptions and directly solving the equation given for
values of r of 109 , 107 and 105 cm3 s1 .
Q18. Using the results obtained in Q16. for a photon flux of 1015 cm2 s1 , calculate and
plot the transient excess carrier profile 1, 2 and 5 ns after the laser flux is interrupted,
by integrating

n (t) = r (n0 + p0 ) n (t) + (n (t))2
within the depth interval using r = 106 cm3 s1 . Ignore carrier diffusion.
Q19. Assume an n-type semiconductor bar is illuminated over a narrow region of its length
such that n = p in the illuminated zone and excess carriers diffuse away and
recombine in both directions along the bar. Assuming n (x) = p (x), sketch the
quasi-Fermi levels Fn and Fp over several diffusion lengths from the illuminated zone.
See the cautionary note in Q12.

Material properties at 300 K

Eg (eV )
1, 11
n (cm2 /V -s)
p (cm /V -s)
r (dielec. const) 11, 8
ni (EHP s/cm3 ) 1, 0 1010

0, 67
2, 5 1013

1, 43
13, 2
1, 8 106